Scare the Kids, for Their Own Good!

August 13, 2017 | Jennifer

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Lifeguard station with a grey, stormy sky behind it

What is so fascinating about fear?

Some parents avoid reading scary stories to young children, but this genre can actually benefit a young reader’s development. Experiencing fear in a safe and contained setting, like reading a ghost story in bed, might help kids build the confidence required to take on real-life scary situations. Some children feel proud of plodding through scary scenes and can better understand their own fears through spooky literature. Here’s hoping that nobody loses any sleep.

Many kids enter the horror genre through classic short stories, such as Alvin Schwartz’s The Green Ribbon, then progress to ghostly books like R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, Pat Hancock’s Haunted Canada, or titles by Neil Gaiman. Here are titles that work equally well for horror devotees or apprehensive readers:


          Raven with a party hat

Five of the TD Summer Reading Club’s eerie Canadian tales:

     The Ferryland Visitor

In a lighthouse in 1970s Newfoundland, an unexpected guest comes to call on the Squires family.



Weaving history and horror, Slade’s book tells a suspenseful tale of twin girls in 1920s Alberta.


      An Old Man's Winter Night

Mysterious omens, hauntings and ghosts are waiting to be discovered in this short story collection.


      The Swallow A Ghost Story

Two neighbours become fast friends and explore a haunted house, investigate a curse and uncover a family secret, all in 1960s Toronto.


      Those That Cause Fear

An introduction to the giants, spirits and monsters in Inuit mythology with accompanying illustrations.