My favorite Halloween book for older listeners comes from one of my favorite children’s authors, Chris Van Allsburg. Like all of his books, The Widow’s Broom has wonderfully detailed sepia illustrations. There are magical elements and sufficient “scariness” for 3rd and 4th graders to really enjoy the book.
Synopsis: A witch falls out of the sky when her broom wears out. She leaves with another witch but leaves her old broom behind. The Widow Shaw inherits the broom and finds it to be very useful. Not only does it sweep (it’s favorite activity), but it also chops wood, fetches water and plays piano. Neighborhood children tease it as it’s sweeping. The broom makes short work of their dog (flinging it into a tree) and scares the children. When the neighbors hear about the broom, they tell Minna Shaw that it is evil. She and the broom hatch a scheme that sends the neighbors away and leaves them in peace.