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Branching Out: Books for Fans of Goosebumps

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best books for fans of goosebumps
If you like Goosebumps, try these…

The Goosebumps books by R. L. Stine first rose to popularity in the 1990s. In recent years, the comedy-horror genre has grown in traction again in the Middle Grade (ages 8-12) book market and a new run of Goosebumps books has been printed, combining popular favourites from the original series with some newly written stories. The books are standalone adventures featuring children in spooky situations – from creepy encounters with puppets that come alive to garden gnomes that want to take over. The elements of horror in the books are tinged with an edge of comedy, usually with what starts as mildly scary situations escalating into ridiculously unrealistic outcomes.

We’ve compiled a list of ten similar books for fans of the Goosebumps books. Readers who love stories of children coming up against fantastical beasts and monsters might enjoy The Beast and Bethany or The Maker of Monsters. Children looking for more chilling horror stories should try Jennifer Killick’s hugely popular Crater Lake or The Haunting of Aveline Jones. For edge-of-your-seat fantasy thrillers that require readers to suspend their disbelief, try The Day No One Woke Up or Christopher Edge’s sci-fi themed The Black Hole Cinema Club.

Browse the full list below of books for children looking for more books like Goosebumps…

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Books for Fans of Goosebumps

Jennifer Killick
Chapter book

The ultimate story about Y6 residential!

Who is the mysterious bloodstained man who stops their coach? Why is no one around when Lance and the rest of Year Six arrive at the brand new Crater Lake activity centre? But this is just the beginning of the school trip from hell; a fight for survival that sees five pupils band together to save their classmates from an alien fate far worse than death. But whatever happens, they must Never. Ever. Fall asleep!

Christopher Edge
Chapter book

Adventure in a sci-fi setting ensues with the usual edge-of-your-seat fast pace of a Christopher Edge story. If you liked Escape Room and Maisie Day or Jennifer Killick’s Dreadwood horror series, then you’ll love this.

Five friends find themselves sucked into the screen to become part of the 4D interactive film they were hoping to watch at the Black Hole Cinema club – so named due to a spelling error.

The friends have to complete a mission to find their way out of the film, but to do that they have to work out what the mission is! Some of the descriptions are trhilling (if a little scary!): ‘… a jet black tidal wave, a tsunami of darkness surging towards us without a sound.‘ and ‘…as the curtains kiss the music stops and the lights go out…

The book is beautifully presented and laid out with some bold text, simple line illustrations for items such as the cinema tickets and feature-framed chapter title pages. The text is well-spaced and easy to read, broadening the appeal to a wider range of readers in KS2.

Lorraine Greogry
Chapter book

A wild, romping adventure with nods to Frankenstein, The Maker of Monsters is a joyfully imaginative children’s story with very human themes of friendship and acceptance at its heart.

Young Brat lives as a servant in Lord Macawber’s castle. Having been on the castle’s remote island ever since he was washed ashore as an orphaned baby, Brat is quite used to his master’s strange experiments. Without human friends around, Brat’s only company is Lord Macawber’s army of ‘creations’; stitched-together creatures brought to life through the act of necromancy. Most of the monsters are terrifyingly dangerous and locked in cages on the various floors of the castle, but Brat forms loyal friendships with a couple of the more placid mini monsters.

When Lord Macawber brings to life his most fearsome monster ever and intends to send his army on a vengeful attack of a nearby city, it falls to Brat to find a way to warn and save the inhabitants. What follows is a fast-paced adventure as Brat races against the clock (and against a whole heap of other obstacles, including prejudice, imprisonment and a city that creates outcasts at every opportunity) to stop the monsters wreaking havoc.

I enjoyed the mix of magic and mayhem, the harmless humour and the breadth of imagination poured into the characters and setting. But the real heart of the story is Brat’s own journey to face the metaphorical monsters within himself. Never having been met with true acceptance or kindness before, Brat’s story demonstrates the transformative power of positive human connection for both individuals and wider society.

A fun, gothic adventure filled with thrills and imagination, The Maker of Monsters will surely be a winner for readers in Years 3-6.

Jack Meggitt-Phillips
 & Isabelle Follath
Chapter book

This story is full of fantastical treasures to keep a reader enthralled: a villain in need of redemption, a mischievous girl and an insatiable bone-crunching beast.

Ebenezer Twitch is five hundred and eleven years old. He has reached this astounding age due to an elixir of youth provided to him by a magical beast, which lives on the top floor of his house. Ebenezer adopted the creature when it was tiny and was thrilled to find that it could magically vomit up any item he desired in exchange for food. As the beast grew larger, so did its demands for unusual dishes, until Ebenezer’s reliance on it to continue living causes him to sacrifice some of the world’s rarest (and subsequently extinct) creatures. Now though, the beast wants to eat a child…

A laugh out loud tale with comic and sinister strands that Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket fans will love.

Pádraig Kenny
 & Edward Bettison
Chapter book

A beautifully atmospheric tale about a family of monsters who take in a human brother and sister. An examination of what really makes a monster. The characters have stayed with me since reading and I want to know what they are doing now.

Mirabelle is part of ‘the family’ living in the House of Rookhaven – but they are no ordinary family. Led by Uncle Enoch, the members of the family are not what they first appear: Mirabelle doesn’t age; Odd can come and go through portals as he pleases; Dotty and Daisy are twins who can walk through walls. The house is separated from the outside world by the Glamour and only Dr. Ellenby and Mr Fletcher (humans from the local village) can pass through by using a special key. That is, until siblings Jem and Tom accidentally find their way through a hole in the Glamour. Mirabelle finds them among some bone-eating plants and takes them up to the house, much to the resistance of the rest of the family. However, Tom is very ill, and the family have no choice but to let him recover at the house. The hole in the Glamour has also let through something much more threatening to the family than humans…

The Monsters of Rookhaven shows that people are not necessarily what they first appear to be, and that people’s actions often have good intentions behind them, even if the outcome is not what they had hoped. It’s a gripping story that explores the theme of difference and evokes empathy through the eyes of a delightfully imaginative cast of characters. With magic, monsters, friendship and hope, this is a wonderful middle-grade read. Páidraig has created a truly extraordinary story filled with a rich darkness and not in the way you would expect. Thematically it feels relevant to the world we live in today in how easily vulnerable members of society can become the target for others’ fears and frustrations with their lives. Hauntingly beautiful, I just can’t stop thinking about it.


Dan Smith
 & Chris King
Chapter book

The Invasion of Crooked Oak is a fast-paced adventure that will appeal to older KS2 children. It is the first instalment of the stories set in the town of Crooked Oak. Children who love horror stories like Crater Lake or Goosebumps will be thrilled to discover this quick and accessible read.

Strange things are happening in the town of Crooked Oak. People have started to behave oddly and the zombie-like symptoms seem to be spreading through the town. As Nancy and her friends Pete and Krish get stuck into the mystery, something scary is spreading its tendrils across the town. Can the friends get to the root of the mystery before time runs out?

As ever with Barrington Stoke books, this is an accessible book, printed with clear text on a coloured background that is specially formatted to cater for dyslexic readers. The illustrations by Chris King really add to the atmospheric mood of the book and also draw upon the details contained in the descriptive writing.

The children we read this to absolutely loved the story and moaned at the end of each session when it was time to finish. Each chapter finished on a cliffhanger, so it left them eagerly anticipating the next instalment. This short and spooky read was a definite hit with Year 6!

Polly Ho-Yen
Chapter book
An out-of-this-world middle-grade adventure about finding friendship in the most unlikely of places. From the bestselling and Waterstones Children’s Book Prize shortlisted author of BOY IN THE TOWER. Perfect for fans of Stranger Things and authors, such as Ross Welford and Lisa Thompson.Something strange is happening in Ana’s city . . . she’s the only one awake. Confused and curious, Ana sets off to explore, bumping into the one other person who’s been able to rouse themselves – her ex–best friend, Tio. On a mission to discover what’s happening, Ana and Tio journey through the city looking for clues, their friendship mending with every step. When a mysterious creature suddenly materialises in front of them, Ana realises they’ve found the answer they’ve been looking for. But one question still remains: Why them?
Robert Swindells
Chapter book

Robert Swindell’s Room 13 is a spooky thriller story in which the main character is greeted with peculiar recurring nightmares whilst on a school trip to Whitby. The story follows Fliss, who along with her classmates, faces unusual red bite marks, a bout of sleepwalking, strange old women and Dracula himself. 

Room 13 has Upper KS2 classes on the edge of their seats and not wanting to put it down. We would recommend this gripping book for children aged 9+ who enjoy a bit of suspense.

Kathryn Foxfield
 & Robin Boyden
Chapter book

Things that Go Bump is funny, high-energy and super-spooky. Kathryn’s writing is engaging and I read the book in a few sittings.

Olive is playing flashlight hide-and-seek with her friend Ada in the new loft conversion full of furniture from the superstore, Flatpack that has to go back due to a horrible smell. Olive finds Ada when they hear scuttling and see a scary shadow. Olive is scared witless and is afraid her friend will make fun of her at school.

However, Ada has been researching Flatpack. Apparently, lots of people have returned smelly furniture and have witnessed ‘shadows’. This story is a good discussion point on how friendships can change. When Olive decides to stand up for herself and not go along with Ada’s new obsession with the Flatpack monsters she hurts Ada’s feelings. Olive makes friends with the new girl, Emily but it’s not the same as her friendship with Ada. When Ada and her new friend, Rubes, sneak into Flatpack for the night on the date of the annual staff party, Emily, Jack and Olive tag along. And thus begins a laugh-out-loud hunt for monsters with spine-tingling scenes. Kathryn Foxfield is brilliant at keeping the tension up and made me read fast until the end.

Not only are the children in danger from the monsters but some scrupulous staff. The twin employees and the Karen supervisor are hilarious. Robin Boyden’s delightful illustrations bring this story to life. ‘Things that Go Bump’ is not overly scary – making it a step up from Goosebumps. Kathryn Foxfield is a clever writer and I loved her twist on the monsters. Readers will enjoy the explanation Kathryn offers, it’s something I’ve not come across before. I think readers, me especially, will never look at a ‘Flatpack’ shop in the same way again.

Phil Hickes
 & Keith Robinson
Chapter book

This is a deliciously dark and spine-chilling tale of mystery and ghosts. Phil Hickes’s descriptively spooky tale is much darker than I was expecting from this middle-grade novel, and is not for the sensitive reader!

When Aveline is left to spend half-term with her Auntie in a quiet coastal town, she never expected the mystery she would uncover or the danger she would find herself in. Atmospherically written, this absorbing storyline feels so realistic. The unfolding folklore throughout the story kept me intrigued – from the Lady in the water to her connection to the Malmouth scarecrows. In addition to this, I was completely invested in Aveline’s plight and the terror she felt. I loved the charming and unique cast of characters we were introduced to in Malmouth, especially Mr Lieberman and his quirky second-hand bookshop (which I have to admit had me wishing I owned a second-hand bookshop).

The idea that second-hand books could connect you to their previous owner I found fascinating, as well as the developing relationship and understanding between Aveline and Primrose (counteracting the horrifying Lady character and suggesting that not all ghosts have evil intentions).

The use of Keith Robinson’s illustrations within the book only enhance the eeriness of the story, especially the rather sinister-looking child scarecrows. Equally, the addition of the Book Club Questions (at the back of this book), would certainly be a useful tool if you were using this for a book club or as a guided reading text.

This is a spectacular, haunting tale that will be devoured by readers who love scary stories and who are not too easily spooked!


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