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The Best Fantasy Kids Books

Looking for the best fantasy books?
Mighty Jack and the Goblin King
Written & illustrated by Ben Hatke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Like a bolt from the blue, Jack’s little sister Maddy is gone—carried into another realm by an ogre. When Jack and Lilly follow Maddy’s captor through the portal, they are ready for anything . . . except what they find waiting for them in the floating crossroads between worlds. Even the power of their magic plants may not be enough to get them back to earth alive. Alone and injured, Jack and Lilly must each face their own monsters—as well as giants who grind the bones of human children to feed their “beast” and a fearsome goblin king in the sewers down below. But when Jack finds himself in a tough spot, help comes from the most unlikely person: the goblin king! Ben Hatke, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Zita the Spacegirl, concludes his latest middle-grade fantasy-adventure graphic novel series, Mighty Jack, with the energetic finale to his retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Mighty Jack
Written & illustrated by Ben Hatke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Jack might be the only kid in the world who’s dreading summer. But he’s got a good reason: summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It’s a lot of responsibility, and it’s boring, too, because Maddy doesn’t talk. Ever. But then, one day at the flea market, Maddy does talk—to tell Jack to trade their mom’s car for a box of mysterious seeds. It’s the best mistake Jack has ever made. In Mighty Jack, what starts as a normal little garden out back behind the house quickly grows up into a wild, magical jungle with tiny onion babies running amok, huge, pink pumpkins that bite, and, on one moonlit night that changes everything…a dragon.

If I Were You
Written & illustrated by Leslie Margolis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Be careful what you wish for. A refreshing twist on the Freaky Friday set-up, If I Were You by Leslie Margolis is a fun, touching middle-grade story about friendship, family, and overcoming jealousy. Katie is jealous of her best friend, Melody. Turns out that Melody is jealous of Katie, too. It’s the end of what was supposed to be the best summer of their lives, before they start middle school, and the girls aren’t on speaking turns. They’ve had a big fight over-what else?-a boy. When the two girls wish for the exact same thing at the same moment-to redo the summer as each other-their wishes are granted. But, as the girls will learn, sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

The Nameless City: The Divided Earth
Written & illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

The Nameless City—held by the rogue Dao prince Erzi—is under siege by a coalition of Dao and Yisun forces who are determined to end the war for the Nameless City once and for all. And the people of the city—the “Named”—are caught in between. Meanwhile, Rat and Kai must infiltrate Erzi’s palace and steal back the ancient and deadly formula for napatha, the ancient weapon of mass destruction Erzi has unearthed—before he can use it to destroy everything Rat and Kai hold dear! In her third and final installment in the Nameless City trilogy, Faith Erin Hicks delivers a heart-thumping conclusion. With deft world-building, frantic battle scenes, and a gentle and moving friendship at its heart, the Nameless City has earned its place as one of the great fantasy series of our time.

The Stone Heart
Written & illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Kaidu and Rat have only just recovered from the assassination attempt on the General of All Blades when more chaos breaks loose in the Nameless City: deep conflicts within the Dao nation are making it impossible to find a political solution for the disputed territory of the City itself. To complicate things further, Kaidu is fairly certain he’s stumbled on a formula for the lost weapon of the mysterious founders of the City. . . . But sharing it with the Dao military would be a complete betrayal of his friendship with Rat. Can Kai find the right solution before the Dao find themselves at war?

  • The Nameless City - Every time it is invaded the City gets a new name, but to the natives in is the Nameless City, and they survive by not letting themselves get involved—but now the fate of the City rests in the hands of Rat, a native, and Kaidu, one of the Dao, the latest occupiers, and the two must somehow work together if the City is to survive.

  • The Unsinkable Walker Bean - In order to save his ailing grandfather from a curse, boy inventor Walker Bean must return an accursed pearl skull to the witches who created it, and face pirates, magical machines, and deadly peril along the way.

  • Unicorn of Many Hats - “A pink, bubble-gum bonbon of a tale spun of a likable, albeit self-centered, fourth-grader and her magical, self-obsessed, although sometimes-kind, unicorn.” —Kirkus Reviews Book seven in the Phoebe and Her Unicorn series! NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR! Marigold Heavenly Nostrils is no ordinary unicorn. She has Wi-Fi-enabled appendages. She’s the most enchanted babysitter of all time. She’s published numerous scholarly articles on the “shimmering” versus “glimmering” debate. She is, in short, a unicorn of many hats. Phoebe and her exceptional hooved pal are back in this all-new collection of comics! Laugh alongside the lovable duo as they question the idea of “coolness,” gain a deeper appreciation for the power of friendship, and put off summer reading assignments for as long as physically possible.

  • The Last Battle - Two ordinary objects turned a pair of brothers into superheroes. Now they’re banding together with their neighbors to take down the evil Trench once and for all in the final volume of this graphic novel trilogy. Tuck and Hudson have figured out how to wield the superpowers they got when their mom bought them an ordinary-looking pair of scarves and an umbrella at a yard sale. But Trench, their supervillain archnemesis, is only getting more powerful. Slowly, the brothers have discovered the others in their town who have superpowered objects from that same yard sale. Now Tuck and Hudson, along with their friend Elvira and their squirrel sidekick, Steen, are leading a band of heroes in the fight against Trench. This final volume of the graphic novel adventure series features the heroes’ last stand, with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

In The Trenches
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Two ordinary objects turned a pair of brothers into superheroes. Now they must fight the evil Trench right in their own neighborhood. When Tuck and Hudson return from their first adventure as the superheroes Stretch and Brella, they’re still reeling from the shock of their newfound powers. But there’s no time to slow down. Trench, a supervillain whose powers came from the very same garage sale where Tuck and Hudson found their magic scarves and umbrella, lives around the corner—and he’s out to get the brother superhero duo. With help from their squirrel companion, Steen, and another newly minted superhero, a neighborhood girl named Elvira, the brothers keep fighting the good fight, with plenty of action and adventure along the way.

Brothers Unite
Written & illustrated by Justin LaRocca Hansen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Tuck and Hudson are just two average suburban brothers—until their mother buys them a scarf and an umbrella at a yard sale. Quickly, the brothers realize that these ordinary-looking objects are full of magic, and that, with the help of their squirrel sidekick, they can use that magic to fight evil. As the boys move from fighting their neighborhood nemesis to facing bigger foes, they become Stretch and Brella, the unstoppable brother superhero duo. Soon, Stretch and Brella find themselves in another realm, where they take on enormous dragons and an evil knight in an incredible graphic novel adventure.

Flower Fairies of the Autumn
Written & illustrated by Cicely Mary Barker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Experience the beauty and the magic of Cicely Mary Barker’s famous Flower Fairies, with a new edition of Flower Fairies of the Autumn.

The magic and loveliness of Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies, newly rejacketed and updated with a contemporary look, is a perfect gift for Flower Fairies fans and a new generation of readers.

First published in the 1920s, Cicely Mary Barker’s original Flower Fairies books have been loved for generations. The book features poems and full-color illustrations of over 20 flowers and their guardian fairies.

The Beginner's Guide to Curses
Written by Lari Don
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When Molly Drummond finds herself in a curse-lifting workshop with four magical classmates - a kelpie, a dryad, a sphinx and a toad - she’s determined not to believe that she can be magically cursed. But whenever a dog barks, Molly suddenly becomes a small and very fast hare.

Ghost Queen
Written by Britt Wilson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Luey, Miri, and Phil don’t need a babysitter, but they might need an exorcist. With dad out of town and mom hosting an emergency yoga retreat everything was junk food and scary movies until the ghosts popped up. Now it’s up to the kids to banish the banshees. Britt Wilson presents another rollicking romp in this fun-filled, phantasmagorical fantasy.

Ghost Queen marks the second installment of Wilson’s Elsewhere series that takes the trappings of the fantasy genre and modernizes them. Moreover, these are stories devoid of any overt moralizing or lessons, rather they are wondrous, child-sized slices of escapism.

  • Night Air - Plus Man is a roguish knave without equal, an antihero in his own mind. His coolheaded robot, however, knows better. This odd couple has just been given a break: a tip on a score of valuable alloy. The catch? The alloy is in a haunted castle. One really haunted castle.

  • Estranged - Rising star author-illustrator Ethan M. Aldridge delivers a fantasy adventure with all the makings of a classic. Illustrated with over two-hundred pages of watercolor paintings, this epic graphic novel is perfect for fans of Amulet. Edmund and the Childe were swapped at birth. Now Edmund lives in secret as a changeling in the World Above, his fae powers hidden from his unsuspecting parents and his older sister, Alexis. The Childe lives among the fae in the World Below, where being a human makes him a curiosity at the royal palace. But when the cruel sorceress Hawthorne seizes the throne, the Childe and Edmund must unite on a dangerous quest to save both worlds—even if they’re not sure which world they belong to. “A splendid tale of faery magic and adventurous siblings, all told in gorgeously rendered watercolor panels: this is exactly my kind of thing.” —Ben Hatke, author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Zita the Spacegirl trilogy “It’s got dragons. It’s got drama. It’s got depth. And it’s got me impatiently awaiting Ethan M. Aldridge’s next eye-popping adventure.” —Tim Federle, award-winning author of Better Nate Than Ever and Five, Six, Seven, Nate! “A compelling story about finding identity in a world where magic dangers lurk just around the corner. I loved Estranged!” —Molly Ostertag, author-illustrator of The Witch Boy

  • Devils & Thieves - A thrilling new urban fantasy filled with magic and motorcycle gangs from Jennifer Rush, author of the Altered saga—perfect for fans of Beautiful Creatures. Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael has grown up surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn’t help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe, the dangerous and enigmatic leader of the Black Devils kindled motorcycle gang and the unofficial head of their turf. When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor begins spreading that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

  • Before the Devil Breaks You - The Diviners are back in this thrilling and eerie third installment by #1 New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray. New York City.1927.Lights are bright.Jazz is king.Parties are wild.And the dead are coming… After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They’re more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward’s Island, far from the city’s bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten—ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows. With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they’ve ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation—a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves. Heart-pounding action and terrifying moments will leave you breathless in the third book of the four-book Diviners series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray.

The Book of Nonsense
Written by David Michael Slater & illustrated by Mauro Sorghienti
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-16

Before there were books, there were Words of Power, and those who spoke them could rule the world… Dexter and Daphna Wax don’t quite fit in, even with each other. She loves reading, and he loathes it, but neither is pleased by their “special” thirteenth birthday gift, a ruined old book full of nonsense. But the moment it enters Daphna and Dexter’s lives, bizarre things begin to happen. Why is their father, who found the book, suddenly so distant? Is the old man who took it from him some kind of hypnotist? Why is a giant, red-eyed man-child menacing them? Now Dex and Daphna have to work together to stop the old man from ruining their lives. But as they unravel the secrets of the Book of Nonsense, they will discover the truth about their own extraordinary destiny.

Shadwos and Light
Written by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Anastasia Izlesou
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

A girl who changes into a hare to evade a cruel lover. One in a series of short stories that explore the deeper, darker side of our connection with the natural world.

Inspired by ancient folk tales and a love of nature. Be ready to feel a little bit of magic, and perhaps a few shivers down the spine.

Pilu Of The Woods
Written & illustrated by Mai K. Nguyen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

For fans of Hilda and the Troll comes PILU OF THE WOODS, a heartwarming and bittersweet story of friendship, loss, exploring complex emotions and finding your way home from debut creator Mai K. Nguyen.

Willow loves the woods near her house. They’re calm and quiet, so different from her own turbulent emotions, which she keeps locked away. When her emotions get the better of her one day, she decides to run away into the woods. There, she meets Pilu, a lost tree spirit who can’t find her way back home—which turns out to be the magnolia grove Willow’s mom used to take her to. Willow offers to help Pilu, and the two quickly become friends.

But the journey is long, and Pilu isn’t sure she’s ready to return home yet—which infuriates Willow, who’s determined to make up for her own mistakes by getting Pilu back safely. As a storm rages and Willow’s emotions bubble to the surface, they suddenly take on a physical form, putting both girls in danger… and forcing Willow to confront her inner feelings once and for all.

A Little Princess
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A Little Princess is a 1905 children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is a revised and expanded version of Burnett’s 1888 serialised novel entitled Sara Crewe: or, What Happened at Miss Minchin’s Boarding School, which was published in St. Nicholas Magazine. According to Burnett, she had been composing a play based on the story when she found out a lot of characters she had missed. The publisher asked her to publish a new, revised story of the novella, producing the novel. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.” It was one of the “Top 100 Chapter Books” of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal.

Sea Sirens
Written by Amy Chu & illustrated by Janet K. Lee
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Dive into this visually stunning, middle-grade graphic novel about a spunky Vietnamese American surfer girl and her cantankerous talking cat who plunge into a fantasy world of oceanic marvels . . . and mayhem!

Trot, a Vietnamese American surfer girl, and Cap’n Bill, her cranky one-eyed cat, catch too big a wave and wipe out, sucked down into a magical underwater kingdom where an ancient deep-sea battle rages. The beautiful Sea Siren mermaids are under attack from the Serpent King and his slithery minions–and Trot and her feline become dangerously entangled in this war of tails and fins.

This beautiful graphic novel was inspired by The Sea Fairies, L. Frank Baum’s “underwater Wizard of Oz.” It weaves Vietnamese mythology, fantastical ocean creatures, a deep-sea setting, quirky but sympathetic main characters, and fast-paced adventure into an imaginative, world-building story.

  • The Little Prince - “One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” Few books have been as universally cherished as The Little Prince, the haunting, lyrical fable that explores the very meaning of life. This deluxe seventieth anniversary gift set includes a hardcover book with the original full-color illustrations, along with two audio CDs (and exclusive download) of the unabridged text, narrated by Academy Award nominee Viggo Mortensen, beloved for his role as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Rediscover the beloved story that begins with a simple picture and blossoms into a spellbinding adventure. This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 4-5, Stories).

  • The Giver - A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

  • The Ghost in the Mirror - Mrs. Zimmermann hasn’t regained her powers from her last encounter with dark magic, and Uncle Jonathan and Lewis have left for the summer to travel, leaving her and Rose Rita bored and lonely at home. That is until Mrs. Zimmermann sees visions and shadows of her old magic teacher, Granny Wetherbee, trying to contact her from beyond the grave. Mrs. Zimmermann and Rose Rita set off to Pennsylvania to solve the mystery and in doing so travel back in time to Granny Wetherbee, who tells them that they must save a good wizard who is destined to die for a wrongdoing he didn’t commit.

  • Doctor Dolittle's Post Office - Doctor Dolittle’s Post Office is the third of Hugh Lofting’s Doctor Dolittle books. Set on the West Coast of Africa, the book follows the episodic format of most other books in the series. In the beginning of the book, Doctor Dolittle helps to capture a slave trader’s ship, then organizes the postal service of a small African kingdom, Fantippo, ruled over by King Koko. The postal program grows into a worldwide postal and publishing service for the benefit of animals everywhere.

Doctor Dolittle's Circus
Written & illustrated by Hugh Lofting
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Doctor Dolittle’s Circus, written by Hugh Lofting and published in 1924, is set in England sometime between the original story and the later voyages narrated by Stubbins. It was the fourth novel in the series which was adapted into the film Doctor Dolittle. The story begins with Doctor John Dolittle who is looking for some money to earn to pay off a voyage to Africa.

InterWorld
Written by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 13-17

When Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman and Emmy Award winner Michael Reaves teamed up, they created the bestselling YA novel InterWorld.
 
InterWorld tells the story of Joey Harker, a very average kid who discovers that his world is only one of a trillion alternate earths. Some of these earths are ruled by magic. Some are ruled by science. All are at war.
 
Joey teams up with alternate versions of himself from an array of these worlds. Together, the army of Joeys must battle evil magicians Lord Dogknife and Lady Indigo to keep the balance of power between all the earths stable. Teens—and tweens and adults—who obsessively read the His Dark Materials and Harry Potter series will be riveted by InterWorld and its sequel, The Silver Dream.

Eternity's Wheel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 13-17

The heart-pounding conclusion to the bestselling InterWorld series, from Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves, and Mallory Reaves! Eternity’s Wheel is full of time and space travel, magic, science, and the bravery of a young boy who must now face his destiny as a young man.

Joey Harker never wanted to be a leader. But he’s the one everyone is looking to now that FrostNight looms, and he’ll have to step up if he has any hope of saving InterWorld, the Multiverse, and everything in between.

The Sleeper and the Spindle
Written by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by Chris Riddell
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 13-17

In a beautiful collaboration, New York Times bestselling and Newbery and Carnegie Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman and Kate Greenaway-winning illustrator Chris Riddell have created a thrillingly reimagined fairy tale, “told in a way only Gaiman can” and featuring “stunning metallic artwork” (GeekInsider.com).

The result is a beautiful and coveted edition of The Sleeper and the Spindle that the Guardian calls “a refreshing, much-needed twist on a classic story.”

In this captivating and darkly funny tale, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have twisted together the familiar and the new as well as the beautiful and the wicked to tell a brilliant version of Snow White’s (sort of) and Sleeping Beauty’s (almost) stories.

This story was originally published (without illustrations) in Rags & Bones (Little, Brown, 2013). This is the first time it is being published as an illustrated, stand-alone edition, and the book is a beautiful work of art.

Gathering Blue
Written by Lois Lowry
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-17

Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.

As she did in THE GIVER, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, how people could evolve, and what could be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kira’s plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.

  • Son - They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice. Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

  • The Light of Days Young Readers' Edition - This young readers’ edition tells the remarkable story, lost to history until now, of the Jewish women who became resistance fighters during World War II. It has already been optioned by Steven Spielberg for a major motion picture. As their communities were being destroyed, a group of Jewish women and teenage girls in Poland began transforming Jewish youth groups into resistance factions. These “ghetto girls” helped build systems of underground bunkers, paid off the Gestapo, and bombed German train lines. At the center of the story is eighteen-year-old Renia Kukielka, who traveled across her war-torn country as a weapons smuggler and messenger. Other women who joined the cause served as armed fighters, spies, and saboteurs, all risking their lives for their missions. Adapted for young readers, this book is the incredible account of the strong Jewish women who fought back against the seemingly unstoppable Nazi regime. It follows the women through arrests, internment, and for a lucky few, into the late 20th century and beyond. This book includes an eight-page insert of black-and-white photos, so that kids can see firsthand the extraordinary women who bravely fought for their freedom in the face of overwhelming odds.

  • Graphix Book: Wings of Fire Graphic Novel #1: The Dragonet Prophecy, Volume 1 - Not every dragonet wants a destiny …

    Clay has grown up under the mountain, chosen along with four other dragonets to fulfill a mysterious prophecy and end the war between the dragon tribes of Pyrrhia. He’s not so sure about the prophecy part, but Clay can’t imagine not living with the other dragonets; they’re his best friends.

    So when one of the dragonets is threatened, all five spring into action. Together, they will choose freedom over fate, leave the mountain, and fulfill their destiny — on their own terms.

    The New York Times bestselling Wings of Fire series takes flight in this first graphic novel edition, adapted by the author with art by Mike Holmes.

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