Top Children's and Young Adult Books for Autumn

With Halloween creeping up round the corner, we felt there was no better time to share some of our top children’s and young adult books that coincide perfectly with autumn. Here, you’ll find a mix of spooky tales, monsters, witches, magic and pumpkins to pull you deep into the season. From middle grade fiction to young adult, there are plenty of books here to choose from that’ll make you feel perfectly swept away in the world of magic, autumn and all hallows’ eve from some spectacular authors.

Take a look at some of our recommendations below. If you think we’ve missed any out, let us know.

Middle Grade:

The Creature Keeper by Damaris Young

Championing a love of animals and set in a creepy gothic manor called Direspire Hall, The Creature Keeper tells the story of Cora who takes on the role of creature keeper to save her family’s farm. But Direspire Hall seems full of secrets, creaky doors and mysterious creatures who lurk in the dark, and it’s up to Cora to find out what to do – and how she might be able to help.

The Haunting of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes

The Haunting of Aveline Jones. Can a book cover get any more spooky than this? A perfect blend of spooky with a haunting mystery, Aveline Jones sets out to discover the truth about the disappearance of Primrose Penberthy when she finds an old book of scary stories that once belonged to her. But Primrose seems to have vanished without a trace. And as Aveline keeps searching, something else begins to look for her …

The Last Spellbreather by Julie Pike

The Last Spellbreather is a charming story full of magic, evil and adventure. When Rayne accidentally breaks the spell that keeps her village safe from an ancient evil curse, it’s suddenly up to her to put her world to rights again. With her mother gone and nobody else to help, she has to make the journey alone to combat evil and lift the spell – meeting a magical fox along the way. As they keep going, Rayne learns more and more about her village and the curse that threatens to destroy it for good.  But will they be able to save it – and her mother – in time before it’s too late?

The Monsters of Rookhaven by Padraig Kenny

With a cover and story as exquisite as this, we just had to include The Monsters of Rookhaven in our list of recommended books. Telling the story of Mirabelle (a monster girl) who lives with her family in mysterious Rookhaven, this book shows that kindness can go a long way when you meet someone who is different from you and that, sometimes, things on the outside aren’t always as they appear.

Malice in Underland by Jenni Jennings

Yes, you read that right. Malice in Underland is a perfectly gothic series of books set in a land filled with adventure, magic, and all things spooky. As the first in the series, this book in particular follows the story of Malice as she tries to save all the granddad ghosts from her world disappearing – with the help of her Uncle Vexatious – and having their own adventure on the way.

Young Adult:

Witch by Finbar Hawkins

A truly atmospheric and haunting book to read in autumn, Witch details the life of Evey in the 17th century whose mother was murdered by witch hunters. Now, Evey is fuelled by her fury and desire for revenge – but she made a promise to look after her younger sibling, Dill, and to keep her safe at all costs. Filled with themes of witchcraft, revenge, and the strength of sisterhood and women, this book will leave an impression on you long after you’ve read the last page.

Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

A wonderful graphic novel set on a pumpkin patch farm with warmth and adorable characters at its heart. Josiah and Deja have worked on the same pumpkin patch farm every autumn all the way through high school, but this year it’s different. With school ending, this is their last night together working at the pumpkin patch and Deja is determined they go out with a bang. But Josiah isn’t as euphoric. Over the course of the graphic novel, Deja encourages Josiah to break free and live a little, showing him what life can be like, when all it takes sometimes is being a little brave.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Set in the aftermaths of the American Civil War, Dread Nation takes you on an unforgettable journey back in time mixed with the supernatural – what if the soldiers who died on the battlefield of Gettysburg were never laid to rest? What if their bodies came back to life and a plague of zombies stalked the earth, claiming the lives of the living?

In this frightening world, brave heroine Jane McKeen discovers that families are going missing and is determined to find out why. On her journey, she encounters some deadly enemies where every day is a fight for survival. She gradually discovers what these enemies are doing and stands triumphant. But, first, she has to figure out how she’s going to come out of it all alive.

The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

This gothic tale is both thrilling and stirring, with a pinch of the macabre to have you on the edge of your seat all the way through reading. Set in a world with castles and dragons, kidnappings and slaves, two sisters – Lil and Kizzy – fight their way through hardship and danger while being so very far from everything they’ve ever known. Having been taken from their home on the day of their divining, they must both find a way to triumph in the face of evil and meet their fate, whatever that may be …

Enchantée by Gita Trelease

Set during the French Revolution, Gita Trelease paints a rich picture of Paris with Enchantée, showing the stark divide between the rich and the poor in 1789. It follows seventeen year old Camille, who has to practise magic to keep her brother and sister safe, and keep her identity hidden. As she grows more and more desperate, she realises that if she plays her cards right, she might be able to save them from going destitute by disguising herself at the court of Versailles and mixing with the aristocracy. But will she be able to see her family through their troubles as the city gets more and more restless and Paris is set to fall?

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our top children’s and YA book recommendations for autumn. If there are any on the list that you’ve enjoyed too, then why not share it with us in the comments section below? Or maybe there’s a book you’d like to recommend that we’ve missed out – let us know! We love to hear what our readers think.

In the meantime, happy reading.

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