Magic and enchantment abound—and a few fantastic creatures—in these tales.
Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
You may not like this book if: You already love the Harry Potter books
Charlie Bone discovers he has a knack for magic and gets shipped off to Bloor Academy, a school for the magically gifted, where he finds a connection to the mythical Red King.
The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron
You may not like this book if: Memory loss as a plot device really annoys you
Spoiler: Emrys is Merlin, Yes, that Merlin, the one serves the legendary King Arthur. But right now, Emrys can’t remember anything about who he is. Half-blinded and stranded on the island of Fincayra, Emrys will have to save the island if he ever wants to remember who he really is.
The Magic Hill by A.A. Milne
You may not like this book if: You don’t like fairy tales
Poor Princess Daffodil is cursed: Wherever she walks, flowers bloom. Confined to her rooms to keep the castle grounds and village tidy, Daffodil longs to play outside.
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
You may not like this book if: You’re not that interested in magical creatures
What would you do if you found out your grandparents were running a secret preserve for magical creatures? Kendra and Seth aren’t supposed to know, but an accidental discovery plunges them into the battle of good versus evil.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin
You may not like this book if: You prefer lots of action to lots of introspection
Young Sparrowhawk has a natural talent for magic, but his sense of responsibility isn’t as great. When he tampers with long-hidden magic, he must battle dragons, wizards, and ultimately himself to restore balance to the world.
Outside, Over There by Maurice Sendak
You may not like this book if: You’re spooked by things like goblins and kidnapping
Ida’s father is away at sea and her mother is pining for him, so when goblins kidnap her little sister, Ida is the only one who can save her.
The Magicians of Caprona by Diana Wynne Jones
You may not like this book if: You like to have everything that happens spelled out for you
Tonino Montana’s and Angelica Petrocchio’s families have been sworn enemies in an alternate, un-united Italy for as long as anyone can remember. But when the two children are kidnapped by a villain with nefarious intent, Tonino and Angelica will have to work together to save themselves and the rest of the world.
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
You may not like this book if: You don’t like it when you have to keep reading the series to get all the answers
Assistant Pig Keeper Taran is an unlikely hero, but with the help of an enchantress-in-training, a clumsy king-turned-bard, a dwarf who can’t make himself invisible, and a furry creature named Gurgi, he’ll have to save the mythical land of Prydain from the Death-Lord Arawn.
The Wish Giver: Three Tales of Coven Tree by Bill Brittain
You may not like this book if: You like the bad guy to get his comeuppance in the end
Thaddeus Blinn sells wishes—but when you press your thumb on his magical cards, you’d better be darn careful what you wish for.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
You may not like this book if: You’re not ready for violence and adult situations
Tristran impulsively promises to catch a falling star for the woman he loves, but when he follows the star’s path, he finds plotting lords, flying ships, dark curses, and a flesh-and-blood star who holds the key to his heart’s desire.
The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
You may not like this book if: You don’t like fantasy that’s as think-y as it is action-y
For some children, turning 11 means getting a new bicycle. For Will Stanton, it means discovering that he’s one of the Old Ones, a warrior on the side of the Light in its ongoing battle against the forces of the Dark.
The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart
You may not like this book if: You’re looking for an epic read
A little broomstick, an enigmatic cat, and a wildflower called a fly-by-night take Mary on a grand adventure to a spooky school for witches. Luckily, Mary discovers that she’s smart and brave enough to take them on.
Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
You may not like this book if: You’re looking for a hero with magic powers
Magic is an everyday thing in Abby’s world — so she’s crushed when she discovers that she’s an Ord, a non-magical person. In a world where Ords are shunned or sold off to adventurers looking for quest assistants who are impervious to magic, Abby lucks into a spot at a special school for non-magic kids.