Plano Reads: Skeletons in our Closets

Do you enjoy a well-crafted thriller? Or perhaps you like something a little creepier? Explore these titles for readers of all ages, during the spookiest month of the year. Can you hear the rattling of all kinds of bones?

Continue reading for our recommendations, including links to the item on our catalog and eLibrary.

For Adults

Fossil Men: The Quest for the Oldest Skeleton and the Origins of Humankind by Kermit Pattison (nonfiction) – The riveting science-adventure story of the brilliant team who discovered the “Ardi” skeleton, a human more than a million years older than the famous Lucy, and their 20-year quest to redefine our understanding of human evolution.  Print|eBook

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (fiction) – Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead aggravations. Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, she is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die. Of course, some things are better left dead. Print | eBook | eAudiobook 

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro (nonfiction) – A memoir about identity, paternity, and family secrets–a real-time exploration of the staggering discovery the author made about her father, and her struggle to piece together the hidden the story of her own life. Print |eBook |eAudiobook

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (fiction) – After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find, and Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: she’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of this forbidding home. As Noemi becomes mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, she may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind. Print | eBook | eAudiobook 

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth (fiction) – 1902, the Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara are obsessed with each other and with Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. The girls establish their own private club and call it the Plain Bad Heroine Society. Their bodies are discovered in a nearby apple orchard, with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Within five years three more people die on the property– and the Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever. The now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when writer Merritt Emmons publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history of the “haunted and cursed” Gilded Age institution. Her book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again for filming, soon it’s impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins. Print|eBook 

The Sandman Vol. 1 Prelude & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman (graphic novel) – An attempt to summon and imprison Death results instead in the capture of Morpheus, the Sandman, who must regain the tools of his powers. First volume in a series. Print  

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (fiction) – In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace. But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood. Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness, and that if Bethel is to change, the must begin with her. Print |eBook

For Teens

Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA by Bridget Heos (nonfiction) – Since the introduction of DNA testing, forensic science has been in the forefront of the public’s imagination, but forensic analysis has been practiced for thousands of years. Ancient Chinese detectives studied dead bodies for signs of foul play, and in Victorian England, officials used crime scene photography and criminal profiling to investigate the Jack the Ripper murders. In this book Bridget Heos uses real-life cases to tell the history of modern forensic science, from the first test for arsenic poisoning to fingerprinting, firearm and blood spatter analysis, DNA evidence, and all the important milestones in between. Print  

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones (fiction) – When risen corpses called ‘bone houses’ threaten Ryn’s village because of a decades-old curse, she teams up with a mapmaker named Ellis to solve the mystery of the curse and destroy the bone houses forever. Print |eBook |eAudiobook

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (fiction) – After losing his parents a young boy is raised by the denizens of the local graveyard. An engaging story to please everyone. |Print| |Large Print| |AudioCD| |GN| |eBook| |eAudiobook | Spanish 

His Hideous Heart: 13 of Edgar Allen Poe’s Most Unsettling Tales Reimagined  (story collection) – Thirteen of Poe’s terrifying works are reimagined in new and unexpected ways for modern readers. Poe’s own stories are included, so readers can compare. Print |eBook |eAudiobook

Mapping the Bones by Jane Yolen (fiction) – In Poland in the 1940s, the lives of twins Chaim and Gittel feel like a fairy tale torn apart as they must rely on each other to endure life in a ghetto and the horrors of a concentration camp where they lose everything but each other. Print  

The Montague Twins: The Witch’s Hand by Nathan Page (graphic novel) – Teenage twin detectives Peter and Alastair Montague are reminiscent of the Hardy Boys but with a supernatural twist. They must investigate the hidden occult of their New England town while dealing with the discovery of some family secrets. Part of a series. Print | eBook 

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link (fiction) – The monsters that make up the nine short stories in this collection are varied, fantastical and surreal; they include undead girlfriends, aliens, werewolves, man-eating couches, and fairies living in a grandmother’s handbag. Print | eBook 

Sabrina: The Teenage Witch by Kelly Thompson (graphic novel) – Sabrina Spellman is a teenage witch trying to balance her regular human life, her supernatural powers, and the mysterious apparitions of monsters in the woods surrounding her small town of Greendale. One in a series. Print eBook 

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (graphic novel) – Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky graphic novel collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. Print  

For Elementary School Readers

The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner (fiction) – Made from bone dust and imagination, Irréelle accidentally destroys another of Miss Vesper’s creations and flees to the underside of the graveyard, seeking the magic that brings bones to life. Print |eBook |eAudiobook 

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab (fiction) – Ever since her near-fatal drowning, Cassidy has been able to pull back the “Veil” that separates the living from the dead and see ghosts–not that she wants to, and she was really looking forward to a ghost-free summer at the beach. However, her parents are going to start filming a TV series about the world’s most haunted places, starting with Edinburgh with its graveyards, castles, and restless phantoms–and Cass and her personal ghost companion, Jacob, are about to find out that a city of old ghosts can be a very dangerous place indeed. First in a series. Print |eBook |eAudiobook

Dem Bones by Bob Barner (nonfiction) – A skeleton band supplies words and music to the well-known song based on the African-American spiritual. Children will enjoy learning about the human body and having their funny bones tickled at the same time. Print |eBook |eAudiobook 

Just Beyond: The Scare School by R. L. Stine (graphic novel) – This middle-grade supernatural horror series takes young readers Just Beyond the reality they know… Just Beyond their normal lives… Just Beyond the real world to an always surprising place of fantasy and fright. Surviving middle school is hard enough but when Jess, Josh, and Marco encounter a strange and deadly creature wandering the halls of The Scare School, it leads them to a sinister secret in the boiler room… As they leave their school behind, these three unsuspecting students enter a horrifying reality Just Beyond the one they know, one filled with supernatural terror and fright. Will they survive the harrowing journey and save the other children they find trapped there, or will they forever be trapped on the wrong side of The Scare School? Print |eBook  

Scream and Scream Again!: Spooky Stories from Mystery Writers of America, edited by R. L. Stine (story collection) – A collection of scary short stories with contributions from Bruce Hale, Heather Graham, Daniel Palmer, and others. Print |eBook |eAudiobook 

Your Skeleton is Showing: Rhymes of Blunder from Six Feet Under by Kurt Cyrus (nonfiction) – A wacky graveyard adventure combines funny-bone-tickling poems with silly grim illustrations, and serves as an introduction to poetry. Print  

For Children – Picture Books

Give Me Back My Bones! by Kim Norman – A stormy night at sea has uncovered some long-buried secrets and surprises. Is that the mast of a shipwreck? A faded pirate hat? And what’s hiding in the sand? A mandible and a clavicle, phalanges and femurs, a tibia and a fibula – could there be a set of bones scattered across the ocean floor? And who might they belong to? A jaunty rhyme takes readers on an underwater scavenger hunt as a comical skeleton tries to put itself back together piece by piece. Make no bones about it: this rollicking read-aloud will have young ones learning anatomy without even realizing it. Print |eBook

Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler – Ghost tries to help Skeleton get rid of the hiccups. Print 

The Skeleton in the Closet by Alice Schertle – A scary skeleton terrorizes a boy in his bedroom while it searches his closet for clothes to wear. Print  

Skulls by Blair Thornburgh – A nonfiction picture book about skulls, and all the things they are good for. Print

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