Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Harper Halloween

It's almost time for Halloween! While I've never been big on dressing up myself, I love seeing how creative the neighborhood kids get with their costumes, and this year will be only the second year since the husband and I bought our house six years ago that we've been present for trick or treating. This makes us sound like terrible people, I know, so let me explain. We have two dogs. Two absurdly active, ridiculously adorable–and also slightly insane boxers–who absolutely lose their minds when the doorbell rings at our house. This makes Halloween a stressful time for all parties, so we typically head over to my in-laws where, for some inexplicable reason, the doorbell doesn't bother them nearly as much. I've learned not to ask questions when it comes to our dogs:) So, in conclusion, we're giving Halloween another try this year. Wish us luck!

To help celebrate Halloween, HarperCollins has some outstanding children's, middle grade, and young adult books available, and I wanted to highlight some of them for you to help usher in Halloween week. Assisting me in this endeavor is my amazing mom Pam, (YEAH MOM!) who is making her blogging debut with a few mini reviews of some Harper children's books she read and then gifted to my 3 year-old niece Julianna to help build up her library.

CHILDREN'S BOOKS

by Susan Hood
Illustrated by Jed Henry

MOM'S THOUGHTS

A wonderful hard cover book that acquaints young children with Halloween and the beloved tradition of going door-to-door calling out “Trick or Treat” or “BOO!” The author presents a variety of “what may happen” situations and then helpful “what to do” solutions that may occur on Halloween night to give confidence to even the littlest Trick or Treater.  Enhancing the cute and cleverly written situations are full-page watercolor illustrations that are simply stated and absolutely beautiful! The book is a delight for adults to read aloud, allowing them to interact with the children. It’s destined to be a Halloween favorite!

Rating: 4/5


by Laura Numeroff
Illustrated by Felicia Bond

MOM'S THOUGHTS

An adorable board book that is a perfect fit for the very young and preschool child. The author devotes each page to a charming mouse, who decorates one of his seven pumpkins with a face that expresses an emotion. A child not old enough to read can explore how they feel as well as learn to recognize how someone else feels by gazing on the faces of each large pumpkin. The colorful and simply drawn illustrations also help introduce children to the concept of numbers and counting. The author has created a fun and delightful book that will be viewed again and again!
Rating: 3.5/5


By Robin Farley
Pictures by Olga and Aleksey Ivanov

MOM'S THOUGHTS

Toddlers learn how Mia and her friends find a way to compromise so everyone enjoys a night of trick or treating in costumes they all had a hand in designing. The book also comes with stickers a child can use to help create new costumes, just like the characters in the story do. The storyline wanders a bit, and some concepts (such as tie-dying) might not be understood, but the watercolor and pencil illustrations as well as the animal characters in the story will likely appeal to little ones. They will also have loads of fun with the stickers!
Rating: 3.5/5

MIDDLE GRADE

   
By Neil Gaiman
Illustrations by Dave McKean

From Amazon:

"Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house. . . ."

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. 
They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.


by Bruce Coville

From Goodreads:

No doubt about it, little brothers can be monsters. When sixth grader Jake Doolittle finds a baby on the doorstep and his mother decides to keep it, those words are more than just an expression. Instead, they perfectly describe the way his new little brother, LD, sprouts pointy ears, thick fur, and "fangs" in moonlight.

Not only is LD a monster. . . . "other" monsters have plans for him. But together with his friend "Weird Lily" Carker, Jake isn't about to let anything happen to the baby. The little guy is still his brother, even if it turns out that LD may be the key to saving the world--or destroying it.

Soon Jake and Lily are on a perilous quest through Always October, a world populated with monsters ranging from the venomous to the ridiculous. Master of comic suspense Bruce Coville presents a tale of ominous dangers and hairbreadth escapes, of the conflict between forces of dark and light, and of the lengths to which one boy will go to save his brother--monster or not.

MORE MIDDLE GRADE READS


Gravediggers: Mountain of Bones by Christopher Krovatin
The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade
Scary School: Monsters on the March by Derek the Ghost; Illustrations by Scott M. Fischer

YOUNG ADULT


By Susan Dennard

From Goodreads:

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

* I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though zombies are typically not my thing. You can read my full review HERE.


By Patrick Carman

From Goodreads:

Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night's experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains...

What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?

*This was a hugely surprising read for me. I had no idea what to expect and it absolutely blew me away. You can read my full review HERE.



By Gretchen McNeil

From Goodreads:

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?



MORE YOUNG ADULT READS


The Turning by Francine Prose
Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
Dark Eden: Eve of Destruction by Patrick Carman

Also, if you haven't seen it yet, be sure and check out the cover reveal for Sweet Peril, the sequel to Sweet Evil, which went up on the blog yesterday. Sweet Evil isn't so much a Halloween read, but I'm including it in this post because Kaidan is scarily sexy (see how I tied this bit in? Well done me.) and it's possible I'm a tiny bit excited for this next book:)

29 comments:

  1. Lots of fun, and creepy looking books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? I'm especially loving the covers for The Turning and Ten - so pretty and eerie:)

      Delete
  2. Awwwwwwwwwwww those children's books sound SO cute<3 Welcome to the world of book blogging Jenny's mum :) heheheee I'm sure you'll love it every bit as much as we do :D Oohhh I can't wait to read Dark Eden and Ten! They both sound creepy and thrilling :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mom has been present behind the scenes of this blog since I started, but these her first reviews and definitely not her last if I can talk her into helping out more often!

      Delete
  3. Aw, it's such a cute thing to include your Mom and gz to her on her blogging debute! Heh. Ten, Something Strange and Deadly have been on my TBR pile for such a long time now, but Ten will definitely be waiting until spring/summer 2013, because I'm such a coward lol :D I can't watch horror movies, they just creep me out and I see nightmares for 2 weeks straight, so yeah.. Need to wait for a little sunshinier time. Oh, and I had that problem with my dog too, but since Halloween isn't that celebrated in Europe, it wasn't that bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a huge coward too, that's why I've been putting Ten off myself. I think you'd be good to go with Something Strange and Deadly though, the zombies are a fairly minor part of the story:)

      Delete
  4. I absolutely loved Ten! Such an addictive read. I watched Caroline with my sister not too long ago and I have to say for an animation movie it was pretty creepy. *shudders*

    Great list, Jenny. New follower! ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Coraline would probably terrify me, animated or not. I'm such a wuss when it comes to creepy movies, I just can't deal with them unless they're from the 70's or 80's and have terrible special effects that I can laugh at:)

      Delete
  5. Aww thanks for these great recs Jenny and Pam! Pam I absolutely adore your mini-reviews, I have a younger sister so she was peering over my shoulder the entire time jotting down the books she was going to read! I hope you have a great Halloween Jenny and it's not too stressful with your dogs! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY! I hope she likes some of the books:) And I'll be sure and do a post-Halloween dog update!

      Delete
  6. Something strange & deadly and Ten look so good! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved Something Strange and Deadly and I'm really looking forward to Ten as soon as I work up the courage to read it:)

      Delete
  7. My dog goes slightly berserk when the doorbell rings too so I'm bracing myself for Halloween - maybe I should put up a 'Beware of the Chihuahua' sign? ;)

    Hi Pam *waves enthusiastically* Thank you for the mini-reviews and welcome to the blogosphere. I don't have any younger siblings but I'll keep the books in mind!

    Something Strange and Deadly looks so thrilling and I can't wait to read Ten!

    Thanks for sharing, Jenny and Pam! Happy Halloween!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha I clearly need to put up a "Beware the Boxers" sign, though both of them are really friendly, they're just large and loud:) Happy Halloween to you as well!

      Delete
  8. I love this list.
    I adore Coraline.
    And how cute is Mia? LOVE it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Welcome Jenny's mom! I am going to bookmark this post for the years to come (the boyfriend's brother and SIL are expecting) so I can read to the niece. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I definitely need to check some of these out, Jenny! Coraline and Something Strange and Deadly are PERFECT Halloween reads, so I'll be adding your other recs to my TBR list at once! Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Coraline is pretty much a yearly tradition at this point! Loved Ten and Dark Eden too. Wonderful creepy list!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I know my dog goes nuts on Halloween as well. I just bought the mouse one for my kids. The one with the stickers looks great for my daughter. I can't wait to dig into Ten next week. I want to read Coraline since I loved the movie! Enjoy your Halloween Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
  13. What strange dogs you have, Jenny. ;) Good luck this year round! I hope it goes okay!

    Great list of spooky reads there. I love Pam's mini-reviews. I need to convince my mum to guest post on my blog occasionally!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I loved these books! I'm excited to read the second book to Dark Eden.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great round up of Halloween reads! And how cue are the Childrens books? Have fun giving out Candy! I love seeing all the kids in costume too!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh my kids would love those Halloween books! I have trouble buying Halloween themes books just cause they're really only good for a short time each year.
    Have fun handing out candy! I kinda dread it... but we'll spend much of it trick or treating so hopefully it wont last long.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wonderful post and knowing how artistic Pam is, I am sure the illustrations in these books are fabulous. Just right for Halloween!!! Thanks Jenny

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love Laura Numeroff's books. I'm still collecting them for grandchildren one day, or a very lucky library, whichever. I love Coraline. I haven't read any of the YA books though Ten scares the crap out of me. Very nice selection!

    Heather

    ReplyDelete
  19. Halloween can be such challenge with pets, I have cats and they always get so nervous. Almost as bad as 4th of July. Good luck with your celebrations.

    Nice reviews on the little kid books, Pam, they all so very sweet. :)

    I really enjoyed Something Strange and Deadly, great Halloween pick. Love how you worked in Kaiden, Jenny! :) I really must pick that book up.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for the heads up never knew that stuff any existed!estetik

    ReplyDelete