Cirque du Freak Readalikes

Grade Level Interest

M: Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).
S: Senior High (defined as grades 9-12).
A/YA: Adult-marketed book recommended for teens.

 

Thirsty by M.T. Anderson

All Chris really wants is to be a normal kid. Unfortunately, Chris appears to be turning into a vampire. So while his hometown performs an ancient ritual that keeps Tch’muchgar, the Vampire Lord, locked in another world, Chris desperately tries to save himself from his own vampiric fate. (M, S)

 

Abarat by Clive Barker

When Candy Quackenbush is mysteriously carried to Abarat, an unusual archipelago of 25 islands, she’s happy at first to get away from her abusive father, resigned mother, and boring town. But soon she finds herself caught in the struggle for power between the Lord of Midnight and the architect of the high-tech Commexo City. (M, S)

 

All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn

While staying at the remote and reputedly haunted Maine inn run by her father and pregnant stepmother, sixteen-year-old Cynda feels increasingly isolated from her father’s new family and finds solace in the attentions of a charming but mysterious guest. (M, S)

 

Raven’s Gate by Anthony Horowitz

Sent to live in a foster home in a remote Yorkshire village, Matt, a troubled fourteen-year-old English boy, uncovers an evil plot involving witchcraft and the site of an ancient stone circle. (M)

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Freaks: Alive, on the Inside! by Annette Curtis Klause

Though Abel Dandy was born to circus performers, he has never felt limited by his normalcy – until now. Realizing he’ll never be more amazing than the talented oddities around him, Abel can only dream of living a life richer than his own. Yearning to be more than ordinary, Abel embarks on a journey more frightening and wondrous than he ever imagined… (M, S)

 

The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause

Simon is one of the undead, a vampire, seeking revenge for the gruesome death of his mother three hundred years before. Does Simon dare ask the human Zoe to help free him from this lifeless chase and its insufferable loneliness? (M, S)

 

 

Dreamhouse Kings series by Robert Liparulo

These books follow the cliffhanging, time-traveling adventures of the King family after they move to a new house in a new town, only to find the home contains eerie portals to other times and places. (M, S)

 

 

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. (S)

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The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce

Ariel must choose between destroying her vampire master for his evil deeds or saving him for the sake of his beauty and the spark of goodness she has seen in him. (S)

 

 

The She by Carol Plum-Ucci

On a rainy night eight years ago, Evan Barrett’s parents were lost at sea. Now Evan has gone in search of answers to his parents’ disappearance. The only explanation that makes any sense to him is that they were swallowed up by The She, a legendary sea creature that devours ships. But when Evan’s quest for the truth uncovers shocking secrets, he must deal with the possibility that everything he knows about his family is a lie. (S)

 

Lord Loss (Demonata) by Darren Shan

Three teens from different centuries find themselves fighting together against the evil demon master Lord Loss, his many demon companions, and the mysterious Shadow, who promises to destroy the human universe and to even stop death. (M, S)

 

Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman

When sixteen-year-old Blake goes to a mysterious, by-invitation-only carnival he somehow knows that it could save his comatose brother, but soon learns that much more is at stake if he fails to meet the challenge presented there by the beautiful Cassandra. (M, S)

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Dangerous Girls by R.L. Stine

After sixteen-year-old Destiny and her twin sister Livvy are turned into partial vampires at a summer camp, they try to find the “Restorer,” someone who can return them to normal. (M, S)

 

 

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

After a fateful encounter with a woman named Morgan, Cal Thompson is infected by a parasite that has horrifying effects on its host. Cal himself is a carrier, unchanged by the parasite, but he’s infected the girlfriends he’s had since Morgan — and all have turned into what Cal calls peeps – the rest of us know them as vampires. And it’s Cal’s job to hunt them down before they can create even more of their kind. (S)

 

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding

Thaniel is a wych-hunter, tracking down the fearful creatures that lurk in the Old Quarter of London. It is on one of these hunts that he first encounters Alaizabel Cray – half-crazed, lovely, and possessed. Whatever has entered her soul has turned her into an unearthly magnet – attracting evil and drawing horrors from every dark corner. Now Thaniel must discover its cause – and defend humanity at all costs. (S)

 

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Will Henry is the orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore War throp, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet. (M, S)

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