You will not have the ability to take them off

Whether children embarking on epic adventures, discovering special powers, making friends with magical creatures or falling into mythological stories, fantasy books for children attract readers and keep them addicted. The publishing market has exploded in recent years with diverse and engaging fantasy options for elementary and middle school readers. If you want to add some newer mid-range fantasy options to your shelves (alongside classics like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and of course Land of Stories) this list is for you!

(Just a warning, WeAreTeachers may use the links on this page to collect a share of sales. We only recommend items that our team loves!)

1. Upside-Down Magic series by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins

For kids who love the idea of ​​Hogwarts but are not quite ready to read about Harry and his crew on their own, this series is a must. The students in the upside-down magic class at Dunwiddle Magic School have to cope with the unexpected results of their sometimes “shaky” magic. In addition to the high level of approval from the children, we like the fact that this series is sensitive to topics related to different abilities.

2. Dragons in a Bag series by Zetta Elliot

Urban fantasy is such an important sub-genre as teachers work to improve representation in their classroom libraries. Follow Jax and a diverse cast from Brooklyn as they try to take care of a range of (fast growing!) Baby dragons!

3. Magical Reality by Nadia von Bassem Youssef and Catherine R. Daly

This new series opener is bursting with thoughtful topics – identity, prejudice, bullying, friendship – and of course magic! When Nadia’s souvenir amulet from Egypt comes to life, it reveals an ancient Egyptian teacher eager to share his wisdom.

4. The extremely uncomfortable adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty

When pirates kill ten-year-old Bronte Mettlestone’s parents, her instructions for her daughter in the event of her death are … unusual. Each chapter describes an adventurous, enigmatic journey to bring a gift to one of Bronte’s many aunts.

5. The year I flew away from Marie Arnold

Imbued with magical realism, this immigration story is not your typical fantasy book for children. Gabrielle just wants to adjust when she moves from Haiti to New York City. When a witch offers her three wishes to make this happen, the terms and conditions involved seem to be well worth it.

6. Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

Reviewers celebrate this book as “eerie with emotion”. With a nod to Dominican mythology, it’s a fresh Ghostbusters story. A few friends have to work to save their community from evil spirits.

7. The crypt duology by Lija Fisher

Clivo only learns the whole truth about his father’s job until his father dies and he has to carry on his legacy as a cryptic catcher who finds hard-to-find monsters. Fast-paced and unique, this two-part series will definitely spark children’s interest.

8. Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older

It’s the Civil War era and dinosaurs roam the streets of New York as soldiers battle birds of prey in the south ?! Amid these unexpected scenes, Magdalys Roca and her crew from the Colored Orphan Asylum must be both brave and smart as they try to rescue their friends captured by a rogue magistrate. This fantastic twist on American history will spark the imagination of children.

9. Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier

When Nan, a young orphan, wakes up after surviving a terrible fireplace fire, she realizes that she is not alone. A golem – a monster made of soot and ashes – has appeared and will be her companion. Captivating historical fantasy.

10. Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations, 1) by BB Alston

Amari is our new favorite regular child that is actually magical! This series opener combines social issues of prejudice and privilege with many magical adventures.

11. Lev Grossman’s Silver Arrow

If you love The Chronicles of Narnia but are looking for something new, this is your book! This story is full of British charm, talking animals and enchanted railroad lines.

12. Sal and Gabi break the universe of Carlos Hernandez

Solving relatable friendship problems, Sal and Gabi truly bring the Miami’s Cuban community to life – all while conjuring up deceased family members and playing with time and space. This series is part of the Rick Riordan Presents collection, which promotes fantasy books for children with diverse voices and cultural influences. You will definitely want to try the entire collection.

13. Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend

Morrigan Crow is a winning character who many readers have compared to Harry Potter. She is an underdog who has the chance to travel to a magical world and change her fate – and she takes it with courage and wit. The audio books also received rave reviews.

14. Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series by Sayantani DasGupta

Kiranmala grew up with her parents’ Indian myths, but she never thought they would come true – in her kitchen on her twelfth birthday. Soon she gets into an adventure that surpasses her wildest dreams.

15. Root Magic by Eden Royce

Jezebel “Jez” Turner learns that her family’s tradition of “root work”, African American folk magic, is more than she thought. Set in the southern Jim Crow era, this powerful story weaves magical realism into rich historical context.

16. The Fowl Twins range from Eoin Colfer

Artemis’ younger twin brothers star in this spin-off of the popular Artemis Fowl series. It’s just as smart, fun, and readable as the original books!

17. A Tale of Magic series by Chris Colfer

For kids who couldn’t get enough of the iconic Land of Stories books, this spin-off will keep them fed up. Or read it as a prequel to the original series. Either way, there are plenty of fairytale wonders and some dark twists and turns.

18. A wish in the dark from Christina Soontornvat

This fantastic Les Misérables-inspired story is steeped in Thai culture and has strong social justice themes. It’s a great choice for book clubs.

19. Victor Piñeiro’s time villains

This series opener has so many elements kids love: pirates, story, humor, and loads of action! If a magical table brings Blackbeard the Pirate to a dinner party tonight, how are Javi, best friend and sister going to send it back where it belongs?

20. The Overthrow series by Kenneth Oppel

Not for the faint of heart! Those who like the creepier side of fantasy books for kids will love these tales of poisonous carnivorous plants, giant insects, and aliens – and the brave teenage friends at the center of it all.

Are you excited to share these fantasy books for kids? Also see:

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