Here Are Your Spooky Halloween YA Book Club Selections!

Illustration for article titled Here Are Your Spooky Halloween YA Book Club Selections!

You all voted, and now here are the selections for our tween terror throwback book club!


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was the clear winner. (If you're going to read along, just make sure you get your mitts on a used copy with the original, nightmare-inducing illustrations.) Cheerleaders: The First Evil will represent the Fear Street franchise, Fall Into Darkness was the preferred Christopher Pike, and the witchy Daughters of Eve is your pick from the oeuvre of Lois Duncan. Rounding out the top five: Wait Till Helen Comes, by Mary Downing Hahn.

The week of Halloween, we'll do a post per day. Please read along with any and all that appeal! Will we be terrified? Amused? Appalled but also delighted that our libraries actually included this stuff? Only time will tell. Links and plot descriptions are below.

Cheerleaders: The First Evil, R.L. Stine

"Give Me a D-I-E" Newcomers Corky and Bobbi Corcoran want more than anything to make the cheerleading squad at Shadyside High. But as soon as the Corcoran sisters are named to the team, terrible things happen to the cheerleaders. The horror starts with a mysterious accident near the Fear Street cemetery. Soon after, piercing screams echo through the empty school halls. And then the ghastly murders begin . . . Can Corky and Bobbi stop the killer before the entire cheerleading squad is destroyed?

Daughters of Eve, Lois Duncan

The girls at Modesta High School feel like they're stuck in some anti-feminist time warp-they're faced with sexism at every turn, and they've had enough. Sponsored by their new art teacher, Ms. Stark, they band together to form the Daughters of Eve. It's more than a school club-it's a secret society, a sisterhood. At first, it seems like they are actually changing the way guys at school treat them. But Ms. Stark urges them to take more vindictive action, and it starts to feel more like revenge- brutal revenge. Blinded by their oath of loyalty, the Daughters of Eve become instruments of vengeance. Can one of them break the spell before real tragedy strikes?


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Alvin Schwartz

This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz's popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright.

There is a story here for everyone — skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney.


Fall Into Darkness, Christoper Pike

Anne McFarland is dead, and her best friend, Sharon McKay, stands accused even though no body has been found. Nevertheless, the prosecution is almost certain of victory, and Sharon must prove that her friend committed suicide—and unravel the vengeful scheme of an obsessed teenager.


Wait Till Helen Comes, Mary Downing Hahn

Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she's made Molly and Michael's life miserable. Now their parents have moved them all to the country to live in a house that used to be a church, with a cemetery in the backyard. If that's not bad enough, Heather starts talking to a ghost named Helen and warning Molly and Michael that Helen is coming for them. Molly feels certain Heather is in some kind of danger, but every time she tries to help, Heather twists things around to get her into trouble. It seems as if things can't get any worse.

But they do — when Helen comes.



Everything by Lois Duncan is a flawless read. Her repertoire is one of the few things that I loved as a 6th grader that still hasn't tarnished: I can waste a whole afternoon on her novels even if I've already read them. NOTE: The new editions of her books have contrived red-herring updates peppered in (someone throws an ipod in a drawer here or there) to update their appeal. Maybe someone who hasn't loved Lois for such a long time wouldn't notice but I always look for the yellowing dog-eared copies at used book stores.