Nola Family Magazine, October 2021

Fall is that delicious time of year that brings out a need for coziness only to be satisfied with pumpkin-flavored treats, warm scarves, hot apple cider, and the crunch of leaves under your favorite boots.

But, if you have the pleasure of living in southern Louisiana, the unrelenting heat might prevent you from getting that fix. So, we turn instead to the bookshelf, where we can indulge in all of our favorite fall pleasures, regardless of the temperature outside.


It can be hard to get into the Halloween spirit when it still feels like summer, so we recommend reading Ten Spooky Pumpkins by Gris Grimly to get you and your little ones excited for trick-or-treating. It’s a cute-but-kind-of-creepy counting book, perfect to read ahead of Halloween.

Fall is also a time of bounty and harvest, making it a great time to talk to children about food across cultures.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get kids thinking about traditions and customs that are different from their own. A Taste of the World: What People Eat and How They Celebrate Around the Globe by Beth Walrond is a great way to introduce these topics. In short, it’s a delightful read all about festive feasts and how they bring people together to celebrate, share stories, and eat seasonal food.


Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega is a perfect choice for middle grade readers who want something a little spooky but also heartwarming and fun. It takes place shortly before Halloween after Lucely Luna and her best friend Syd accidentally awaken malicious spirits. With the help of Syd’s witchy grandmother and her cat, the two embark on a journey to defeat the demons and save their town.

For mid-grade readers looking for more of a scare, Thirteens by Kate Alice Marshall should quench their thirst for thrill.

Described as a cross between Coraline and Stranger Things, this book is a chilling ride that might be too creepy for some. The story follows 12-year-old Eleanor, who just moved to the mysterious town of Eden Eld, where every 13 years, three 13-year-olds go missing on Halloween. As Eleanor and her two new friends are marked as the next sacrifices, the three must discover how to break the curse in order to save themselves and future victims.


Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks is the fall story of our dreams. It’s a delightfully illustrated graphic novel about two high school seniors who are “seasonal best friends'' that work in a pumpkin patch every fall and are grappling with it being their last season together. But don’t worry, the tale is a cute, fun adventure that will leave you with a desperate urge to drop everything and run to your nearest pumpkin patch.


Seeking crafting, cooking, and costuming tips? Check out Creativebug, an online crafting  classroom, available for free with your New Orleans Public Library card. Get started at

Kacy Helwick is the youth collection development librarian at the New Orleans Public Library, working in the Acquisitions/Collection Services department. Marie Simoneaux is the marketing associate responsible for the Library’s social media content and impact stories.

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