Guest Author - Alice Andersen
Getting children away from their video games and TV sets for an old-fashioned story hour can be a challenge. By tapping into your childís imagination and interest, you can get them excited about reading no matter what their skill level is. Todayís authors make it easy for you. Stories arenít just your old time Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. Todayís stories include all sorts of ghosts or zombies, giant insects or fantastical beasts in need of taming. These otherworldly and supernatural creatures form the backdrop of many excellent adventure/horror books.
Children love horror stories maybe even more than adults. Balancing the level of scare with the age of the child is tricky but with the help of book reviews and age recommendations on the web, the job is easier. Once you understand what sorts of stories your child is drawn to, you can help her find the authors she will love.
Thanks to the popularity of Twilight and Harry Potter, thereís a great deal of new horror/adventure books on the market to choose from. For example, there is the Poison Apple series of paranormal books for ages 10-14. If your child enjoys ghosts and vampires with just the right amount of scare, this could be the series for them.
Another author they may like who writes scary/supernatural series for kids is Johnathan Rand. His American Chillers series include a monster or ghost from each different state. The books have fun titles like Ogres from Ohio and Nebraska Nightcrawlers.
The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson books, blends mystery, adventure, and vengeful gods in this series of three books. If you want to pass along a love of ancient history and mythology, this set of books may spark that flame. The series has likeable characters, action packed adventure, and a few frights sprinkled with humor.
A ghost story with lots of spooky atmosphere and great reviews is All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn. Two mischievous kids inadvertently wake up the ghost in an ex-haunted house leading to unexpectedly haunted adventures. Or try the book Crooked Hills by Cullen Bunn. The town is haunted with real frights for Charlie Ward and his friends. Either book should be a favorite with your young reader.
Kids love a good tale as much as the rest of us. If that tale keeps them on the edge of their seat and turning the pages, donít tell them but they are learning as they read. Practice, practice, and more practice will improve their vocabulary, word recognition, and comprehension skills. And what could be more fun than learning while reading a real page-turner of a scary book.