Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Fears and Phobias

Countdown - (ISBN: 978-0545106054)

by Deborah Wiles

During the turbulent 1960’s when everyone was talking of building a bomb shelter in their backyard, Franny’s stress level finds a new high when President Kennedy goes on TV to confront the Russians during the Cuban missile crisis. At school, her fear increases as the teachers train the students to assume a “duck and cover” stance in the case of an attack. How does she deal with the increasing fear and still come to terms with changes in her family life and in her body? This is the first book in the Sixties Trilogy; if you enjoy this, look for the others as they come out in the future.

Fear of Falling - (ISBN: 978-1584850595)

by Laurie Halse Anderson

David really does want to learn to jump with his horse, but his fear is almost greater than his desire. When his father, who tried to teach his son to love horses, returns for a visit, David must confront his fear of disappointing his father and weigh it against his terror of falling off the horse. How do you handle it when you feel frightened of doing things that others do without any problem?

The Monstrumologist - (ISBN: 978-1416984498)

by Rick Yancey

Pellinore Warthrop is a scientist who studies monsters found in all the expected places (cemeteries, asylums, etc). His apprentice, twelve-year old Will, follows in amazement as new species turn up on the dissecting table, spewing plenty of gore. For those who like a literary-Gothic approach to being frightened, this fast moving, creative novel will hold you entranced.

The Ruins - (ISBN: 978-1450586665)

by Scott E. Smith

A group of American tourists follow the trail of archeologists into a little-explored jungle. Although the variety of people willing to traipse into the unknown is interesting, the scenes they encounter are overwhelming with suspense and horror for readers. If you enjoy Stephen King’s tales, try this one for a read you will not be able to put down.

The Rules of Survival - (ISBN: 978-0142410714)

by Nancy Werlin

A brother who fears his mother’s insane cruelty dreads even more the effect her behavior might have on his younger sisters. Although most other adults they encounter offer no help with dealing with a psychotic parent, eventually one of the mother’s boyfriends proves to be a sort of “savior” to the children. This book’s violence and the mother’s cruelty make it more appropriate for older teens.

What Are You Afraid of?: Stories about Phobias - (ISBN: 978-0763634179)

by Donald R. Gallo

These short fictional pieces by top authors all explore a similar theme: an irrational fear, its effect on a life, and the accommodations that have to be made to deal with it. Do you have any experience with phobias? Which ones are the most common, in your opinion?

Bonechiller - (ISBN: 038574658X)

by Graham McNamee

Fallen - (ISBN: 978-0385738934)

by Lauren Kate

The Deep End of Fear - (ISBN: 978-1416971429)

by Elizabeth Chandler

The Last Universe - (ISBN: 978-0810992139)

by William Sleator

The Pop-Up Book of Phobias - (ISBN: 978-0688171957)

by Gary Greenberg

The Valley of Fear - (ISBN: 978-0843962956)

by A.C. Doyle

Thirteen Tales of Terror - (ISBN: 978-0445042544)

by Jack London

Activities for this Theme

Talk about the many surprises on this complete list of phobias.


Learn more about how to deal with phobias


Take this quiz to assess your coping skills


See if you have anything in common with the teen’s diary entry. Try keeping your own journal and see if it helps relieve some of your fears.