You’re in for a treat (and a few tricks) with THE HALLOWEEN MOON. It’s a creepy story of a Halloween gone wrong for 13-year-old Esther Gold.

October 31st has always been her favorite, but this year Esther’s parents are saying no more trick or treating. Esther is asked to leave the candy collecting to the younger kids while she stays on the sidelines. No way is that going to happen so Esther sneaks out on the big night.

She meets best friend Gus. He has never had an interest in participating in the candy collecting, but has reluctantly agreed to tag along this year. They both soon discover a Halloween like none other.

The town has gone to sleep and an orange moon is staying in the same place. Both of their younger siblings are also missing. Some kind of curse has settled over the town.

They team up with Sasha, Esther’s hated enemy from school, and a dentist from next door who seems to be the only non-sleeping adult. Hopefully they can figure out who is responsible and bring their town back to life.

The creepy cast of characters include two men with flaming pumpkins and some very sharp apples. They’re under orders from a lady who claims to be the Queen of Halloween to catch the waking group and put them to sleep, keeping everyone in a never ending Halloween. One only the Queen can enjoy.

The set-up is perfect and actually not too scary for the middle grade readers. Some are calling this a YA title, but except for few innocent kisses toward the end, it stays solidly in the MG realm. The 42 plus chapters move fast and should appeal to both boys and girls.

An enticing tale with a story-line bag full of surprises.



  1. I enjoyed Esther and Gus’s character so much. These two kids often have to deal with prejudices toward being Jewish. Their personalities are different but they support each other every step of the way.
  2. Black cats actually get a positive nod here.
  3. Mr. Gabler was also a winner. He’s the town’s dentist (not sure why he wasn’t labeled Dr. Gibler), though his side comments point to not always being in that profession. Most MG books feature kids, but this adult was a welcome presence.
  4. A beautiful cover no matter how you look at it.
  5. Teens won’t find this to be scary but younger kids will enjoy a Halloween book they can actually read and not have nightmares.


Joseph Fink is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling adult novels, It Devours! and Welcome to Night Vale. He created the Welcome to Night Vale and Alice Isn’t Dead podcasts. In 2016, Fink and Jeffrey Cranor launched the podcast network “Night Vale Presents” which features fiction and non-fiction podcasts. He lives with his wife in New York.


I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Comments are always welcome below.

Have a Happy Halloween!

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to THE HALLOWEEN MOON

  1. schmelzb says:

    Great build up to a fun novel. I will share
    your review with an adult writer Tara Laskowski whose birthday is 10/31, and of course she loves thrillers she can share with her MG son, Dash.

  2. schmelzb says:

    Michelle’s link did not work for me. Can you fix it?

  3. What a great cover! Like that both tweens and teens can read this tempting story with such creepy and interesting characters. Am curious how the town went to sleep.

    I can access Michelle’s link, but there is no place to leave a comment. Really enjoyed her review, though! And glad to see her back!

  4. Sue Heavenrich says:

    oooh! Like others, I am entranced by the jacket art. And – OK – the story sounds pretty fun, too. A Queen of the Night who wants never-ending Halloween? A pumpkin-orange moon and missing siblings? What’s more to want!

  5. Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    This sounds like a perfect Halloween read—exciting without being overly terrifying! The plot sounds intriguing, and I like the addition of an adult character. And the cover is definitely excellent! Thanks so much for the great review!

  6. Susan Wroble says:

    Great review! I’ll add this to my reading list!

  7. I’ve never liked horror so I often steer clear of most Halloween books. But this one sounds interesting.

  8. Susan says:

    I liked how the book addresses that poignant stage when kids are growing out of trick-or-treating, or at least other think they’re too old for it! I’m wondering if the dentist weighs in on the dangers of Halloween candy to the teeth. 🙂

  9. Perfect for this time of year. This sounds like a fun book and maybe not too scary even for me. Thanks for telling me about it.

Place your thoughts here with a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.