I’ve recently finished a couple middle grade books as well as a graphic novel. Since I’m not the intended audience for middle grade and this particular graphic novel was so short, I didn’t feel comfortable writing full length reviews. But these were all so good and perfect for October that I still wanted to share them!
1. Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2) by Victoria Schwab ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is the continuation of City of Ghosts which follows 12 year old Cassidy Blake whose parents host a ghost hunting show. Cassidy can see ghosts after a near death experience and her best friend is the ghost who saved her life. In this book, the family travels to Paris, France where Cassidy awakens a poltergeist – a ghost who has forgotten who they were.
In my opinion, this story reads closer to YA than middle grade (which is why I think I love it so much). And Schwab has such a knack for writing spooky, atmospheric settings. I will note – I have not liked any of Schwab’s other books (I know, the horror) and almost didn’t pick this up because of that. So if you’re going into this based off my recommendation or because you like her other work, this isn’t really similar.
Overall I love these characters, I love the spooky, haunted vibes, and the direction this series is taking. If you’re looking for a really fun, quick Halloween-y read, definitely check this series out! The audiobooks are on Hoopla and only about 5 hours long!
2. Small Spaces (Small Spaces #1) by Katherine Arden ⭐⭐⭐.5
This had been on my TBR since last Halloween and I’m so glad I finally got around to it! This is a middle grade story about a girl Olivia who finds a frantic woman about to throw a book into the river. Olivia saves the book and runs away. She thinks the story is all fiction until her school takes a trip to a farm that eerily reminds her of her book… and then creepy things begin to happen!
This book was SO perfect for October! It takes place is on a chilly day, on a farm. There are corn mazes, ghosts, scarecrows, and pumpkin pie! The characters in this are very realistic and read like 6th graders – albeit intelligent ones! And this story does goes pretty dark but it wraps up quickly and cleanly. Overall, if you’re looking for a quick, spooky (but not scary) story, definitely check this out!
Each book in the series takes place during a different season so book 2 takes place in winter. I’m definitely planning to pick that up next month!!
3. Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was my first ever graphic novel so take my review with a grain of salt because I’m definitely not an expert! But this was absolutely adorable!!
This follows Deja and Josiah on their last day working at the pumpkin patch. They’ve been working together for the last 4 years and are about to go off to college. Josiah is heartbroken about never coming back to the pumpkin patch and never talking to the girl he’s been pining for, for the last 4 years. So Deja takes him on a journey through the pumpkin patch to find his dream girl and finally do all the things they never had a chance to do while working.
This story is light, fun, and full of all the fall things! Also Faith Erin Hicks’ illustrations are absolutely stunning. I loved her art style and could have looked at these panels all day. This book flew by and while it isn’t anything new or deep, I could definitely see myself picking this up again next year to get me into the fall spirit.
Have you checked any of these out? I’d love to hear what you thought of them!!