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Shivers & Shudders: Scary Middle Grade Books

A little bit creepy, a little bit weird, a little bit gross: these are books for your readers looking for scary stuff but not quite ready for the gore or intensity of horror for teens. Often, fiction geared at this age group uses the supernatural as a way to help kids in this cohort assert their independence in a time when they are beginning to assert more autonomy from the adults in their life. By seeing fellow kids facing and overcoming scary challenges (like supernatural monsters, ghosts, and other creatures that have a lot of metaphorical power) often while adults in their lives are disbelieving, kid readers are able to more confidently navigate the world and trust their own abilities. And, of course, these books are perfect for emerging readers or kids who need "hooks" to keep them turning pages. These titles are recommended for readers ages 8-12 but, as always, if you are on the fence about who these books are good fits for, review them before you recommend them.