Three Books on a Theme: Reimagining Poe

Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) is considered one of the founding authors of modern-day horror and mystery fiction. His writings celebrate the macabre in wacky, unsettling, and disturbing ways that grab hold of you until the last word. Poe’s stories, poems, and life influence writers still today – whether in a retelling or in a new style. If you’re a fan of Poe, or are looking for something eerie and spooktacular, try out of these titles below:

His Hideous Heart

In this short story collection, 13 (very appro-Poe) YA authors retell some of Poe’s most famous works, including The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Fall of the House of Usher. Readers will not only enjoy the creepiness of these new tales, but can also compare them to Poe’s originals – which are included in the book! Finish one story, or finish them all – these stories are sure to mystify, intrigue, and make you squirm.

The Initial Insult

If the wacky and absurd part of Poe is intriguing, then this YA book is for you! The Initial Insult alternates between two former friends: Tress, barely surviving at her grandfather’s wild animal attraction, and Felicity, the girl who was with Tress’s parents when they mysteriously disappeared. Tress has a grudge not only against Felicity, but the entire town of Amontillado, and she has a plan to right what she believes has been wronged of her. A Halloween party, friendship, family drama, and a black panther, what could possibly go wrong? This reimagining of Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado is one mess that you can’t turn away from. This is a first in a duology, with the sequel The Last Laugh just hitting our shelves.


A different spin – a board book! Taking the classic poem The Raven, Coombs allows parents to introduce their youngster about Edgar Allan Poe in a unique and fun way. Carme Lemniscates’s illustrations spark creativity and joy into this dreamy and whimsical world. All ages will enjoy this board book – whether a new fan of Poe or one who already knows to quoth the Raven, nevermore!

-Kelsey B.