Horror Readers, Rejoice! Nine Spine-Tingling Tales Make HWA's 2020 Summer Scares List

The Summer Scares committee announces its selections for the second annual booklist and slate of programs promoting and celebrating horror and dark literature for all ages.

In celebration of National Library Lover’s Day (February 14), the Horror Writers Association (HWA), in partnership with United for Libraries, Book Riot, and Library Journal/School Library Journal, is delighted tosummer scares logo with a ghoul announce the second annual Summer Scares Reading List, which includes titles selected by a panel of authors and librarians. The Summer Scares program is designed to promote horror as a great reading option for all ages, during any time of the year.

The committee selects three titles across three age categories: Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade:


In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson (Skyhorse, 2017)

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (Tor.com, 2016)

She Said Destroy: Stories by Nadia Bulkin (Word Horde, 2017)


The Agony House by Cherie Priest, illus. by Tara O’Connor (Arthur A. Levine: Scholastic, 2018)

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova (Sourcebooks Fire, 2017)

Daughters unto Devils by Amy Lukavics (Harlequin Teen, 2015)


Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh (HarperCollins, 2017)

Case File 13: Zombie Kid by J. Scott Savage , illus. by Doug Holgate (HarperCollins, 2012)

Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith (Clarion, 2015)

The goal of the Summer Scares program is to introduce horror titles to school and public library workers in order to help them start conversations with readers that will extend beyond the books from each list and promote reading for years to come.

Along with the annual list of recommended titles for readers of all ages, the Summer Scares committee will also release themed lists of “read-alike” titles for libraries to use when suggesting books to readers. And, in order to help libraries forge stronger connections between books and readers, the Summer Scares committee will be working with both the recommended list authors and horror authors from all over the country to provide free programming to libraries.

From author visits (both in person and virtual) to book discussions to horror themed events, Summer Scares is focused on connecting horror creators with libraries and readers all year long.

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) will also be hosting a Library Day special stand alone program on May 7, 2020 at the Naperville Public Library, IL. Authors from the Summer Scares reading list, as well as the committee members, will be in attendance. Authors and committee members will also be available throughout the year for on-site and/or remote appearances to libraries and schools to promote the Summer Scares program and discuss the use of horror fiction as a tool to increase readership and nurture a love of reading.

The Summer Scares program committee consists of award-winning author Stephen Graham Jones (Mongrels; The Only Good Indians; Night of the Mannequins), Becky Spratford (library consultant; The Readers' Advisory Guide to Horror, 2d ed.), Carolyn Ciesla (library director, academic dean, book reviewer), Kiera Parrott (reviews and production director for Library Journal and School Library Journal), Kelly Jensen (editor, Book Riot; [Don’t] Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health), and JG Faherty (director, HWA Library Program; Sins of the Father; The Cure; Ghosts of Coronado Bay).

The HWA is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals, and the oldest organization dedicated to the horror/dark fiction genre. One of the HWA’s missions is to foster an appreciation of reading through extensive programming and partnerships with libraries, schools, and literacy-based organizations.

For more information about the Summer Scares reading program, including how to obtain promotional materials and schedule events with the authors/committee members, visit the HWA’s Libraries web page; Becky Spratford’s readers' advisory horror blog, RA for All: Horror; or the Book Riot, School Library Journal, Library Journal, or United for Libraries websites and social media sites.

You can also contact JG Faherty, HWA Library Program Director, or Becky Spratford, HWA Secretary.

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