It has been a cruel winter and not because of frigid weather. It has been a winter without Stranger Things, the wildly popular television series. Since last summer, fans of the show have been left dangling, as if living in the Upside Down. Do you find you are craving frozen waffles? Attempting to translate future plot lines in strings of Christmas lights? Agonizing over months and months without a Barb sighting? Your local public library has strange reads to ease your pain until the start of Stranger Things: Season Two.
It by Stephen King. There's a cruel monster living underground in Derry, Maine. In 1958, the mysterious and gruesome death of a young boy has shaken the town, and none are terrorized more than a group of bullied kids known as the Losers Club. Not only are the friends stalked by the evil Pennywise in their youth - the villain returns nearly 25 years later to torture now-adult Losers Club members by tapping into their most deeply-held fears. Stephen King's creepy style is writ large on Stranger Things, and a movie version of It hits movie theaters later this year.
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. A mysterious carnival appears in a small Midwest town, but the performers are not there to entertain. Two teenagers discover that the carnival barkers are recruiting townspeople for a sinister undertaking known as the Pandemonium Shadow Show. Just like the young friends on Stranger Things, sometimes kids discover "stranger things" than adults do.
Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang. Halloween night, 1988. Delivering newspapers gets really weird when four teenage paper girls discover a bizarre machine in a deserted basement and encounter gruesome creatures along their paper route. Could an unusual device marked with a strange symbol lead to answers about a potential alien invasion? There's plenty of '80s references in this graphic novel to sate the pop culture appetite of fans of Stranger Things.
The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue. In a coastal town lives a young boy named Jack Peter who nearly died. He has taken to staying indoors and drawing pictures of monsters. Could Jack Peter's drawings represent a series of strange sights and occurrences in the town? Perhaps only Jack Peter holds the answers.
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Twelve-year-old Oskar has new neighbors: an elderly man and a pale, young girl named Eli. Oskar is tortured by bullies and fantasizes about revenge by collecting newspaper clippings about murders taking place in town. He and Eli become friends: communicating in Morse code through a shared wall, solving the puzzle of a Rubik's Cube, and maintaining a secret about Eli that is both horrifying and life-changing. Fans of Eleven and Mike will enjoy this very creepy love story.
Your public library also has movies on DVD that inspired the creators of Stranger Things, like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Aliens, and Stand by Me, plus music CDs by '80s artists that fit the TV series retro soundtrack. Check out graphic novels like X-Men, Watchmen, and Lumberjanes to engage with mutants and the supernatural while you wait for Season Two of Stranger Things. Grab a few boxes of frozen waffles and then visit the library!