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In celebration of National Library Lover’s Day, the Horror Writers Association (HWA), in partnership with United for Libraries, Book Riot, and Library Journal/School Library Journal, is delighted to announce the second annual Summer Scares Reading List, which includes titles selected by a panel of authors and librarians and is designed to promote horror as a great reading option for all ages, during any time of the year.
Each year, three titles will be chosen in the Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade categories, and for 2020 they are:
ADULT [links to my reviews]
In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson (Skyhorse, 2017)
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (Tor.Com, 2016)
She Said Destroy: Stories by Nadia Bulkin (Word Horde, 2017)
YOUNG ADULT [links to Goodreads]
The Agony House by Cherie Priest, Illustrated by Tara O’Connor (Scholastic 2018)
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova (Sourcebooks Fire, 2017)
Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics (Harlequin Teen, 2015)
MIDDLE GRADE [links to Goodreads]
Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh (HaperCollins, 2017)
Case Files 13: Zombie Kid by J. Scott Savage (HarperCollins, 2012)
Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith (Clarion Books, 2015)
The goal of the Summer Scares program is to introduce horror titles to school and public library workers in order to help them start conversations with readers that will extend beyond the books from each list and promote reading for years to come. Along with the annual list of recommended titles for readers of all ages, the Summer Scares committee will also release themed lists of even more “read-alike” titles for libraries to use when suggesting books to readers this summer and all year long. And, in order to help libraries forge stronger connections between books and readers, the Summer Scares committee will be working with both the recommended list authors and horror authors from all over the country, to provide free programming to libraries. From author visits (both in person and virtual) to book discussions to horror themed events, Summer Scares is focused on connecting horror creators with libraries and readers all year long.
The Horror Writers Association (HWA) will also be hosting a Library Day special stand alone program November 12, 2020 at the Naperville, IL Public Library. Authors from the Summer Scares reading list, as well as the committee members, will be in attendance. Authors and committee members will also be available throughout the year for on-site and/or remote appearances to libraries and schools to promote the Summer Scares program and discuss the use of horror fiction as a tool to increase readership and nurture a love of reading.
The Summer Scares program committee consists of award-winning author Stephen Graham Jones (Mongrels, The Only Good Indians, Night of the Mannequins), Becky Spratford (library consultant, author of The Readers Advisory Guide to Horror, 2nd Ed.), Carolyn Ciesla (library director, academic dean, book reviewer), Kiera Parrott (reviews director for Library Journal and School Library Journal), Kelly Jensen (editor, Book Riot, author of [Don’t] Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health), and JG Faherty (HWA Library Program director, author of Sins of the Father, The Cure, and Ghosts of Coronado Bay).
The HWA is a non-profit organization of writers and publishing professionals, and the oldest organization dedicated to the horror/dark fiction genre. One of the HWA’s missions is to foster an appreciation of reading through extensive programming and partnerships with libraries, schools, and literacy-based organizations.
For more information about the Summer Scares reading program, including how to obtain promotional materials and schedule events with the authors/committee members, visit the HWA’s Libraries web page (www.horror.org/libraries), Becky Spratford’s Reader’s Advisory Horror Blog RA for All: Horror (http://raforallhorror.blogspot.com/p/summer-scares.html), or the Book Riot, School Library Journal, Library Journal, or United for Libraries websites and social media sites.
You can also contact JG Faherty, HWA Library Program Director (libraries [at] horror [dot] org) or Becky Spratford, HWA Secretary (bspratford [at] hotmail [dot] com).
All posts here on RA for All: Horror that have to do with the program will also be tagged "Summer Scares" for ease of access.
You can also access the information from past Summer Scares on the Summer Scares Archive page. You can still use the articles, readalike lists, and more to help patrons.
- 2020 Summer Scares Author Spokesperson Stephen Graham Jones primes us for the second wave of Summer Scares
- Summer Scares Author videos via the HWA's You Tube Page: You can embed these videos on your websites or use them on social media to promote summer reading.
- Official Summer Scares Podcast Partner, Ladies of the Fright, recorded round table discussions with our selected authors. They talk about their books, horror, libraries, and more
- Episode 56: Summer Scares 2020 Adult Authors-- Nadia Bulkin, Andy Davidson, and Victor LaValle
- Episode 57: Summer Scares 2020 YA Authors-- Zoraida Córdova, Amy Lukavics, and Cherie Priest
- Episode 58: Summer Scares 2020 Middle Grade Authors-- Ronald Smith and J. Scott Savage
- Watch the Summer Scares team discuss the program as part of Librarians Day here.
Resources for Library Workers and Readers
- The official Summer Scares 2020 Programing Guide courtesy of the Springfield-Greene County [MO] Public Library
- Direct access to the PDF via Google Docs at this link.
- All libraries are able to use this full color resource free of charge however they see fit.
- 13 Middle Grade Thrills and Chills for Horror Buffs: Summer Reading 2020 SLJ
- 8 Podcasts for Kids Craving Scary Stories via SLJ
Resources About Our Selected Authors and Titles
- Stephen Graham Jones interviews our 2020 Summer Scares authors
- Ellen Oh, author of MG title Spirit Hunters
- Ronald Smith, author of the MG title Hoodoo
- Andy Davidson, author of the Adult title In the Valley of the Sun
- Kelly Jensen, Summer Scares YA expert, takes a deeper dive into the YA Selections in her YA Newsletter for Book Riot
- Kelly Jensen, Summer Scares YA expert writes bout all 3 titles including readalikes for Book Riot.
Summer Scares Committee Members:
Stephen Graham Jones is a former library worker and the author of sixteen or seventeen novels—including Mongrels, a previous Summer Scares selection—six collections, some comic books and novellas, and better than three-hundred short stories. Next are The Only Good Indians, Night of the Mannequins, and Memorial Ride. Stephen lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he's a Professor of Distinction and the Ivena Baldwin Professor of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has won the Texas Institute of Letters Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in fiction, the Bram Stoker Award, and four This is Horror awards.
Becky Spratford is a library consultant and the author of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror, second edition, and is currently working on the third edition. She reviews horror for Booklist Magazine, is the horror columnist for Library Journal and runs the Readers’ Advisory Horror blog, RA for All: Horror. Becky is also a Library Trustee member of United for Libraries and is currently serving as Secretary for the Horror Writers’ Association.
Carolyn Ciesla is a library director and academic dean at Prairie State College in the Chicago suburbs. She has worked as a teen librarian and reference librarian, and reviews horror titles for Booklist Magazine. She’s currently enjoying providing all the scary books to her teen daughter, and revisiting a few along the way.
Kiera Parrott is the reviews director for Library Journal and School Library Journal, where she oversees the review of more than 14,000 titles annually. Before joining the Journals, Kiera was head of children’s services at Darien Library (CT), and began her career as a librarian at the New York Public Library. Kiera is a lifelong horror fan and loves nothing more than curling up with a blood-curdling read on a rainy day. You can find her on Twitter @libraryvoice.
Kelly Jensen is a former librarian who works as an Editor for Book Riot (bookriot.com), where she runs the bi-weekly "What's Up in YA?" young adult newsletter and cohosts the popular "Hey YA" podcast about young adult literature Her books include the award-winning (Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health and Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, both from Algonquin Young Readers. She's also a well-known and long-time co-blogger at Stacked (stackedbooks.org). A life-long lover of all things scary, she finds herself eager to scream about horror reads for teens with those who love good thrills and chills.