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Friday Fun: Spooky Reads for the Spooky Season

Good morning and happy Spooky Season readers. Halloween is next week, but before we get into today's Spooky Season Reads, a quick update regarding Wednesday's Blog Post.


#ICYMI, Scholastic walked back its decision to segregate the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC titles under threat from book bans earlier this week, apologizing for their initial stance, after mounting pressure from Educators and Authors. Scholastic still has to prove they will follow through with this statement, but it is a step in the right direction. Politics shift, elected officials come and go, but the impact of books are forever. The 'Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice' opt out collection is not visible for unregistered website viewers, but is still available to schools through the end of the year. Scholastic released a statement that these titles would be integrated back into the full catalog starting Jan 2024.


Keep pushing for diverse reads.


Now, let's claw into our Spooky Season reads.



Friday Fun: Spook Reads for the Spooky Season


The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson



When Springville residents—at least the ones still alive—are questioned about what happened on prom night, they all have the same explanation... Maddy did it.


An outcast at her small-town Georgia high school, Madison Washington has always been a teasing target for bullies. And she's dealt with it because she has more pressing problems to manage. Until the morning a surprise rainstorm reveals her most closely kept secret: Maddy is biracial. She has been passing for white her entire life at the behest of her fanatical white father, Thomas Washington.


After a viral bullying video pulls back the curtain on Springville High's racist roots, student leaders come up with a plan to change their image: host the school's first integrated prom as a show of unity. The popular white class president convinces her Black superstar quarterback boyfriend to ask Maddy to be his date, leaving Maddy wondering if it's possible to have a normal life.


But some of her classmates aren't done with her just yet. And what they don't know is that Maddy still has another secret... one that will cost them all their lives.


You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron



When Springville residents—at least the ones still alive—are questioned about what happened on prom night, they all have the same explanation... Maddy did it.


An outcast at her small-town Georgia high school, Madison Washington has always been a teasing target for bullies. And she's dealt with it because she has more pressing problems to manage. Until the morning a surprise rainstorm reveals her most closely kept secret: Maddy is biracial. She has been passing for white her entire life at the behest of her fanatical white father, Thomas Washington.


After a viral bullying video pulls back the curtain on Springville High's racist roots, student leaders come up with a plan to change their image: host the school's first integrated prom as a show of unity. The popular white class president convinces her Black superstar quarterback boyfriend to ask Maddy to be his date, leaving Maddy wondering if it's possible to have a normal life.


But some of her classmates aren't done with her just yet. And what they don't know is that Maddy still has another secret... one that will cost them all their lives.


The Honeys by Ryan La Sala



Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline's radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who'd grown tragically distant.


Mars's genderfluidity means he's often excluded from the traditions -- and expectations -- of his politically-connected family. This includes attendance at the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy where his sister poured so much of her time. But with his grief still fresh, he insists on attending in her place.


What Mars finds is a bucolic fairytale not meant for him. Folksy charm and sun-drenched festivities camouflage old-fashioned gender roles and a toxic preparatory rigor. Mars seeks out his sister's old friends: a group of girls dubbed the Honeys, named for the beehives they maintain behind their cabin. They are beautiful and terrifying -- and Mars is certain they're connected to Caroline's death.


But the longer he stays at Aspen, the more the sweet mountain breezes give way to hints of decay. Mars’s memories begin to falter, bleached beneath the relentless summer sun. Something is hunting him in broad daylight, toying with his mind. If Mars can't find it soon, it will eat him alive.


She is Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran



When Jade Nguyen arrives in Vietnam for a visit with her estranged father, she has one goal: survive five weeks pretending to be a happy family in the French colonial house Ba is restoring. She’s always lied to fit in, so if she’s straight enough, Vietnamese enough, American enough, she can get out with the college money he promised.


But the house has other plans. Night after night, Jade wakes up paralyzed. The walls exude a thrumming sound, while bugs leave their legs and feelers in places they don’t belong. She finds curious traces of her ancestors in the gardens they once tended. And at night Jade can’t ignore the ghost of the beautiful bride who leaves her cryptic warnings: Don’t eat.


Neither Ba nor her sweet sister Lily believe that there is anything strange happening. With help from a delinquent girl, Jade will prove this house—the home her family has always wanted—will not rest until it destroys them. Maybe, this time, she can keep her family together. As she roots out the house’s rot, she must also face the truth of who she is and who she must become to save them all.


Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury



Daisy sees dead people—something impossible to forget in bustling, ghost-packed Toronto. She usually manages to deal with her unwanted ability, but she’s completely unprepared to be dumped by her boyfriend. So when her mother inherits a secluded mansion in northern Ontario where she spent her childhood summers, Daisy jumps at the chance to escape. But the house is nothing like Daisy expects, and she begins to realize that her experience with the supernatural might be no match for her mother’s secrets, nor what lurks within these walls…


A decade later, Brittney is desperate to get out from under the thumb of her abusive mother, a bestselling author who claims her stay at “Miracle Mansion” allowed her to see the error of her ways. But Brittney knows that’s nothing but a sham. She decides the new season of her popular Haunted web series will uncover what happened to a young Black girl in the mansion ten years prior and finally expose her mother’s lies. But as she gets more wrapped up in the investigation, she’ll have to decide: if she can only bring one story to light, which one matters most—Daisy’s or her own?


As Brittney investigates the mansion in the present, Daisy’s story runs parallel in the past, both timelines propelling the girls to face the most dangerous monsters of all: those that hide in plain sight.


I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast is Me by Jamison Shea



Laure Mesny is a perfectionist with an axe to grind. Despite being constantly overlooked in the elite and cutthroat world of the Parisian ballet, she will do anything to prove that a Black girl can take center stage. To level the playing field, Laure ventures deep into the depths of the Catacombs and strikes a deal with a pulsating river of blood.


The primordial power Laure gains promises influence and adoration, everything she’s dreamed of and worked toward. With retribution on her mind, she surpasses her bitter and privileged peers, leaving broken bodies behind her on her climb to stardom.


But even as undeniable as she is, Laure is not the only monster around. And her vicious desires make her a perfect target for slaughter. As she descends into madness and the mystifying underworld beneath her, she is faced with the ultimate choice: continue to break herself for scraps of validation or succumb to the darkness that wants her exactly as she is—monstrous heart and all. That is, if the god-killer doesn’t catch her first.


There's No Way I'd Die First by Lisa Springer



Noelle Layne knows horror. Every trope, every warning sign, every survival tactic. She even leads a successful movie club dedicated to the genre. Thus, who better to throw the ultimate, most exclusive Halloween party on all of Long Island? And with the guest list including the coolest kids in her senior class, her popularity is bound to spike. Hopefully, enough to warrant an expansion into podcasting. Plus, the fact that attractive, singer-songwriter Archer Mitchell is coming is honestly the candy corn on top. Nothing is going to kill her party vibes.


Except...maybe the low-budget It clown she hires to lead a classic round of tag. He's supposed to be terrifying, though in a comforting, nostalgic way. Instead, the guy is giving major creeps. But maybe Noelle's just that good at hosting? Her confidence is immediately rocked when the night's entertainment axes one of her guests. And he's not done yet. If an evil, murderous clown thinks life is a game, then Noelle is ready to play. She's been waiting a long time to prove that she's a Final Girl.


The Last Girls Standing by Jennifer Dugan



Sloan and Cherry. Cherry and Sloan. They met only a few days before masked men with machetes attacked the summer camp where they worked, a massacre that left the rest of their fellow counselors dead. Now, months later, the two are inseparable, their traumatic experience bonding them in ways no one else can understand.


But as new evidence comes to light and Sloan learns more about the motives behind the ritual killing that brought them together, she begins to suspect that her girlfriend may be more than just a survivor—she may actually have been a part of it. Cherry tries to reassure her, but Sloan only becomes more distraught. Is this gaslighting or reality? Is Cherry a victim or a perpetrator? Is Sloan confused, or is she seeing things clearly for the very first time? Against all odds, Sloan survived that hot summer night. But will she survive what comes next?




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