I absolutely adore Elyse Willems (she has no idea who I am, so this review isn’t biased) and when I discovered that she wrote a children’s Halloween book, I had to check it out. I was a scaredy-cat as a kid, so I was hoping that this novel would thrust me into the shoes of a brave youngster who adores everything spooky instead of cowering under the covers from it. Luckily, this gem of a novel did that for me and much more. I felt nostalgic, happy, and even emotional during my time spent in this past world.
The story takes place in the ’90’s and sees a group of friends named Germ, Billy, Phil, and Chuck having to enter a supposedly haunted home called the Bryerwood House on Halloween. Is it really inhabited by demons and ghosts, or is it all a local legend? The boys and the unusual new girl at school, Vanessa, soon discover the true nature of the property but also the most important thing: understand and compassion. I loved the creepy yet light-hearted nature of the fast-paced story, and will definitely be saving this in case I have a child in the future. Though this may be a tad too scary for younger children, I’d highly recommend it for middle-grade and up. A Night in Halloween House is utterly charming, with equal amounts of spooks and heart. I can’t recommend this highly enough.
Cover art by Adam McQuaig