Something Wicked This Way Comes is a modern horror story focused on two thirteen-year-old boys who uncover menacing secrets at the carnival that has arrived in town. It was published in 1962 by American writer Ray Bradbury. Although most famous for his science fiction work (think Fahrenheit 451 or The Martian Chronicles), Ray Bradbury made a significant dent in the horror genre with Something Wicked, influencing later masters of the genre like Stephen King. He also made a significant cultural impact; the number of TV shows and songs that reference his novel is surprisingly large (we've got episodes of South Park ("Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes"), The Simpsons, and Doctor Who just to name a few). This popularity was no doubt escalated by Disney's 1983 movie adaptation of the novel.
Bradbury has a knack for writing about adolescents, and Something Wicked is as memorable as a coming-of-age story as it is as a horror novel. In this way, it stands in parallel to Bradbury's 1957 novel, Dandelion Wine. Both novels take place in the fictional Green Town, Illinois. Both feature two young boys (though not the same characters) on the cusp of adolescence. Both are written in a sort of magical realism, influenced by a young, imaginative way of looking at the world. The difference is that Dandelion Wine takes place in the summer and is a light, happy novel, while Something Wicked This Way Comes takes place in the autumn and is dark and eerie. It's interesting to read these novels as a pair for precisely this reason.
Reasons to Enjoy, Love, or Otherwise Care About Something Wicked This Way Comes: