Little brothers can be monsters. Hey, I had one, I know all about that! My little brother once bit me on the knee, and I’m the one that got in trouble when I whacked him for it! Not fair, right? Fine, so he was like not even 2 at the time, and I was almost 7, so I suppose the theory was that I should have known better, but still! Of course, he grew up to be pretty awesome, so I’ll forgive his monstrous days. In Always October, by Bruce Corville, sixth grader Jake Doolittle knows exactly how monstrous little brothers can be. Jake finds a baby on his doorstep, and his mom decides to keep him. When the little cutie sprouts fangs, pointy ears, and thick fun in the moonlight, Jake discovers that “little monster” is a pretty accurate description!
LD may be a monster, but he’s still Jake’s baby brother. When other monsters come after the baby, Jake enlists the help of his friend, “Weird Lily” Carker, to save LD. The two journey to the strange, perilous world of Always October, where, you guessed it, it’s always October. Which means it’s pretty much always Halloween. Monsters are everywhere, and while some are downright comical, others are not so funny. Jake and Lilly will have to keep their wits about to survive and save LD.
Always October is available both in print and for ereaders. Check out Bruce Coville’s page for more fun spooky books for kids. He’s written dozens of them, including The Sixth Grade Alien Series, Space Brat Series, and the Unicorn Chronicles. Always October is perfect for middle-grade children who enjoy spooky (but not nightmare-inducing) adventures. It’s also a great story about families sticking together and doing what they can for each other, even if one of them happens to be a monster.
You can also download fun printables based on the story, including a door hanger and secret message decoder.