New Releases – September 7, 2021

New month, new releases!


In Matrix, seventeen-year-old Marie de France, freshly cast aside from the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, ventures to England as the designated new prioress of an impoverished abbey. As she tries to adjust to her new life, Marie resolves to use her tenacity and determination, cultivated from a long line of women warriors and crusaders, to forge a new path for the women she now leads and protects. Lauren Groff’s first novels since her best-selling Fates and Furies explores the power of female creativity in a corrupted world.


Witch Please by Ann Aguirre is a fun fall read! Danica Waterhouse is a witch dealing with the aftermath of a messy breakup when she makes a pact with her cousin: protect their hearts and have fun, away from the critical voices of Waterhouse women. The plan goes awry when Danica meets Titus Winnaker, a man trying to pick up the pieces after his own tragic loss amidst a curse of romantic doom. So what happens next? Find out in this rom-com perfect for fall weather and spooky season!

Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore introduces Hattie Greenfield, a London banking heiress with ambitions – ambitions that seem all but destined to come to a halt when she meets her new husband, Lucien Blackstone. Lucien is a financier with a murky past and ruthless reputation with no room for Hattie’s ideas and apprehension. But a trip to Scotland brings the two a new perspective.

As the most successful producer in franchise history, Dev Deshpande spends his days crafting fairy tale moments for a popular reality dating show. When the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw, Dev has his work cut out for him. Charlie only agreed to do the show as a way to rehabilitate his tarnished image. On-camera, he is stiff and anxious with contestants; off-camera he is still awkward, but with an icy touch. As Charlie begins to open up to Dev, it becomes apparent he has more of a connection with Dev than any of the other contestants. What happens when the on-camera story veers from the formula? I guess you’ll have to read The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun to find out!

Young Adult

If you read HBS’s own Candice’s book The Existence of Bea Pearl, (which you all should!) Candice calls Gray, the main character in Dark and Shallow Lies “Bea Pearl’s older, edgier cousin from Louisiana.” In this paranormal thriller from Ginny Myers Sain, seventeen-year-old Gray spends the summers in La Cachette, Louisiana, the self-proclaimed “Psychic Capital of the World.” Gray’s best friend Elora disappeared from town six months ago, and Gray doesn’t understand how in a town full of psychics no one knows what happened. As Gray begins digging into the mystery, she learns everyone in town is hiding something. When a stranger emerges from the bayou with links to Elora and the town’s history, Gray learns there is more to the town than she ever knew.

In Your Life Has Been Delayed by Michelle I. Mason, Jenny Waters faces a strange new world. She boarded a flight in 1995, but upon landing, she and the other passengers are told they disappeared 25 years earlier and were presumed dead. As Jenny adapts to a world of smartphones and social media as her story goes viral, she also must contend with family and friends, including a former best friend, a growing crush on a boy with an uncomfortable connection to her past, and a world of conspiracy theorists determined to discredit Jenny’s experience.

Little Women is one of my favorite books and So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix by Bethany C. Morrow takes the classic story of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy and reimagines it as a story of four young Black women in 1863, coming of age during the Civil War on the North Carolina Freedman’s Colony of Roanoke Island.

When Bryn Roth receives a letter from her uncle Henrik on her eighteenth birthday, summoning her to return to Bastian, Bryn determines she will prove herself and finally take her place amongst her long-lost family. But Bryn soon finds that even though the family wields influence over Bastian, there are still remnants of the kinds of shady business that got her parents killed years ago. See how Bryn navigates personal and political influence in The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young.

Dahlia Adler brought together a team of writers to produce His Hideous Heart: A Collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s Most Unsettling Tales Reimagined. These new tales are featured alongside the original tales. Whether you know these stories by heart or are discovering them for the first time here, this collection is sure to amaze and inspire!

The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty first came out when I was in middle and high school, so I feel like I grew up alongside Jessica. I am so excited that they are being re-released as part of the 20th anniversary of Sloppy Firsts (book one of the series), so a new generation can get to know Jessica. Charmed Thirds follows Jessica during her college years in New York City, years full of change, upheaval, and surprises. Told through journal entries, Jessica brings readers into her innermost thoughts as she navigates life.

Fazbear Frights: Friendly Face is Volume 10 in the Five Nights at Freddy’s series by Scott Cawthon. In three novella-length stories pulled from the series canon, Cawthon pulls out all the stops to scare even his hardiest series fans. Check this out if you want to be scared!


Another series I loved growing up, the Baby-Sitters Club, is reimagined as a series of graphic novels for a new generation! Kristy and the Snobs is the latest installment. After Kristy’s mom remarries and moves the family to the ritzy neighborhood across town, Kristy finds herself feeling out of place and unwelcome. The neighborhood kids make fun her clothes, the BSC, even Kristy’s old dog, Louie. Kristy leans on her friends as they try to find their footing in this new neighborhood.

This special edition of Dragonslayer (Wings of Fire: Legends) by Tui T. Sutherland takes readers back in time to view Pyrrhia with new eyes! Ivy does not trust the Dragonslayer, even if he is her father and beloved ruler of Valor. Leaf does not trust dragons – they killed his favorite sister, Wren, and now Leaf will do whatever it takes to slay them. But Wren survived. When the three cross paths with dragons, it shapes the destinies of both species.

Tiny T. Rex and the Tricks of Treating by Jonathan Stutzman and illustrated by Jay Fleck is another adorable book to get the kids excited for Halloween! Tiny and Pointy love Halloween and they want to share what they have learned so everyone can have the perfect treat-filled Halloween. But as Tiny and Pointy learn, sometimes the sweetest treat of Halloween isn’t the candy at all.

Willodeen by Katherine Applegate is about a little girl who wants to make a difference in the big world. Eleven-year-old Willodeen loves all creatures. She especially loves the strange, unlovable beasts called “Screechers” that inhabit her home village of Perchance. When Perchance faces a series of natural disasters, including the loss of the annual hummingbear migration, Willodeen, with the help of her new friend Connor, speaks up for the animals she loves.

When twin siblings Dani and Dorian miss the bus to magic school, they never imagined they would end up declared traitors and find themselves ensnared in a wild adventure to clear their names. Hooky by Miriam Bonastre Tur is based on the popular webcomic from WebToon and fans new and old will enjoy following Dani and Dorian on their wild mishaps and adventures.

Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero is a timely and powerful read from Saadia Faruqi. Yusuf Azeem has spent his life in Frey, Texas and has dreamed of competing in the local robotics competition, which he knows he can win. But this year’s competition falls on the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, which has his family on edge and has Yussuf facing challenges beyond robotics. As a group of townspeople protest the building of a new mosque in town, Yusuf must face anger and bullies with understanding and love.

Fairy Tale Science: Explore 25 Classic Tales Through Hands-On Experiments combines the stories we know with a STEM twist! Readers can explore the laws of physics, principles of chemistry, and the wonders of biology through the stories of Snow White, Chicken Little, and more.

The Who Would Win? series is pretty popular with kids who come into the shop, and Who Would Win?: Extreme Animal Rumble combines five of those books into one exciting volume! Learn about animal anatomy, behavior, and more alongside photos and illustrations as you explore these exciting animal showdowns

In Pete the Cat’s Groovy Imagination, the 12th book in the Pete the Cat series by Kimberly and James Dean, Pete learns he can use his “groovy” imagination (and a cardboard box) to chase the blues away!


Never Saw Me Coming, the debut thriller from Vera Kurian, follows a group of students diagnosed with psychopathy who are being hunted on campus. Chloe Sevre is one of those students. An honors freshman with a high IQ and diagnosed psychopathy, Chloe wears a smartwatch that tracks her movements and moods as part of a clinical study. This study inadvertently brought together some of the most dangerous minds who feel no guilt or fear. When one of the participants is found murdered, it becomes clear that everyone, including Chloe, is in danger. As they join forces to figure out who is after them, the group must learn to trust each other.


The Haunting of Leigh Harker is the latest ghost story from Darcy Coates. Leigh Harker is certain her house is haunted – curtains open on their own, radios turn off and on, and a dark figure looms outside her window, waiting for her to let her guard down and fall asleep. Pushed to the brink but not wanting to abandon the home, Leigh searches for answers. But the more she digs, the more it seems the house may be the one keeping troubling secrets.

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is back in print and, for the first time ever, available in paperback! Domingo is a garbage-collecting street kid just trying to survive the streets of Mexico City when he meets Atl, a jaded vampire on the run. Atl is smart, beautiful, and dangerous – she the descendent of Aztec blood drinkers – and Domingo is mesmerized. Atl needs to escape the city and though she didn’t plan on Domingo coming along, the two band together to survive.

New Releases – August 31, 2021

Let’s close out August with another batch of new releases coming to The Haunted Bookshop!


Superspy-in-training Ben Ripley returns in Spy School Revolution, the eighth book in the Spy School series by Stuart Gibbs. When the CIA conference room next door is bombed, Ben is surprised to learn Erica Hale, a well-respected fellow spy-in-training, is the prime suspect. To prove Erica is not a double-agent, Ben must face the Croatoan – an evil organization so mysterious, the only proof it exists dates back to the American Revolution. How will Ben solve the mystery? Pick up this book to find out!

Two Spy School books in one week?! How lucky are we! In Spy School at Sea, the action picks up with Ben finding his nemesis Murray Hill in Central America getting ready to board the world’s biggest cruise ship, The Emperor of the Seas, as it heads out on its maiden voyage around the world. Ben poses as part of a family with Erica and his best friend Mike to board the ship and track Murray. But of course, nothing goes to plan. Enjoy this ninth book in the Spy School series!

Check out Big Nate: Aloha! the latest book in the Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce! Because Aloha can mean both hello and goodbye, it is the perfect word to describe Nate’s current state – he doesn’t know if he’s coming or going. All of your favorite characters return for new adventures with Nate, including Nate needing to tap into his superhero side to solve a crime he witnessed at Klassic Komix.

The Table 5 gang try to find a way to keep Molly’s family from moving away in Trouble at Table 5: Countdown to Disaster, the sixth book in this series by Tom Watson. Readers will enjoy this illustrated chapter book as they watch Molly, Rosie, and Simon create a scavenger hunt to show Molly’s family how much they love their neighborhood – all before the moving trucks are set to arrive.

Friends Forever is a follow-up to Real Friends and Best Friends, the previous best-selling graphic memoirs from Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham. Shannon is in eighth grade and everything is changing. In the midst of all the chaos, Shannon struggles with insecurities, the fear of disappointing everyone, and her undiagnosed depression. Using humor, warmth, and insight, Hale and Pham give readers a reminder that we are all enough and need to love ourselves as we are.

Young Adult

In an extension of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters novels, Chain of Gold is the first in a new triology that follows Shadowhunter Cordelia Carstairs. When Cordelia’s father is accused of a terrible crime, she travels with her brother to London in hopes of saving the family from impending ruin. While her mother wants to marry her off, Cordelia aspires to be a hero, not a bride. When she meets up with childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale, Cordelia creates a new life for herself while in search of answers. But when a series of demon attacks shock and devastate London, Cordelia and her friends are faced with a series of challenges they have never encountered before.

Bestselling author Marie Lu returns with Skyhunter, a new YA sci-fi novel about a world broken by war and inhabited by danger around every corner. Mara is the only free nation left after the Karensa Foundation conquered twelve other kingdoms. Talin and her mother escaped the Federation and sought asylum in Mara, where they are not necessarily welcomed with open arms. Even as Mara looks like it too may fall to the Federation, Talin is not ready to give up. Check out Book One before the sequel comes out in September!

Enola Holmes is back with the latest book in the series, Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche by Nancy Springer! In this latest installment, the younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes steps in to help Letitia Glover, a distraught woman who showed up on Sherlock’s doorstep desperate for answers about her sister, Felicity. Armed with a vague note from her sister’s husband, the Earl of Dunhench, and a suspicious death certificate, Enola decides to go undercover to solve the mystery. Felicity may not be the first of the Earl’s wives to die under mysterious circumstances, and Enola feels the secret to unlocking the mystery lies with a black barouche that arrived at the Earl’s house in the middle of the night. As she digs deeper into the mystery, Enola enlists the help of a cast of characters, including her famous brother, to solve the case.



Released in conjunction with the Apple TV+ series premiere, check out Foundation by Issac Asimov, the classic sci-fi epic that started it all. Hari Seldon is the creator of psychohistory, a revolutionary science that allows him to see into the future. As the Galactic Empire around him is dying, Hari must use his skills and gather the best minds in the Empire to preserve knowledge and save humankind. He calls this collective the Foundation. But as corrupt warlords encroach closer, the Foundation must figure out how to fight back, lest they be destroyed.


Master of Poisons by Andrea Hairston is an epic fantasy that brings together Hairston’s masterful prose with folklore and storytelling traditions. Djola, a spymaster of the Arkhysian Empire, is desperately trying to save his adopted homeland even though he is stuck in exile. Awa is a young woman in training to become a powerful grigot, is meanwhile discovering her powers and pushing the limits of what she can accomplish. New to this edition is a conversation between Hairston and fellow author Daniel Jose Older.


The latest from author Richard Powers, Operation Wandering Soul takes place in the pediatrics ward of a Los Angeles hospital. Resident doctor Richard Kraft and therapist Linda Espera act as surrogate parents to the young patients, tasked with keeping them alive through stories of imagination and hope, even in a place where hope is in short supply. The two spin stories of restoration and escape, but as the inevitable ends draw near, Richard and Linda must face forgotten chapters of their own lives to brace themselves for what comes next.


Why is it so fun to scare ourselves? Darryl Jones explores this phenomenon alongside classic horror stories in Horror: A Very Short Introduction. Through his exploration of genre tropes like monsters, vampires, and ghosts, Jones address why the psychological thrills and macabre scenes disturb us and how society responds to the shock. This latest installment of the Very Short Introduction series would make a great accompaniment to any scary story as we head into the season of ghost stories and campfires!


Described as “Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th,” My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones follows Jade Daniels, a young girl with an abusive father, an absent mother trying to manage life in her small town. Jade loves horror movies and uses her knowledge of the genre to make sense of Proofrock’s history. But when the blood really starts running through the Indian River, Jade uses her wealth of knowledge to predict how the plot will unfold in town. And in the process lets readers into the world of a young woman angry and desperate for a home.

The latest book from The Girl on the Train‘s Paula Hawkins, A Slow Fire Burning is an equally twisting tale of murder and revenge. When the body of a young man is discovered on a London houseboat, the lives of three women are turned upside down in the search for answers. Each has a different connection to the victim and tensions simmer below the surface as the women seek answers and revenge.

Revisit Hercule Poirot with The Big Four by Agatha Christie. In this new edition that features exclusive content from Christie, Hercule Poirot finds himself embroiled in a global conspiracy as he tries to solve the mystery of the shadowy figure who appeared at his bedroom door one night.


The Heart Principle, the latest book by Helen Hoang, introduces readers to Anna Sun, a violinist who first went viral in a YouTube video who is now struggling to recapture the magic of that first hit. In the midst of struggling with burnout, her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment. Fed up and angry, Anna decides to embark on a string of one-night stands. Enter Quan Diep, a motorcycle riding tattooed guy who upends Anna’s pursuit of reckless romantic abandon. When tragedy strikes Anna’s family, the expectations and stress threaten Anna’s and Quan’s budding relationship.

Body, Mind, and Spirit

Featuring recipes, spells, and guides for herbs and candle crafting, those interested in “the Lexicon of Witchcraft” will find Candlelight Spells by Gerina Dunwich their go-to source.

Visit our website for more information on these titles and more! And don’t forget – if we don’t have a book in stock we are more than happy to order it for you!

We hope to see you soon!

New Releases for August 24

Check out the new releases we have this week at The Haunted Bookshop!


HBS’s own Alex was so excited for this release he circled the date on our shop calendar and wrote an excellent blog post all about it! In A Heart Divided, the fourth and final installment of the Legends of the Condor Heroes series, Guo Jing must make a pivotal decision – remain loyal to his homeland or keep faith with surrogate father figure Genghis Khan? Affairs of the heart abound as well as Guo Jing grapples with the chance that his love’s father murdered someone close to him. What happens next? How will the series conclude? Read to find out! (P.S. you can find Books 1-3 here, here, and here)

Attention Game of Thrones fans! Fire & Blood tells the history of House Targaryen, set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Fire & Blood begins with Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, as House Targaryen establishes themselves on Dragonstone and Westeros. Get caught up before the prequel series House of the Dragons airs on HBO next year!


When main character JJ Jacobson convinced his mom to take an all-expenses-paid weekend at the Barclay Hotel, he expected a low-key weekend of ghost hunting at the legendarily haunted hotel. But when his mother is accused of the hotel owner’s death, JJ and new friends Penny and Emma must solve the mystery – and maybe encounter a ghost or two- in Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by Fleur Bradley.

Great for early readers who love the My Little Pony movie, Ponies Unite will introduce new characters while providing an opportunity to improve reading and vocabulary skills.

Fiction – Short Stories

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman brings together some of the famed author’s short stories with beautiful watercolors by artist Henry Sene Yee to create this beautiful collection. Readers will enjoy ghost stories, fairy tales, and fables full of miracles, terror, and amusement in this celebration of Gaiman’s work.

Fiction – Romance

The first book in Sarah MacLean’s Hell’s Belles series, Bombshell introduces Lady Sesily Talbot, a woman choosing to embrace her scandal-prone reputation. Caleb Calhoun, her brother’s best friend, wishes he could get Sesily out of his head. Caleb tasks himself with keeping Sesily out of trouble during her late night escapades, but he realizes he may be in over his head. Read on to see how this series develops!

Fiction – Mystery

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns in Louise Penny’s latest mystery. The Madness of Crowds find Gamache trying to enjoy the winter season in Three Pines when he is asked to provide security for a visiting professor giving a lecture at a nearby university. But when Gamache learns about the professor, he implores the university to cancel. When they do not, citing academic freedom, Gamache finds himself fighting for truth and facts against delusion, alongside trying to solve a murder with his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir.


If you wanted to learn more about the man Hamilton called “America’s Favorite Fighting Frenchman,” this is the book for you. In Hero of Two Worlds, Mike Duncan takes readers through Marquis de Lafayette’s revolutionary career fighting on both sides of the Atlantic as a soldier, statesman, idealist, philanthropist, and abolitionist. From his teenage years, when he ran away from France to join the American Revolution, to helping launch the French Revolution and sparring with Napoleon, readers will enjoy learning more about the life and times of Lafayette.

Visit our website for more information on these titles and more! And don’t forget – if we don’t have a book in stock we are more than happy to order it for you!

We hope to see you soon!

New Releases for August 17, 2021

Check out the new releases we have this week at The Haunted Bookshop!

A young adult novel written in verse, Call Me Athena: Girl from Detroit is loosely based on author Colby Cedar Smith’s paternal grandmother. Mary is the American-born daughter of Greek and French immigrants living in Detroit in the 1930s. As readers follow Mary’s story we also see flashbacks to her parents’ childhoods. The three perspectives come together as they navigate the push and pull of tradition and independence.

Released in celebration of his centennial, Killer, Come Back to Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury takes some of Bradbury’s lesser-known crime tales and compiled them into this collector’s edition. Complete with vivid illustrations of classic stories and rare pieces, fans of Bradbury will surely enjoy this celebration of the legend’s work.

Norse Myths: Meet the Gods, Monsters, and Heroes of the Vikings is an illustrated collection of more than 30 ancient Norse myths for children. Kids will enjoy the exciting stories of characters like Thor, God of Thunder alongside gorgeous illustrations and sections that provide context and allow curious readers to dive deeper into the stories.

It may still be summer but we can already get in the Halloween spirit with Trick or Treat, Crankenstein, written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Dan Santat! A companion to previous books Crankenstein and A Crankenstein Valentine, this edition follows Crankenstein on his favorite day of the year – Halloween! But this year, the day is spoiled by costume disasters, pumpkin-carving mishaps, and more. Can Crankenstein save the day? Read with the kids and find out!

If you’re looking to get into the Halloween spirit but want something a little scarier than Crankenstein, you might enjoy The Classic Gothic Horror Collection. Bringing together legendary works by such landmark gothic writers as Edgar Allan Poe (“The Fall of the House of Usher”) and Mary Shelley (“The Invisible Girl”), horror fans will love the eerie settings, supernatural sites, and creepy characters found in this hardcover collection.

Visit our website for more information on these titles and more! And don’t forget – if we don’t have a book in stock we are more than happy to order it for you!

We hope to see you soon!

Candice Reviews: The Baby-Sitters Club, Part 3

We continue with Part 3 of my review of Netflix’s take on the iconic series from our childhood, The Baby-Sitters Club. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them.

Episode 7, Boy-Crazy Stacey (Book #8, 1987): This episode stays pretty close to the book. Stacey and Mary Anne accompany the Pike family on a Spring Break beach vacation where Stacey falls for a much older lifeguard. She has to figure out how to heal her broken heart which she does when one of the Pike children admits he has a crush on her and she sees the situation from a different perspective. The main difference between book and show is when one of Mary Anne’s new friends, a local who helps her when Stacey all but abandons her and their eight charges, helps her understand what Stacey is going through as he tells her about a boy he was crushing on. It’s a great way to incorporate queer inclusion and representation without affecting the book series’ story line.

Episode 8, Kristy’s Big Day (Book #6, 1987): In the book, Kristy’s big dilemma is balancing her duties as both bridesmaid to her mom and super-rich Watson’s wedding and babysitting duties. The show takes the feminist threads presented in the first episode and lays them out as Kristy comes to terms with her fiercely independent mom and the “tiara-wearing princess” she becomes as she prepares for her wedding. Watson buys Kristy’s oldest brother a luxury SUV but the straw that breaks the camel’s back is when he buys an $800 designer dress for Kristy. Her mom tells her “I didn’t raise you to be someone who doesn’t check price tags.” It’s a moment full of tension that is resolved when Kristy and her mom realize how important they are to each other, and that a person can be a feminist and a princess. The two don’t have to be exclusive. As I mentioned earlier, Kristy comes into womanhood and as her friends are there for her, Claudia says “no period shaming here.” It’s a great scene for tween girls.

My absolute favorite scene in this episode is when Morbidda Destiny, aka Dawn’s eccentric Aunt Esme and the spooky next door neighbor of the Watsons, is the officiant for the wedding. Flower girl (and morbidly curious) Karen screams her head off and in response, Aunt Esme makes the coolest speech ever. “This little girl thinks I’m a witch. So, in front of this room full of witnesses, I’d like to say that she’s right. I am a spiritual practitioner. Now, historically the term ‘witch’ has been used to describe people, primarily women, who refuse to conform to society’s expectations of who they should be… When children tell you something, believe them.” I was snapping in solidarity right along with her.

Episodes 9 & 10, Baby-Sitters’ Summer Vacation (Super Special #2, 1989): This book is a Super Special which means it’s longer and has all the girl’s point-of-views as they write in a diary while Stacey is away in New York.

The show changes the name from Camp Mohawk to Camp Moosehead in respect to Native Americans and is all about revolution. First off, the girls of BSC are split up into different cabins, shattering their idea of a summer of togetherness. Kristy is frustrated by the camp owner, Meany, thwarting her plans to wrest control from the counselors who aren’t doing their jobs and connecting with the kids. Mary Anne meets a girl from New York (this ties back into book/episode 3, The Truth About Stacey) who likes Broadway shows as much as she does and they put together a play, Paris Magic, about a girl who time travels to the French Revolution.

In art class, Dawn and Claudia overhear the art director tell a child who doesn’t have commissary money to purchase overpriced shirts for tie-dying that she can’t participate. This bothers Claudia who says “art should be free and available to everyone” and Dawn who sees it as creating haves and have-nots. So they stage a lie-in when Claudia is remanded to her cabin for holding unsanctioned free wildlife art classes. Things escalate to an activity strike which messes up Mary Anne’s play (which is already cursed according to Karen). Striking campers make a picket line and the noise disrupts Mary Anne’s opening. She rushes outside to confront Dawn who says something like “You’ll change the world your way. I’ll change the world my way. And we’ll be best friends.” And that y’all, is why the BSC rocks. Mary Anne has a pause where she makes the connection of her play being about a revolution, but an actual revolution taking place outside the theatre door—such a powerful moment.

The last episode brings in Junior BSC members Mallory Pike and Jessi Ramsey earlier than the books but it makes me so hopeful for a next season. I’m crossing my fingers to see one of my favorites–book #47 Mallory on Strike when she wants to win The Young Authors Day Award. I can dream. Or just reread my copy.

While there’s no confirmation on Season 2, the showrunners have hinted about it on social media. So if you want to get a heads up on what could possibly be next season, I fully recommend dusting off your Scholastic Fair copies boxed up in your attic or checking out the forthcoming new recovers and graphic novels out now to share with a whole new generation of tweens.

Now, for the big question…how do you think Netflix treated the BSC member YOU relate to the most?

The original Ann M. Martin books are busy getting all new covers but the Haunted Book Shop has the new graphic novels and used copies, both of The Baby-Sitters Club and Karen’s chapter book series, Baby-Sitters Little Sister.

To keep everyone safe, we’re open by appointment (you can book your time slot here), as well as curbside pickup and shipping options. We also just announced new hours! Check out the terms and conditions. We also use if we don’t have the book you need in stock.

Happy reading!

Candice Reviews: Ghost Wood Song

Ghost Wood Song (ages 13 and up) Sawkill Girls meets Beautiful Creatures in this lush and eerie debut, where the boundary between reality and nightmares is as thin as the veil between the living and the dead.

If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.

Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness. When her brother is accused of murder, though, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets. In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.

Family secrets, past heartache, a gorgeously resonant LGBT love triangle, and long-buried memories make this young adult debut more than just a ghost story—it’s haunting and hopeful and proves the importance of human connection and support in facing everything that haunts us in the dark.

Why I liked it: Now living in Nashville, North Florida native Erica Waters has captured the thin, twisted pines and Spanish moss-laden Live oaks perfectly in this story of how families pass down grief and how the objects they leave behind can haunt. This book is as lyrical and haunting as the bluegrass ballads Shady Grove plucks out of her fiddle.

It was un-put-down-able because I couldn’t tell what would happen next. I was like one of the fiddle’s ghosts–I couldn’t not be there. In addition to the beautiful imagery and setting, Shady also gives us a playlist by which to follow her band’s music. As I’m not too familiar with bluegrass, listening to the music and artists on YouTube gave the story a whole new dimension as I read.

It’s my teen Summer Reading Recommendation sure to give you chills to help beat this heat.

We’re offering no-contact curbside pickups, porch drop-offs in select neighborhoods, and we’re open by appointment. Book your time slot here. If we don’t have the book that you’re looking for in stock, use our affiliate link with

Happy summer reading!

Candice Reviews: The Baby-Sitters Club, Part 1

I’m a Mary Anne with the candy-swilling creativity of Claudia, the environmentalism of Dawn, with a little Mallory on top. This group of girls showed preteen-me than anything is possible with a good support group and determination. The book series is near perfection to my tween-recollection but I couldn’t help but be excited and hopeful when I heard about Netflix’s version of the BSC.

Ya’ll. They absolutely rocked it. Proof that the Baby-Sitters Club is timeless.

Netflix’s twist on the iconic Baby-Sitters Club from our childhood has taken the adventures in friendship and babysitting and given it a 21st century shine. It’s written for both the now grown-up OGs and their children, a whole new generation. The sharp writing, edgy quips, and all the nods to now are done in perfect harmony to the personalities Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, and Dawn are known and adored for. Social issues play a big part and they’re presented in wholesome ways that allow for further conversations. It was a great series to watch with my six and nine year old (though it did take some delicate explaining when Kristy gets her period for the first time in Episode #8.)

The first season is the first eight books in the series, just a smidge out of order and includes one book out of the Super Specials as well. Because I have so much to say about these books and the show, we divided my post into three installments. I’ll talk about books 1-3 in this post, and the rest in two others so be on the lookout for those.

Episode 1, Kristy’s Big Idea (Book #1, 1986): Just like in the first book, the ever resourceful, ever in charge, Kristy comes up with the novel idea of one phone call to reach a handful of reliable sitters. In the show, they do a great job of keeping it in this decade while sticking to the mid-eighties and nineties air of the books. Kristy’s mom, perfectly cast as Alicia Silverstone, bemoans the fact that no one picks up their phone and no one uses landlines anymore when she can’t find a sitter for Kristy’s little brother, David Michael. Cue the BSC.

As they hash out marketing plans, Stacey, sophisticated and newly arrived from New York, suggests cross referencing their Instagram accounts for clients and calculating clickthrough ratios, while the others grimace. Claudia’s genius sister Janine, pops in and in her droll, Daria way, suggests they stick to something they know. So they pass out flyers and Claudia gets a vintage phone from Etsy, (yes, it wouldn’t be BSC without that see-thru corded phone). As secretary, Mary Anne, who is biracial in the show, uses Google docs to organize all their jobs and schedules.

There is a beautiful bit of feminism, which there of course should be in a series about empowered young women entrepreneurs when Kristy complains about her teacher making her write a paper on decorum, telling her mom that a boy would never be made to write a paper like that. Her mom says “You’re absolutely right.” The way she stopped and acknowledged the gender inequality was a moment for me and I definitely teared up (Okay, I teared up in pretty much every episode, let me get that out of the way right now.) The paper Kristy wrote in response was glorious.

Episode 2, Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls (Book #2, 1986): In the book, the whole town of Stoneybrook, Connecticut are up in arms over home invasions and phantom phone calls which Claudia believes stems from a jewel thief. The show deepens this a step further when the “phantom calls” are the not-good-enough thoughts Claudia grapples with. Just like in the books, she’s a Japanese-American who breaks stereotype with her bad grades. Her parents mean well, but they’re only focused on good grades equal good colleges. Claudia’s actual genius of a sister, Janine, attempts to “help” by offering parenting advice, setting up impossible goals. Thank goodness for Mimi, Claudia’s grandmother, who is steadfastly there for her. The internalization of the “phantom calls” really brought home the idea how what’s good for one person, isn’t always good for another. It’s a great illustration that education isn’t one size fits all.

In keeping with the spooky, Halloween-esque tone of this episode, we also get to meet Karen Brewer, Kristy’s soon-to-be stepsister who is delightfully morbid (her character spoke to my six year old’s soul). At one point, when burying her doll, she tells Kristy “there’s no point in praying over her. She’s an atheist.” The unexpected straightforwardness of it made me laugh and sets the stage for an interesting character who comes to terms with changing family dynamics in her own special way.

Episode 3, The Truth About Stacey (Book #3, 1986): Just like in the book, in this one we learn the secret that’s been hinted at in the first two: where does Stacey go on these last minute weekend trips? Why doesn’t she eat any of Claudia’s glorious candy stash?

The BSC start losing clients to the Baby-Sitter’s Agency, a group of high schoolers who are able to drive, stay later than our twelve year-olds, and implement all the social media marketing ideas Stacey had. One tells Mary Anne, “It’s a free market. Deal with it.” It seems the BSC might collapse. (Not in the third book–we need over a hundred more of these!) But then the girls spot one of their kids playing in the street, his high school sitter snuggled on the couch with her boyfriend. When Stacey calls the parent, the sitter tells Stacey she’ll regret that.

The episode turns to cyberbullying when the agency sitter unearths a video of Stacey going into insulin shock and start seizing and sends it to all their clients. The parents are concerned about her ability to watch their kids but Stacey assures them her condition is now under control. A parent, who is also a doctor, steps in and says she noticed the insulin pump from the beginning and was impressed with how Stacey managed her sugar levels without missing a beat playing with the child. The show takes the book’s message of normalizing type 1 diabetes and furthers it when, in the end, Stacey stops hiding her pump in shame and bedazzles it instead.

Now, for the big question…which BSC member did YOU relate to the most?

The original Ann M. Martin books are busy getting all new covers but the Haunted Book Shop has the new graphic novels and used copies, both of The Baby-Sitters Club and Karen’s chapter book series, The Baby-Sitters Club Little Sister.

To keep everyone safe, we’re open by appointment (you can book your time slot here), as well as curbside pickup and shipping options. We also use if we don’t have the book you need in stock.

Happy reading!


Summer Reading Recommendations: Middle Grade

If your 8-12 year old is chafing at staying home over the summer, we recommend traveling the world through folklores and fairytales. Colombian, Panamanian, Dutch, Appalachian, Malaysian, and Irish-inspired, these tales show the truth behind the stories that helps the characters, and the readers, discover and learn about themselves, their families, and the universality of friendships. Here are my summer middle grade suggestions: 


Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster (6/9) In this fast-paced adventure filled with mythology, mayhem, and peril, Tor must travel to a witch to save himself from a curse.

On Emblem Island all are born knowing their fate. Their lifelines show the course of their life and an emblem dictates how they will spend it.

Twelve-year-old Tor Luna was born with a leadership emblem, just like his mother. But he hates his mark and is determined to choose a different path for himself. So, on the annual New Year’s Eve celebration, where Emblemites throw their wishes into a bonfire in the hopes of having them granted, Tor wishes for a different power.

The next morning Tor wakes up to discover a mark symbolizing a curse is imprinted on his arm and his hand’s lifeline is cut short. There is only one way to break the curse—and it requires a trip to the notorious Night Witch.

With only his village’s terrifying, ancient stories as a guide, and his two friends Engle and Melda by his side, Tor must travel across unpredictable Emblem Island, filled with wicked creatures he only knows through myths, in a race against his dwindling lifeline.

Why I liked it: Emblem Island is such a cool setting with a unique origin story. Tor and his friends realize that all the scary childhood stories in the Book of Cuentos are actually a roadmap to the witch. That’s my favorite part–the truth of humanity that hides in every fairytale emerges fully formed in this novel. Some terrifying like the faceless vanor to the peaceful descendants of the Giantess of Nar, sent by the wish-gods to protect humans. What makes this novel stand out is that the tales are inspired by the Latin American stories the author’s Colombian abuela would tell her as a child.

Be careful what you wish for–the twists on this echoed throughout the book and it was interesting how it affected the plot. The ending was great. Everything felt resolved but it definitely leaves you anticipating the sequel.


The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas (7/21) In this magical middle-grade debut novel, a Cuban American boy must use his secret ability to communicate with animals to save the inhabitants of his town when they are threatened by a tule vieja, a witch that transforms into animals.

All twelve-year-old Nestor Lopez wants is to live in one place for more than a few months and have dinner with his dad, an Army sergeant deployed in Afghanistan. When he and his mother move to a new town to live with his grandmother, Nestor plans to lay low, and he certainly has no intention of letting anyone find out his deepest secret—that he can talk to animals. But when the animals in town start disappearing, and Nestor’s grandmother is spotted in the woods where they were last seen, suspicion mounts against her. Nestor learns that they are being taken by a tule vieja, a witch who bites animals to gain their power, and his extraordinary ability is put front and center as he tries to catch the real culprit and clear his grandmother’s name.

Why I liked it: Um, what kid hasn’t wished they could talk to animals?! Add a raven that drops “white lightning” on your bullies and tons of animal Quiz Bowl fun facts and you get a sense of Nestor’s new life in New Haven, the town where his dad grew up. It’s a fun read with a lot of heart as Nestor copes with a dad overseas, risking his life for our country, as well as moving constantly and navigating the minefield that is middle school friendships. Don’t read this hungry because between Nestor’s appetite and his abuela’s Cuban cooking, food is described so deliciously you can almost taste the cinnamon and sugar on a piping hot churro.

The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke (7/21) Neil Gaiman meets Hans Christian Andersen in this delicious fairy tale full of mysterious spirits, daring escapes, and a beautiful message about the power of found families.

In all the years that Elinora Gassbeek has been matron of the Little Tulip Orphanage, not once have the Rules for Baby Abandonment been broken. Until the autumn of 1880, when five babies are left in outrageous circumstances; one in a tin toolbox, one in a coal bucket, one in a picnic hamper, one in a wheat sack, and finally, one in a coffin-shaped basket.

Those babies were Lotta, Egg, Fenna, Sem, and Milou. And although their cruel matron might think they’re “unadoptable,” they know their individuality is what makes them special—and so determined to stay together.

When a most sinister gentleman appears and threatens to tear them apart, the gang make a daring escape across the frozen canals of Amsterdam. But is their real home—and their real family—already closer than they realize?

Why I liked it: Set in late 19th century Holland, The Unadoptables has the classic feel of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy-tale with the creepy magic and sinister mystery of a Neil Gaiman story. So of course I loved it.

It’s really Milou’s story the most but the way all five orphans pool their strengths and come together is heartwarming. Lotta, the mathematician and scientific one who wears a waistcoat and has six fingers on each hand; Sem, the sewist and costume designer; Egg, the artist and cartographer; and Fenna, the mute animal whisperer. They’re on the run from the mysterious stranger Rotman who wants to adopt them and so follow coordinates that might belong to Milou’s family–the Poppenmakers.

With Eyebrows of Curiosity, Milou’s Book of Theories, tingling ears that sense danger, Puppet Papa that thwarts nosy adults, an evil orphanage matron cut from the same cloth as Umbridge and Trunchbull, and a spooky abandoned theater, this book twists and turns in ways that make it un-put-downable.


Cattywampus by Ash Van Otterloo (8/4) The magical story of a hex that goes haywire, and the power of friendship to set things right!

In the town of Howler’s Hollow, conjuring magic is strictly off-limits. Only nothing makes Delpha McGill’s skin crawl more than rules. So when she finds her family’s secret book of hexes, she’s itching to use it to banish her mama’s money troubles. She just has to keep it quieter than a church mouse — not exactly Delpha’s specialty.

Trouble is, Katybird Hearn is hankering to get her hands on the spell book, too. The daughter of a rival witching family, Katy has reasons of her own for wanting to learn forbidden magic, and she’s not going to let an age-old feud or Delpha’s contrary ways stop her. But their quarrel accidentally unleashes a hex so heinous it resurrects a graveyard full of angry Hearn and McGill ancestors bent on total destruction. If Delpha and Katy want to reverse the spell in time to save everyone in the Hollow from rampaging zombies, they’ll need to mend fences and work together.

Fans of A Snicker of Magic and The Witch Boy will love this funny, folksy, fresh debut from Ash Van Otterloo that proves sometimes it takes two witches to make the strongest magic happen.

Why I liked it: First off, the title. It’s one of my favorite words so it immediately captured my attention. I adored this magical and folksy middle grade with fabulous voice that had me chuckling at the unique similes. Delpha and Katybird have wonderful character arcs that felt real. I also learned a lot about androgen insensitivity. It was presented in a way that I wasn’t hit over the head with facts but wove in nicely with the magic plotline. Katybird’s pet racoon, Podge, and Delpha’s resurrected outhouse/mode of transportation she calls Puppet makes for a truly cattywampus, and heart-warming, cast of characters.

The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf (8/4) A Malaysian folk tale comes to life in this emotionally layered, chilling middle grade debut, perfect for fans of The Book of Boy and The Jumbies.

I am a dark spirit, the ghost announced grandly. I am your inheritance, your grandmother’s legacy. I am yours to command.

Suraya is delighted when her witch grandmother gifts her a pelesit. She names her ghostly companion Pink and the two quickly become inseparable. But Suraya doesn’t know that pelesits have a dark side—and when Pink’s shadows threaten to consume them both, they must find enough light to survive . . . before they are lost to the darkness.

Perfect for fans of Holly Black’s Doll Bones and Tahereh Mafi’s Furthermore series, this ghostly middle grade debut explores jealousy, love, and the extraordinary power of friendship.

Why I liked it: What kid hasn’t wished a swarm of mosquitos on the group of kids that make fun off their too-short pants or holey shoes? Suraya actually, when Pink feels the need to protect her from schoolhouse taunts. What starts off innocent enough turns scary as Suraya quickly sees how dangerous a pelesit can be and how dark jealousy can twist. When Pink goes too far, Suraya goes to her mother for help and help arrives in the form of the pawang, eager to add a pelesit to his command. So Suraya, her Star Wars-loving bestie Jing, and Pink start off on a journey to discover how her grandmother actually created Pink and it’s an ending I did not see coming, it was so absolutely perfect.

Kiki MacAdoo and the Graveyard Ballerinas by Colette Sewall (8/4) When eleven-year-old Kiki MacAdoo and her talented older sister go to Mount Faylinn Dance Conservatory for the summer, they ignore the brochure’s mysterious warning that “ballets come alive” in the nearby forest.

But after her sister disappears, it’s up to Kiki to brave the woods and save her sister from the ghost sylphs that dance young girls to their deaths. As Kiki unlocks the mysteries of Mount Faylinn, the ballet of the ghost sylphs, Giselle, simultaneously unfolds, sending Kiki on the adventure of a lifetime.

Why I liked it: Another book with a fabulous title, ‘graveyard ballerinas’ immediately caught my attention. Kiki and her sister Alison travel to this creepy old mansion in the middle of nowhere for summer dance camp and are immediately told the woods and being out after dark is off-limits. Kiki needs glasses to see clearly, but oddly, sees things that shouldn’t be there when she’s not wearing them. She learns she has ‘ghost eyes’ and is able to see the ghostly realm, something that comes in handy when her broken-hearted sister disappears over the Forbidden Lake into the Wilis Mound graveyard. It’s a great mix of the Giselle ballet, Irish folklore, and the power of sisters.

(All summaries are from the publishers.) 

What books are you or your tween looking forward to reading over the summer? Is your favorite not on this list? Tell us about it!

Want us to pre-order any of these books for you? We’re offering no-contact curbside pickups, porch drop-offs in select neighborhoods, and we’re open by appointment. Book your time slot here. If we don’t have the book that you’re looking for in stock, use our affiliate link with

Happy summer reading!

Kid’s Book Scavenger Hunt!

To continue our celebration of Children’s Book Week and the joy of reading, we’re having a scavenger hunt!

To play: Use our website to find children’s books that match each description. Write one title in each blank. Items may have multiple correct answers but a title may only be used once. Find a book that has a blue cover and a dragon on it? You can only use it as one answer so keep hunting.

Parent or legal guardian turns in by texting a picture of the completed scavenger hunt to (251) 348-7668, or emailing, subject line “Scavenger Hunt” by Sunday, May 10th. We ask for the child’s age so we can put together an age-appropriate prize pack.

Names will be placed in our Sorting Hat and drawn at random. Winner will be announced on Monday, May 11th by a text or email to the winner and on our social media.

Prize pack may either be picked up at our no contact curb, or if you want to browse the shop while you’re downtown, you’re welcome to book an appointment.

Happy hunting & reading!

The Haunted Book Shop Scavenger Hunt form: HBS Scavenger Hunt CBW



Let me tell you, so much amazing happens in this middle grade novel by local author, Emily Blejwas. Reading the back blurb, I initially wondered if this book might be too sad for me with the death of a father (who suffered from PTSD) and the main character, seventh-grader Justin,who is trying to put his life back together. But Mrs. Blejwas is one of those glorious authors who finds the cracks of light in the darkness and opens it up for the rest of us.

This book is about the strength of community which is so important in our own lives right now. I was quickly absorbed into Justin’s world, interestingly set during the Gulf War era. The supporting characters are well-developed and fleshed out from his big brother, Murphy, who is refreshingly not a sulky teen but someone who is trying their best to be their own hero, Justin’s best friend Phuc (pronounced Fo) who has fabulous ideas on sunsets and string theory, to homeless-not-homeless Benny H and his stories of the Dakota, the Indigenous people who used to live in Wicapi, Minnesota—the small-town setting of this novel.

They all come together to create a beautiful story where amazing things happen when we look out for each other and not take the things around us at face value–to look deeper.

LIKE NOTHING AMAZING EVER HAPPENED releases today! Pick up your copy at our no-contact curb or have it delivered, either porch-side in select neighborhoods or shipped.

Need more books to tug on your community-love heartstrings while being socially responsible and staying home?

Other books of Mrs. Blejwas I highly recommend are ONCE YOU KNOW THIS, a middle grade story about going through hard times but having faith in your own strengths and dreams that things will get better by making a plan and sticking to it (even if it quickly goes to Plan B.)

And for adults, THE STORY OF ALABAMA IN FOURTEEN FOODS delves into the history and culture of Alabama by examining the foods, dishes, and beverages we love. It’s part travelogue, part cookbook, and part community and heritage celebration.