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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Something Spooky this way Comes - Suggested Books for Young Readers by Fran Joyce

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October is the perfect month for kids to read about all things fall and enjoy a Halloween adventure or two.

We’ve selected some of our favorite stories for them to read or follow along as you read in your spookiest voices.

For extra fun, ask your kids to read to you!


The Spooky Wheels on the Bus by J. Elizabeth Mills – Kids will enjoy this humorous Halloween-themed version of the classic song The Wheels on the Bus complete with a few ghosts, goblins and ghouls. Count from One Spooky Bus up to Ten Goofy Ghosts when this Halloween bus races through town picking up some unsuspecting passengers. For ages 3-5

Bonaparte Falls Apart by Margery Cuyler – Bonaparte is the little skeleton who can’t stay together. Everything he tries to do causes him to fall apart. How will he start school? Luckily for him, his great friends Franky Stein, Black Widow and Mimmicula put their heads together to come up with a way to keep Bonaparte together in time for the first day of school. For ages 3-7

 The Roll Away Pumpkin by Julia Wonders – When Maria’s pumpkin starts rolling, she must chase it all over town. Will her friends be able to help her catch it? Where will it end up?  For ages 3 – 8 

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak – Take a walk with the girl in the red scarf who says goodbye to all the summer birds and flowers while welcoming the colorful fall leaves and the chill in the air. For ages 4-7 

Fall Mixed Up by Robert Raczka – Fall is all mixed up. Kids will enjoy finding and correcting the mistakes in the words and pictures of fall things. For ages 4-9 

Laughs and Giggles: Funny Fall Jokes for Kids by G. Nyla Phillips – Kids and adults will enjoy these jokes about Fall/Autumn traditions, pumpkins, silly woodland animals, yummy apples and more. For ages 7-12 

Coraline by Neil Gammon – While exploring her new home, Coraline opens the door to another dimension. The house she walks into looks just like her new house. At first everything seems better in the other house – the food tastes better and the colors are brighter, but there's another mom and dad who want Coraline to be their daughter. She discovers other boys and girls who are trapped there as lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only chance for escape. Can she free them and herself I time? For ages 8-12 

Collections of stories written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell:

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones

Scary tales and legends of horror, dark revenge, and supernatural events - For ages 8-12 

The Thief of Always by Clive Barker – This is the only horror story written especially for children by Mr. Barker. Mr. Hood’s Holiday House has been around for generations. Hailed as a haven of endless delights for children, it has a darker and more sinister side.  Wonder such as these come with a price, but  Harvey Swick didn’t not stop to discover the consequences. After Harvey discovers the pitiful creatures that dwell in its shadow, can he escape before the house and its mysterious architect claim their prize? For ages 9-12 

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare – When sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is forced to leave her home on the island of Barbados in 1687 and join a family she has never met in Connecticut she feels alone and torn between her desire for acceptance and the need to remain true to herself. Kit seems to settle in after she’s befriended by Hannah Tupper, but the colonists believe Hannah is a witch and begin to suspect Kit because of their friendship. Will Kit stand by her friend or believe what the colonists tell her is true. For ages 10-12


Books that go Bump in the Night - Suggested Reading for Adults by Fran Joyce

Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket by Fran Joyce