Shrewsbury Public Library

Summer Reading

Summer reading 2023 banner iRead

Adult Summer Reading

To Participate:

  • Create a FREE account through Beanstack.
  • Enroll in the Adult Summer Reading Challenge. The challenge officially starts June 26th and goes through August 26th.
  • Log each book you read.
  • Every month, we'll draw winners for prizes (like Amazon gift cards), with a grand prize at the end of August!

Summer scares banner

Summer Scares

Read along if you dare! Summer Scares is an annual reading program from The Horror Writers Association (HWA), in partnership with United for Libraries, Book Riot, and Booklist, which provides libraries and schools with three recommended horror titles each for adult, young adult (teen), and middle-grade readers. It introduces readers to new authors, helps start conversations extending beyond the books from each list, and promotes reading for years to come.


Continue below to view the recommended books and the library's related programming! Visit the HWA's Youtube channel to view author panels from previous years (2023 coming soon).


Adult Recommendations

Ring shout book cover

Ring Shout

by P. Djèlí Clark


In 1915, the Klan spread fear and  

violence across the country. Maryse  

Boudreaux and her fellow resistance  

fighters, armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, stand in their way. But  something awful’s brewing and things are about to heat up.

Catherine House book cover

Catherine House

by Elisabeth Thomas 


Ines Murillo is selected at the illustrious Catherine House school. But the House’s strange protocols make this refuge feel like a gilded prison. When  tragedy strikes, Ines suspects that the school might be hiding a dangerous agenda.


The Merry Spinster

by Daniel M. Lavery 


Mixing psychological horror, emotional  

clarity and feminist mischief, these reimagined children’s stories and fairytales illuminate the emotional  complexities in the stories we tell  ourselves, and each other, as we tuck in for the night. 

Young Adult Recommendations

In the Shadow of Blackbirds book cover

In the Shadow of  Blackbirds 

by Cat Winters 


In 1918, Americans are suffering with the Spanish Influenza and World War I. Mary Shelley Black watches as mourners flock to séances, and she must consider if ghosts are real when her first love, killed in battle, returns.  

Squad book cover


by Maggie Toduka-Hall and Lisa Sterle


When Becca transfers schools, she’s surprised to be adopted by the most  

popular girls. But Becca’s new friends are werewolves. Eager to be accepted, Becca allows her friends to turn her into a werewolf. But then things get complicated.  

Mooncakes book cover


by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu 


Nova Huang knows more about magic  

than your average teen witch. One fateful night, she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods, and their latent feelings are rekindled. 

Middle Grade Recommendations

Small Spaces book cover

Small Spaces 

by Katherine Arden 


Nightfall is fast descending when Ollie’s school bus breaks down on a trip to an area farm. As the kids head for the woods—bordered by a field of creepy scarecrows—the bus driver has one piece of  advice: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”

Living Ghosts book cover

Living Ghosts and Mischievous Monsters 

by Dan SaSuWeh Jones 


Prepare for stories of witches and walking dolls, hungry skeletons, La Llorona and Deer Woman, and other beings to chill your bones in these stories from the thriving tradition of ghost stories from American Indian cultures. 

A Small Zombie Problem book cover

A Small Zombie Problem 

by K.G. Campbell 


When his newfound aunt suggests that  

August Dupont attend school with his cousins, it’s a dream come true. But August has scarcely begun to celebrate when he is confronted by a small problem on his way home. A small, very undead problem. 

SPL's Summer Scares 2023 Programming


Film Screening: Get Out (rated R)

Tuesday, June 27th at 6:30 p.m.

At the library (no registration required)


Like Ring Shout, this critically-acclaimed film uses the lens of horror to explore themes of racism.


Bonus: Join SPL's Movie Discussion Club on Google Meet on Tuesday, July 11th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the film! Registration link to be posted. 

Maleficent cover

Film Screening: Maleficent (rated PG)

Wednesday, July 26th at 6:30 p.m.

At the library (no registration required)


Like the stories of The Merry Spinster, this film weaves a fractured fairytale, retelling the classic story of Sleeping Beauty.


Bonus: Join SPL's Movie Discussion Club on Google Meet on Tuesday, August 1st at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the film! Registration link to be posted. 

Summer Scares book discussion icon

Book Discussion

Tuesday, August 22nd at 7:00 p.m.

At the library (no registration required)


Read at least one of the adult Summer Scares 2023 books? Come join us for a fun, informal discussion and share your thoughts!

  • Library Hours:

    Library Hours:

    Monday: 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
    Tuesday: 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
    Wednesday: 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
    Thursday: 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m
    Friday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
    Saturday: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
    Sunday: October through May
    1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

    Please see our Hours and Closings Page for more information.

  • Contact Us:

    Contact Us:

    Tel: 508-841-8609
    View our Staff Directory

  • Find us:

    Find Us:

    Shrewsbury Public Library
    609 Main Street
    Shrewsbury, MA 01545