Carie’s Lists: My 10 Favorite Horror Books for Kids

Today as I was displaying “spooky reads” in my classroom for October, I decided it was a good time to re-post this list of horror books for kids. If I had time to add on to it, I’d add the Lockwood & Co. series (I’m surprised it wasn’t on here to begin with– I adore it) and Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano and I am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells.

Carie Juettner

Dorrie From Dorrie and the Blue Witch

When I was a kid, I watched a lot of Scooby-Doo, and I wanted to love it. The show had so much going for it—a giant talking dog, a cool van, creepy caretakers, haunted carnivals, lots of hiding in barrels and chase scene montages—but there was a problem. At the end of every episode, the ghost or ghoul always turned out to be some boring person wearing a disguise and complaining about “meddling kids.” I was so disappointed. Stop unmasking my monsters! I wanted to yell at the Scooby-Doo gang. I wanted real ghosts, real phantoms, real horror, not some grouchy hotel manager in a sheet.

The same thing kept happening in the books I read. Banshee shrieks became screech owl calls, footsteps in the attic turned out to be rats, and skeletal figures were revealed as shadows of tree limbs. Where were…

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When You’re a Teacher…

Taking a day off means not working on a Saturday.

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You see words misspelled so many times, they start to look correct.

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You even grade papers in your sleep.

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Eventually all free food starts to look good.

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Parent conferences can happen anywhere.



Have a great day, teachers!

3 Publications and 1 Excuse

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I’ve always loved the fall. Cool weather, crunchy leaves, and of course Halloween. This year, though, the season is throwing a few special treats my way, and I’d like to share them with you.

Coming Soon

My short story, “The Night Children,” will be published in the October issue of Havok Magazine. The theme is “Hallo-Whimsy” and my little horror story boasts a considerable amount of boogers and farts. :)

Next, my sci-fi flash fiction piece, “Reap,” will be published soon at I don’t know the exact date yet, but I’ll be sure to post the link when it appears. It will be free to read online.

Last, I’m thrilled to announce that my poetry chapbook, Death Can’t Sleep, was selected as the winner of the Yellow Chair Review chapbook competition! Here’s what Logen Cure, the contest’s judge, said about my work:

“Carie Juettner’s Death Can’t Sleep personifies Death in his everyday moments: waiting at the post office, ordering a latte, flying coach. Juettner strikes the perfect balance of fanciful and mundane in creating a reality in which everyone knows Death on sight; they make way for him in subway tunnels, avoid his doorstep on Halloween. These poems are imbued with sensitivity, humanity, and wry humor. Juettner’s Death is an ambivalent anti-hero, a necessary outsider, and I am grateful for this window into his world.”

I’m so proud of the little collection of poems and so excited that it will be published in 2017.

Excuses, Excuses

My biggest piece of news this month isn’t about a poem or a story or a book. It’s about a little bit of soul searching and a big decision.

Last week, I went back to teaching seventh grade English.

It happened fast, and I think the universe had a hand in making all the pieces line up just right. The short version is that I applied for the job, and one week later, on a full moon Friday, I was meeting my 150 students. I still don’t have an email address or any posters on my wall or even a mug with the mascot on it, but I’ve been teaching for a few days now and I feel pretty good.

Some of you are probably remembering this post about why I left teaching. I remember it too. I’m not taking it down. Every word of it was true. But it’s four years later and there are new truths to consider. It’s true that I’m older and wiser and better at managing my work/life balance. It’s true that I’m at a new school, in a new district. And it’s true that I’m a teacher. Deep down I’ve always been a teacher, and I was ready to go back.

I’m also still a writer. But… (Here’s where that excuse comes in.) While I’m learning the ropes at my new school and getting to know my many students and balancing the scales of work and life, my writing life may be a bit neglected. Already, my social media presence feels more like a social media absence, and I’m typing this post on the couch with my sore feet propped up on the coffee table, keeping one eye on the clock which is telling me I’d better get to bed soon if I want to be awake to greet my first period class.

So, if you don’t hear from me for awhile, don’t worry. I’m here! I’m okay! I’m just trapped under a pile of grading and trying to get 150 twelve-year-olds to stop asking me to “dab.” (<– I didn’t know what it was until last week either, and I refuse to discuss it in case my students found this post and actually read all the way to the end. Look it up. Or ask a middle schooler.)