Booklist Online has a great Halloween list of 2013 titles for young readers - most of which are picture books from well loved authors and illustrators.
Click here to reach the list.
I had to return two books to the library unread. Big Fail! Here are the reviews of the other three that I DID read.
Goblins by Philip Reeve. We meet Scarper, smarter than the average goblin and literate besides, just as he is catapulted from a tower. He ends up teaming up with a less than brilliant human to rescue a princess from a giant but all is not what it seems. And then, there is the Lych King's tower, those three traveling mages and the weird case of the exploding cheese that came to life. Oh, and a comet and a prophecy and some men made of bones and...goblins and boglins and flying lizards???? Yep. This is a fun romp through the standards of fantasy. Grades 4 and up. Older fantasy fans will enjoy it, perhaps even more.
The Watcher is the Shadows is Chris Moriarty's second entry into the Inquistor's Apprentice series. Reading the first book is recommended. Sacha, Lily, Mr. Wolf and Payton are still monitoring New York City for magical crimes. But there is a strike against working conditions in one of J. P. Morgaunt's sewing mills and suddenly all of the NYC police force, including the Inquisitors, are on riot watch. In the meantime, the mysterious death of the Klezmer King proves to be more than just an accident. And then there are the sudden unexplained deaths of mobsters and a not-quite-invisible watcher in the shadows. Set in an alternate turn-of-the-20th-century New York, and infused with Jewish mysticism, this series is a fascinating read. Grades 6 and up. Not for the easily frightened. I made sure NOT to read it at night.
The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson was my favorite of all the books I read in the last week and a half. When Eel is accused of stealing the money he has saved, he runs to the tailor for proof that he has been working more than one job. But the tailor is one of the first victims in the London cholera epidemic of 1854. Left without a roof over his head and desperate to protect his secret, Eel turns to another one of his employer's, Dr. Smith. Hopkinson skillfully weaves in historical facts and allows Eel and Dr. Smith to be the sleuths that solve the mystery around the epidemic. This book was fascinating, with an excellent sense of place and time. For historical fiction buffs of ALL ages, especially those 10 and up.