All Hallow’s Read is an initiative we at GeekMom have to support (and not only because we love Neil Gaiman who launched the original idea and explains the concept in a zombie-full video.)
We also love it because it’s simple (and we moms crave easy-to-do celebrations), because it’s a new Halloween tradition (and we enjoy Halloween, of course), and because it encourages reading.
The concept is simple : “in the week of Halloween, or on the night itself, you give someone a scary book.”
Of course, you can elaborate if you wish and, as they say, “fancy it up as much as you like”. They recommend adding a bit of frightening mystery to the giving itself: “Looking the child in the eye and saying, “Take it. Read it. Trust me… around here… a book can be… safer than candy.” Then chuckling to yourself, as if remembering something unfortunate that happened to some of the local children only last year.” They also offer useful helps, such as cards and book stickers and of course, some wonderful lists of scary books for every age.
I endorse choices such as Neil Gaiman’s Coraline or The Graveyard Book, Ray Bradbury’s The October Country (among other titles) and of course Roald Dahl’s The Witches.
And what about Oscar Wilde’s Canterville Ghost? I’m not sure it’s scary. But it’s delicious, it (obviously) involves a ghost, which seems to be enough to offer it to your loved ones for Halloween. The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander, suggested by Tracy V. Wilson on How Stuff Works, is a very good choice, too.
For adults, I’d probably stick to classics such as Dracula, Frankenstein or Interview with a Vampire.
And if you know some Comic Book fans, you could definitely give them House of Mystery by Matthew Sturges, Bill Willingham and Luca Rossi, as suggested by Gaming Angels.
My fellow GeekMoms had more original ideas:
- GeekMom Ellen suggests Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick, for teens and adults.
- GeekMom Sarah‘s choice for Teens would be Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. She describes it as “lights on through the night for me.”
- GeekMom Melissa has tons of suggestions. She picked Stolen by Vivian Vande Velde and Gregory Maguire’s Seven Spiders Spinning. For adults, her choice would be The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. You can read her review of Stolen and two other scary books.
If you’d like to be more involved, many book drops were organized for All Hallow’s Read. You can follow the conversation on Twitter. If you’re an artist, you may also enter a contest to design the official All Hallow’s Read poster for 2012.
If not… offer a book. Drop one. Read one aloud. Spend some time on storytelling, on this very special night. Halloween should definitely be a time for tales. Dark ones, for sure, and scary, but with bits of light as well.
For “Fairy tales do not give a child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey.” (G. K. Chesterton) or, as Neil Gaiman himself quoted it in Coraline : “Fairy tales are more than true — not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.”