Stranger Reads

Staff PicksSouthwest Library

Stranger Reads

8 Books Like Stranger Things

A lot of friendship. A little bit of nostalgia. A little bit of horror. A little bit of science fiction. And a little bit of fantasy. These are the things that make up the magic of Stranger Things, Netflix’s immeasurably popular TV show about a town plagued by a force of evil lurking just below its surface. If you just can’t get enough of the Upside Down and Hawkins, Indiana, check out one of these books for teens and adults with your library card. Plus, browse official guides, novelizations, analyses, and other works on the original show.

The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams
Esme doesn’t have a whole lot of choices when it comes to making money so she relies on babysitting gigs. Looking after kids for a few hours is no big deal, and it’s a good thing because the rest of her life is sort of a disaster. Enter Cassandra Heaven. Perfect in every way, Cassandra wants in on Esme’s babysitter club and Esme can hardly believe it. But Cassandra has a good reason for wanting to get closer to Esme and it has everything to do with a mysterious note left behind by her mother. With major 90s vibes, The Babysitters Coven is a humor-infused paranormal fantasy about a haunted small town. Also available as an ebook and an eaudiobook.

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
It’s 1990 and The Blyton Summer Detective Club is back after years of estrangement. Andy’s playing a game of cat and mouse with law enforcement, Kerri is trying to get a grip on her drinking problem, Nate’s grappling with his mental health, and Peter is dead -- though Nate swears they’re in touch. Along with the descendant of the group’s original dog companion, the group finds themselves reassembled to resolve an enduring evil that may be more than the masked men of their past. With plenty of nods to Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, H. P. Lovecraft’s lore, and other creepy classics, Meddling Kids brings the nostalgia along with the ghoulish to frighten and delight. Also available as an ebook and an eaudiobook.

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson
Like Niagara Falls, Uncle Calvin has always been a bit odd. But his nephew Jake doesn’t mind, and when two kids move to town, Calvin decides it’s time to induct Jake and his new friends into the Saturday Night Ghost Club. It’s all fun and games until secrets begin to ooze out of the cracks and the Saturday Night Ghost Club realize they may have stumbled onto more than they anticipated. By turns spooky and heartwarming, The Saturday Night Ghost Club merges eeriness with a coming of age tale that questions what happens to memory as it ages.

The Sacrifice Box by Marin J. Stewart
After discovering a mysterious stone box in the woods, friends Sep, Arkle, Mack, Lamb, and Hadley do the only sensible thing: each commit to making a sacrifice to the box and a pact with each other. The pact includes never visiting the box alone or at night and never taking back the special items they left for the box. Without a pact to always be friends, the five abandon their friendship until strange events force them back together and they realize one of them has broken the pact. Also available as an ebook.

When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry
The people of Splendor, Ohio have been through enough. After a mill explosion impacted everyone in the community intimately, they had no choice but to let life go on. Even people like Franny, whose brother has been in a coma for five years now, have let the waves of time wash over them. But what Franny does have is The Ordinary. A group known for investigating the strange and inexplicable in the community, Franny and her friends are about to come upon something truly unbelievable. When the bright light comes crashing down to earth and The Ordinary take up their task of checking it out, they couldn’t possibly imagine what it is they find. When the Sky Fell on Splendor brings themes of friendship and grief into a story that is out of this world. Also available as an ebook and an eaudiobook.

The Girl with All the Gifts by Mike Carey
With skills like any other and a genius IQ, Melanie isn’t quite sure why she’s kept in a cell and only let out for lessons. And she’s not sure why her school must be surrounded by guards and her body restrained all the time. But she might find out soon because something dreadful is coming. Melanie might just be the only person who can save the world. The Girl with All the Gifts is an intense post-apocalyptic story leaning into zombie lore and themes of what it means to live in the in-between. Also available as an ebook, an eaudiobook, and adapted as a movie.

The Loop by Jeremy Robert Johnson
When the wealthy students of picture-perfect Turner Falls, Oregon start losing it and going feral on those around them, outcast Lucy and her friends quickly realize that there’s a virus spreading rapidly and at all costs. Driven by a biotech company, Turner Falls is about to fall into a rabbit hole of body horror and what it is that’s causing it. While Lucy, Bucket, and their friends try to determine the source of terror, they must also contend with being ostracized from society and endeavor to make it through the night alive in this chilling story that takes place in a single day. Also available as an ebook.

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
With a plan to meet up at a haunted house, eight boys thrilled by the prospect of Halloween come upon a strange and deathly individual who calls himself Mr. Moundshroud. But a ninth friend, Pipkin, hasn’t quite made it. As Pipkin gets caught up in an ancient force, the other eight friends fall down through time and space with Mr. Moundshroud to discover the origins of Halloween and retrieve Pipkin. Charming and nostalgic, The Halloween Tree is a short and classic Halloween novel exploring friendship and more with Bradbury’s signature expressive prose. Also available as an eaudiobook.