Stories to Stay Awake
The gift of a good horror story is that it reveals an aspect of the nature of humanity that makes us uncomfortable. Stories intended for juvenile audience can leave such messages so subtly that they remain in hidden crevices of our minds forever. Sarah McCoy, author of The Mapmaker's Children, inspired the first half of this thematic reading list for us. The second half for the more visually inclined plumbs the depths of graphic novel horror fiction. A reading list chock full of scary reads perfect for October.
My seminal October read, this book truly captures the lure of the exotic and the power of love.
A powerful story of love and courage in the face of creeping horror; I held the truth at the core of this story, that love intrinsically trumps evil, as a talisman through much of my adolescent years.
I never read the Hans Christian Anderson tales as a child sticking instead to the Green, Red, Blue, and Yellow Fairy Books by Andrew Lang. When I picked this book up to read with my oldest son as bedtime stories; however, we quickly realized the mistake. These gruesome originals are definitely geared for an older audience.
John Christopher's Tripods series which I devoured in seventh grade, along with Tolkien's The Hobbit, started me on a life-long love of science fiction and fantasy. The White Mountains will inhabit your dreams long after you've finished reading.
Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake deftly combine humor and horror once again (am I the only person that thinks that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was not funny so much as a sad and scary story with happy ending?)
Like Tolkien's The Hobbit, this is a tale of a great quest.