Every October I can count on three things to happen at Bruce Trail: the leaves on the trees begin to change colour outside the library windows, students begin bundling up to stay warm in the colder weather, and B.T. book lovers start asking about my favourite “spooky” reads.

Nightmares!, a hilariously frightening new novel, is my go-to recommendation this fall.  With a healthy and humorous mix of action-adventure and spooky fun, this book reminded me of Roald Dahl’s work, especially The Witches.  The main character is Charlie Laird and he is dealing with a lot: 1) His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch, 2) He had to move into her purple mansion, which is NOT a place you want to find yourself after dark, 3) He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect – even naps!  What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real.  Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed.

Written by multi-talented actor Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) and author Kirsten Miller, Nightmares! is an engaging and adventurous story with likeable characters, an original plot, and superb illustrations by Karl Kwasny that act as interesting visual companions to the story.  This is a great Halloween read for students in the middle grades (age 9 to 12).