High-Low Young Adult Books: Paranormal | Richland Library Skip to content
"Anna Dressed In Blood" by Kendare Blake
"Anna Dressed In Blood" by Kendare Blake

High-Low Young Adult Books: Paranormal

“High-Low” means High Interest, Low Reading Level. High-Low books are great for helping struggling or reluctant readers gain confidence in their reading without resorting to books for younger readers or "kiddie stuff." This is one of several blog posts that will recommend YA books that land between 500-800 in the Lexile range (the sci-fi and fantasy list can be found here, and the realistic fiction list here). A Lexile score of 500-800 matches the recommended reading levels of 3rd-5th graders. Please keep in mind that, as Lexile notes on their website, "the Lexile measure of a book refers to its text difficulty only. A Lexile measure does not address the content or quality of the book."

Titles listed below have been sorted by subgenre, with each title's Lexile score in parenthenses. Many of these titles are also available as ebooks and audiobooks, including through the library's Overdrive, 3M, and Hoopla services.

If you would like to learn to write your own horror stories, we would love to meet you at Finding New Ghosts: Creative Writing For Ghastly Authors, taking place Tuesday, October 25 at 3:30pm at Richland Library Main in Writer's Room 210. Budding teen and adult writers welcome.

 

 

Magic

White Cat, Holly Black (700)

The Diviners, Libba Bray (730)

Unspoken, Sarah Reese Brennan (730)

The Prisoner of Cell 25, Richard Paul Evans (500)

The Girl At Midnight, Melissa Grey (820)

Rebel Belle, Rachel Hawkins (780)

The Weight of Feathers, Anna-Marie McLemore (730)

Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor (590)

Shadowshaper, Daniel Jose Older (690)



Witches    

Half Bad, Sally Green (680)

Conversion, Katherine Howe (770)



Vampires    

Glass Houses, Rachel Caine (650)



Werewolves

The Gathering, Kelley Armstrong (640)

City of Bones, Cassandra Clare (710)

Nightshade Cremer, Andrea (600)

The Dark Divine, Bree Despain (700)

Abused Werewolf Rescue Group, Catherine Jinks (640)

Claire de Lune, Christine Johnson (690)



Horror    

Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake (690)

The Accident Season, Moira Fowley-Doyle (810)

Cryer's Cross, Lisa McMann (640)



Ghosts    

Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake (690)

13 Days of Midnight, Leo Hunt (740)

The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson (710)

Razorhurst, Justine Larbalestier (590)

Cryer's Cross, Lisa McMann (640)

Life After Theft, Aprilynne Pike (650)

In the Shadow of Blackbirds, Cat Winters (800)



Grim Reapers / Necromancers    

13 Days of Midnight, Leo Hunt (740)

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, Lish McBride (650)



Angels / Demons    

City of Bones, Cassandra Clare (710)

Hush, Hush, Becca Fitzpatrick (640)

Unearthly, Cynthia Hand (660)

 


Half Bad by Sally Green
Amazon Says: "Highly entertaining and dangerously addictive."—Time Magazine An international bestseller, translated into more than 50 languages!   Sixteen-year-old Nathan liv more...
Amazon Says: "Highly entertaining and dangerously addictive."—Time Magazine An international bestseller, translated into more than 50 languages!   Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is monitored, when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves? Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive. less...
Amazon

Conversion by Katherine Howe
Amazon Says: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mystery—Prep meets The Crucible.   It’s senior year at St. Joa more...
Amazon Says: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mystery—Prep meets The Crucible.   It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.   First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.   Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago . . .   Inspired by true events—from seventeenth-century colonial life to the halls of a modern-day high school—Conversion casts a spell. With her signature wit and passion, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe delivers an exciting and suspenseful novel, a chilling mystery that raises the question, what’s really happening to the girls at St. Joan’s? less...
Amazon

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Amazon Says: Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Th more...
Amazon Says: Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy—her paw-print birthmark. less...
Amazon

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Amazon Says: Discover this first installment of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly). When fifteen-year-old Clar more...
Amazon Says: Discover this first installment of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly). When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know... Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end. less...
Amazon

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Amazon Says: Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling t more...
Amazon Says: Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice? less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: When Tobias Richard Vandevelde wakes up in a hospital with no memory of the night before, his horrified mother tells him that he was found unconscious. At Featherdale Wildlife more...
Amazon Says: When Tobias Richard Vandevelde wakes up in a hospital with no memory of the night before, his horrified mother tells him that he was found unconscious. At Featherdale Wildlife Park. In a dingo pen. He assumes that his two best friends are somehow responsible, until the mysterious Reuben turns up, claiming that Toby has a rare and dangerous “condition.” Next thing he knows, Toby finds himself involved with a strange bunch of sickly insomniacs who seem convinced that he needs their help. It’s not until he’s kidnapped and imprisoned that he starts to believe them—and to understand what being a paranormal monster really means. less...
Amazon

Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
Amazon Says: Torn between two destinies… Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as more...
Amazon Says: Torn between two destinies… Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she’s the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she’s a werewolf. As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire’s new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever…. less...
Amazon

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Amazon Says: Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with h more...
Amazon Says: Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead―keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life. Anna Dressed in Blood is a 2011 Kirkus Best Teen Books of the Year title. One of NPR's Top 5 Young Adult Novels of 2011. less...
Amazon

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Amazon Says: For fans of We Were Liars, How I Live Now, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane comes a haunting, sexy debut of magical realism. And look for Moïra Fowley-Doyle's newest b more...
Amazon Says: For fans of We Were Liars, How I Live Now, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane comes a haunting, sexy debut of magical realism. And look for Moïra Fowley-Doyle's newest book, Spellbook of the Lost and Found. Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it's bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it's just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season—when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17—is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think. Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There's a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she'll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she'll uncover the dark origins of the accident season—whether she's ready or not. less...
Amazon

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Amazon Says: Kendall loves her life in small town Cryer¹s Cross, Montana, but she also longs for something more. She knows the chances of going to school in New York are small, but she's more...
Amazon Says: Kendall loves her life in small town Cryer¹s Cross, Montana, but she also longs for something more. She knows the chances of going to school in New York are small, but she's not the type to give up easily. Even though it will mean leaving Nico, the world's sweetest boyfriend, behind. But when Cryer's Cross is rocked by unspeakable tragedy, Kendall shoves her dreams aside and focuses on just one goal: help find her missing friends. Even if it means spending time with the one boy she shouldn't get close to... the one boy who makes her question everything she feels for Nico. Determined to help and to stay true to the boy she's always loved, Kendall keeps up the search--and stumbles upon some frightening local history. She knows she can't stop digging, but Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.... less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: In a devilishly dark and funny debut, a teen finds himself the unwitting beneficiary of eight enslaved and angry ghosts seeking bloody vengeance. When Luke Manchett’ more...
Amazon Says: In a devilishly dark and funny debut, a teen finds himself the unwitting beneficiary of eight enslaved and angry ghosts seeking bloody vengeance. When Luke Manchett’s estranged father dies unexpectedly, he leaves his son a dark inheritance: a collection of eight restless spirits, known as his Host, who want revenge for their long enslavement. Once they figure out that Luke has no clue how to manage them, they become increasingly belligerent, and eventually mutiny. Halloween (the night when ghosts reach the height of their power) is fast approaching, and Luke knows his Host is planning something far more trick than treat. Armed with only his father’s indecipherable notes, a locked copy of The Book of Eight, and help from school outcast Elza Moss, Luke has just thirteen days to uncover the closely guarded secrets of black magic and send his unquiet spirits to their eternal rest—or join their ghostly ranks himself. less...
Amazon

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Amazon Says: New York Times bestseller Maureen Johnson takes on Jack the Ripper in this captivating paranormal thriller! The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to more...
Amazon Says: New York Times bestseller Maureen Johnson takes on Jack the Ripper in this captivating paranormal thriller! The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree of more than a century ago. Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him--the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities. less...
Amazon

Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier
Amazon Says: "Vivid and bloody and bold and fast—I feel like Razorhurst is in my bones now." —#1 New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert The notoriously bl more...
Amazon Says: "Vivid and bloody and bold and fast—I feel like Razorhurst is in my bones now." —#1 New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert The notoriously bloody history of a mob-run Sydney, Australia neighborhood is fertile ground for this historical thriller with a paranormal twist: two girls' ability to see the many ghosts haunting Razorhurst.   Sydney’s deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, 1932. Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, two ruthless mob bosses, have reached a fragile peace—one maintained by “razor men.” Kelpie, orphaned and homeless, is blessed (and cursed) with the ability to see Razorhurst’s many ghosts. They tell secrets that the living can’t know about the cracks already forming in the mobs’ truce.   Kelpie meets Dymphna Campbell, Gloriana’s prize moll, over the body of the latest of Dymphna’s beaus to meet an untimely end—a string that’s earned her the nickname the “Angel of Death.” Dymphna can see ghosts, too, and she knows that Gloriana’s hold is crumbling one henchman at a time. As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens the two girls at every turn, Dymphna is determined to rise to the top with Kelpie at her side. less...
Amazon

Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
Amazon Says: Aprilynne Pike, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Wings series, shines in this stand-alone novel that offers a humorous twist on ghosts and is perfect for fans of Al more...
Amazon Says: Aprilynne Pike, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Wings series, shines in this stand-alone novel that offers a humorous twist on ghosts and is perfect for fans of Ally Carter, Rachel Hawkins, and Kiersten White.Kimberlee Schaffer thinks she's doomed to an afterlife of boredom, stuck haunting the halls of her high school for eternity . . . until the day she meets Jeff. He's the only person who's ever been able to see Kimberlee, so she needs him to help with her unfinished business. When she was alive, Kimberlee wasn't just a mean girl; she was also a complete kleptomaniac. If Jeff wants to avoid being haunted until graduation, he'll have to help her return everything she stole. But Jeff soon discovers that it's much easier to steal something than it is to bring it back.Paying for your mistakes takes on a whole new meaning in this clever and exhilarating modern retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Kirkus Reviews called Life After Theft "a brisk, down-to-earth thriller," and School Library Journal proclaimed it a "whirlwind adventure full of secrets, lies, unlikely friendships, and romance." This paperback edition also contains an excerpt from Aprilynne Pike's next novel: Sleep No More. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says:   In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men more...
Amazon Says:   In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love―a boy who died in battle―returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her? Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time. Praise for In The Shadow of Blackbirds STARRED REVIEW "Winters’s masterful debut novel is an impressively researched marriage of the tragedies of wartime, the 1918 flu epidemic, the contemporaneous Spiritualism craze, and a chilling love story and mystery." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review STARRED REVIEW "More than anything, this is a story of the breaking point between sanity and madness, delivered in a straightforward and welcoming teen voice." ―Booklist, starred review STARRED REVIEW "Winters deftly combines mystery, ghost story, historical fiction, and romance. Excellent pacing and deliciously creepy descriptions…” ―School Library Journal, starred review "This engrossing combination of historical fiction, ghost story, psychological thriller, and straight-up whodunit moves between genres with stunning ease, maximizing the tropes of each to satisfying effect." ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Winters strikes just the right balance between history and ghost story, neatly capturing the tenor of the times, as growing scientific inquiry collided with heightened spiritualist curiosity." ―Kirkus Reviews "Mary Shelley is a likable, sympathetic heroine, and through her story, teen readers will get a glimpse of a fascinating time period, made all the more real by the haunting historic photographs that pepper the novel, from soldiers in trenches to policemen in gauze masks. Part romance, part mystery and part ghost story, In the Shadow of Blackbirds makes palpable a terrifying time that brought the horror of death into the homes of millions." ―Bookpage "One of the creepiest (in a good way) covers of the season! What's inside, historical Y.A. set at the time of the Spanish influenza, is equally haunting." ―The Atlantic Wire “Cat Winter’s debut novel is creepy good.” ―The Boston Globe "Romance fans will love Stephen’s ghostly visits to Mary Shelley, confirming that their romance is as steamy as ever. Mystery lovers will enjoy the satisfactory resolution of the puzzle. Recommend this title to fans of Libba Bray’s The Diviners." ―VOYA "In this book, the passion of first love and the paranoia of the times are realistically and movingly rendered." ―The Oregonian "Beautifully written and absolutely riveting. I enjoyed everything about this book." ―The Statesman Journal Award William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist 2014 School Library Journal Best Book of 2013 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he's doing all right―until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, more...
Amazon Says: Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he's doing all right―until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak. Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he's a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else. With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year. less...
Amazon

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Amazon Says: Nora finds forbidden love with her fallen angel, in the first installment of the New York Times bestselling Hush, Hush Saga. Nora Grey is responsible and smart and not inclin more...
Amazon Says: Nora finds forbidden love with her fallen angel, in the first installment of the New York Times bestselling Hush, Hush Saga. Nora Grey is responsible and smart and not inclined to be reckless. Her first mistake was falling for Patch. . Patch has made countless mistakes and has a past that could be called anything but harmless. The best thing he ever did was fall for Nora. . After getting paired together in biology, all Nora wants to do is stay away from Patch, but he always seems to be two steps ahead of her. She can feel his eyes on her even when he is nowhere around. She feels him nearby even when she is alone in her bedroom. And when her attraction can be denied no longer, she learns the secret about who Patch is and what led him to her, as well as the dark path he is about to lead her down. Despite all the questions she has about his past, in the end, there may be only one question they can ask each other: How far are you willing to fall?. less...
Amazon

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Amazon Says: In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes more...
Amazon Says: In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy. Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart. less...
Amazon
Print