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Let books inspire your Halloween costume

This Halloween, let your bookworm flag fly. In a sea of spider men and sassy witches, stand out with a literature-themed costume. Need some inspiration?

Here’s a short list of ideas, ranging from simple to elaborate. Of course, any book character can become a Halloween costume with a little creativity.

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat is a great costume for a parent and child.

Nancy Drew - Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew Series

You may be called upon to solve the mystery of who ate all my candy when you wear this costume. Snag a stylish plaid skirt from your local vintage store and pair it with a smart cardigan or sweater vest. White knee socks are a must. Accessorize with a headband, flashlight and a magnifying glass. Don’t forget a notebook for recording clues. 

Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan

This costume can be donned by anyone who isn’t ready to grow up. You’ll need a pair of green tights, a long green t-shirt, and a piece of rope for a belt. Artfully snip the hem of the shirt with some scissors to add a “Lost Boy” quality. Depending on your level of craftiness, add a DIY Pan hat made from folded green construction paper or green felt. Don’t forget the red feather.

Gregor Samsa - Franz

Kafka’s Metamorphosis

If you’re feeling existential this Halloween, dress up as a man-sized insect and do your best beetle impersonation. Use a headband, brown pipe cleaners and a glue gun to create your antennae. Dress yourself in a brown turtleneck and slacks, and borrow a pair of giant sunglasses from a friend to simulate bug-eyes. If time and enthusiasm permit, create a papier-mache shell to wear on your back. 

Hermione Granger / Harry Potter - JK Rowling’s Harry Potter Series

Potterheads unite with this fantastical costume. All you’ll need is an old black graduation robe, a white button-down shirt, and a striped necktie. All of these components are available at your local thrift store - you can even custom paint your tie to match your favorite Hogwarts House. Add a homemade wand out of any stick-like object. This costume is great for a group — dress up as the entire student body of the School for Witchcraft and Wizardry!

Man in the Yellow Hat and Curious George - H.A. Rey’s Curious George series

A great costume for a parent with a mischievous baby or toddler. The parent can wear a yellow long-sleeved shirt and yellow pants paired with an enormous yellow hat. Make your George costume out of a brown onesie or footie pajamas with a tail sewn on. Sew some felt monkey ears to a brown beanie. Don’t forget your banana!

Scout Finch - Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

Possibly the most challenging costume on this list, you’ll need plenty of time to papier-mache Scout’s incredible ham costume. Create a base from chicken wire and add many layers of sticky newspaper. Let the costume dry completely before you paint it brown and write “Ham” on the side in white letters. Bonus: paint your ham costume green and reuse it next year as Green Eggs and Ham!

The Greasers - S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders

Another excellent group costume, all you’ll need is a pair of blue jeans, a black leather jacket, and a bad attitude. Stay gold, Ponyboy.

More ideas: Waldo (from Where’s Waldo), Sherlock Holmes, Katniss Everdeen, Wilbur the Pig and Charlotte, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Princess Buttercup and Wesley.

Enjoy a safe, fun, and literary Halloween!

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