Are you looking for great literature to introduce to your students in the month of October? You will find some of my favorite October books for upper elementary students. Read on for a summary and why they are my favorites! Happy Haunted Reading! CLICK ON EACH BOOK PICTURE TO FIND IT ON AMAZON!
1. Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe.
A chapter book: 4.2 reading level
Harold, the narrator of the story, is hysterical! He’s just like my dog, Romeo, who begs for food 24-7! And Chester, the cat, oh my. My students and I fall off our chairs when reading about his shenanigans! He thinks that the new bunny in the house is a vampire and performs crazy acts to get rid of the vampire! Chester wears garlic around his neck, tries to pound the bunny with a steak..yes steak not stake, and wears a towel around his neck to look like a vampire cape to get everyone’s attention. The poor bunny can’t get a break so Harold steps in to help him. It is a must read! Teachers, there are so many different reading skills you can pull from this book. The great thing about this book, is there is a series so my students ran to the library for the next book!
Here is a link to all of the individual books in the series:
2. The Ghost of Fossil Glen by Cynthia DeFelice
A chapter book: Reading level 5.1
This has been my favorite read aloud for years! My students begged me to keep reading each day. It’s so realistic that students can relate to it. It is about eleven-year old Allie Nichols who loves climbing at Fossil Glen, which is dangerously steep and rocky. As she is clinging to the side of a cliff, she hears a trusting voice to bring her down the cliff safely. The mysterious thing is that NOBODY there! As she begins to investigate, she realizes that some of her friends were not true friends and decides to only confide in her long time friend Dub. Allie continues to hear voices and is given clues to a mystery. As Ali and Dub get closer to discovering the ghostly voice and clues, they realize they uncovered a very gruesome crime and are in danger! This book has a series, so my students were hooked!
3. It’s Halloween, I’m turning Green! by Dan Gutman
A chapter book: 3.7 reading level
This book comes from the My Weird School series. During trick-or-treating, A.J. and his group of friends plan to get enough candy to last them through the year. They have to beware of the Halloween monster who is ready to steal all of their candy. There are so many funny sayings and exaggerations! What would happen if a kid ate a million hundred pounds of chocolate in one night? I love all the words of imagery used to fill pictures of hillarious scenes in our minds! It is an easy read with many new words and phrases. The bonus content at the end of the book is motivating too! It includes Halloween facts, a word search, puzzles and more.
4. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
A chapter book: 4.7 reading level
This fast-paced tale is about eight boys dressed for Halloween who are meeting their friend Pipkin at a haunted house outside of town. I love the black and white drawing to make it even more haunting. The boys encounter Mr. Moundshroud and Pipkin gets swept away by something dark and eerie. Mr. Moundshroud takes the boys on the tail of a kite through time to search for Pipkin and the meaning of Halloween. It is saturated with great Halloween history including ancient Egypt, cavemen, persecution of witches in the Dark ages, gargoyles of Notre Dame, and catacombs of Mexico. In the end each boy has to give up something (I don’t want to spoil the story) to save Pipkin’s life.
5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book 4: The Battle of the Labyrinth
6. Tell Me a Scary Story..But Not Too Scary by Carl Reiner
A Picture Book: Grade level 3.3
Who doesn’t love a scary story? This hilarious one is perfect for upper elementary! I especially like it for giving students ideas for suspense in writing! Carl Reiner brings in the fun of suspense by inviting readers to huddle closer and asking, “Shall we turn the page- or is it too scary? The story is about a young boy’s tale of the mysterious house next door. The descriptive language used makes the story so intriguing. It uses phrases like “the hair on the back of my neck was sticking straight out.” My students scream—turn the page!!!!!!!