Wednesday, November 30, 2022

New 'Are You Afraid of the Dark?' Middle Grade Novels and Graphic Novels to Be Released in 2023

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society..

With the revival series going strong, Andrew Smith, Senior Vice President, and Publisher of Abrams Children’s Books, has announced a forthcoming, 5-book middle grade novel and graphic novel series in partnership with Paramount Consumer Products and inspired by Nickelodeon’s hit anthology TV horror classic, Are You Afraid of the Dark?.

Published under the Amulet imprint with an announced first printing of 75,000 copies, the first middle grade novel, The Tale of the Gravemother, will be written by critically acclaimed horror author Rin Chupeco and released in hardcover on June 27, 2023.

Horror novelist Danielle Valentine is signed on to write book two in the series, which features original horror stories narrated by an all-new Midnight Society.

Fall 2023 will introduce the first graphic novel, The Witch’s Wings and Other Terrifying Tales, drawing inspiration from Mexican folklore and urban legends and written by bestselling author Tehlor Kay Mejia and illustrated by Justin and Alexis Hernandez, Junyi Wu, and Kaylee Rowena. The middle grade graphic novels will be simultaneously published in both hardcover and paperback upon release. The deal was negotiated for North American rights by Smith and Anne Heltzel, Editorial Director of Entertainment Publishing and Content Development for Children’s Books. Heltzel will edit the middle grade novels and licensing editor Diegs Lopez will edit the graphic novel series. Each of the three graphic novel stories is illustrated by a separate but complementary artist.

Like the TV series, the novels and graphic novels feature a story-within-a-story format. In the novels, for example, an original horror story is told by a member of the Midnight Society, whose contemporary story is interspersed throughout and influences the main horror tale.

Two more novels and a graphic novel will alternate in subsequent seasons.

One of Nickelodeon’s most iconic series from the ‘90s, the original Are You Afraid of the Dark? delivered riveting stories of horror to young audiences, all from a kid’s perspective. In 2019, Are You Afraid of the Dark? saw a revival on Nickelodeon, which aired with an all-new Midnight Society telling scary stories to the next generation of horror enthusiasts. The show recently debuted its third installment, Are You Afraid of The Dark?: Ghost Island, which premiered on July 30, 2022.

The Tale of the Gravemother marks the launch of the publishing program. The original novel is set in Solitude, a fictional town known for its local spook, a 19th century woman responsible for the disappearance of several children. Everyone knows better than to trespass on her property. But when construction disturbs the grounds and rumors of a mysterious, jawless woman begin to circulate, 14-year-old Rhett must figure out how to put the ghost to rest before a new reign of terror is unleashed…starting with his sister as the latest victim.

Arriving one season later, the graphic novel The Witch’s Wings and Other Terrifying Tales features haunted buses, monstrous creatures, and spine-chilling mysteries. In order to join the Midnight Society, a new storyteller must share three interconnected stories—”The Tale of the Witch’s Wings”, “The Tale of the Haunting of Bus #13”, and “The Tale of the Stray Comet”—to prove she has the horror goods. The segments will be brought to life with distinct, eerie art styles from four different illustrators.

“We are thrilled—and chilled—to be partnering with Paramount on a creative publishing program that extends the fan-favorite franchise with all-new original tales that will engage both existing fans and new readers alike,” Smith told Bloody Disgusting, who first reported the news. “We’re honored to be working with such amazingly talented creators—fans themselves—to bring these terrifying new stories to life!”

“For the last three to five years, horror has found a broad audience across all media, and there’s strong demand for horror at a younger age range,” Anne Heltzel, editorial director of entertainment publishing and content development for children’s books at Abrams, told Publisher's Weekly, who noted that she and several colleagues are horror fans themselves.

In addition to a strong horror background, Abrams looked for authors with experience writing for teens, since the property is likely to appeal to readers older than the core middle grade crowd. That includes some adults. “There’s a lot of loyalty from the original fans, and parents are very enthusiastic about it,” Heltzel said. “I think it will probably appeal to nostalgic fans as well.”

The original Are You Afraid of the Dark? is owned by WildBrain and was created by D.J. MacHale and Ned Kandel.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? is no stranger to the book world, with a series of titles inspired by the show being released in the mid-'90s.

The original Are You Afraid of the Dark? series as well as "The Carnival of Doom" (2019) and "Curse of the Shadows" (2021) are available to scream stream on Paramount+. Try it FREE at

Originally published: November 29, 2022 at 01:56 GMT.

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