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Friendship and Magic: Books For Kids

Reading about friendship helps us learn how to be a good friend. While friendship can change as we age, it's essence remains the same; friendship is loyalty, fun, communication, support, compassion, and love. Enjoy our list of our favorite books showing the joy, journeys, hardships, and value of friendship! We hope you might even make a few (book) friends along the way.

“Reading for me, is spending time with a friend.” – Gary Pauls

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone book
#1
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Written by J. K. Rowling
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The Magic Misfits book
#2
The Magic Misfits
Written by Neil Patrick Harris and illustrated by Kyle Hinton, Lissy Marlin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From award-winning actor, Neil Patrick Harris, comes the magical first book in a new series with plenty of tricks up its sleeve. When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on. After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded illusionists. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they'll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso's villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series. (Psst. Hey, you! Yes, you! Congratulations on reading this far. As a reward, I'll let you in on a little secret... This book isn't just a book. It's a treasure trove of secrets and ciphers and codes and even tricks. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll discover more than just a story--you'll learn how to make your own magic!)

Journey book
#3
Journey
Written and illustrated by Aaron Becker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship. A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

Honey Moon Shiver book
#4
Honey Moon Shiver
Written and illustrated by Joyce Magnin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

"Honey Moon is in a terrible pickle. She borrowed her mother's precious silver locket without permission and now the family heirloom has gone missing. Honey suspects it was taken by one of her best friends. She sets out to find the necklace before her mother notices it's gone. Along the way, Honey meets Shiver, who turns out to be much more than the owner of the newest popsicle shop in Sleepy Hollow. With Shiver's guidance and a bit of magic, Honey is able to track down the locket and learn the importance of telling the truth and the power of forgiveness."--Amazon.com.

The Secret Garden book
#5
The Secret Garden
Written by Brooke Jorden and illustrated by David Miles
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Join Mary, Dickon, and Colin on their heartwarming journey of friendship and gardening magic. Filled with interactive wheels and pull-tabs, and lavishly illustrated, The Secret Garden is an unprecedented kid's introduction to Frances Hodgson Burnett's beloved classic novel. Unlike many board books that tackle the classics, Lit for Little Hands tells the actual story in simple, engaging prose. Gorgeous springtime illustrations transport the reader to the gardens and halls of Misselthwaite Manor, while tons of interactive elements invite kids to help Mary discover the secret garden, make friends, and help Colin walk! Fans of the novel will be delighted by the book's attention to detail and clever use of original text and dialogue. And the book's super-sturdy board means everyone can enjoy this tale over . . . and over . . . and over again! The magic of the secret garden will return each time you read!

The Language of Spells book
#6
The Language of Spells
Written by Garret Weyr and illustrated by Katie Harnett
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Grisha is a dragon in a world that's forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she's perfectly ordinary. They're an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone's forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone? And is there a way to save them? At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.

Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair book
#7
Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair
Written by Alice Kuipers and illustrated by Diana Toledano
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Polly and her magic book, Spell, have all kinds of adventures together because whatever Polly writes in Spell comes true! But when Polly and Spell join forces to make the school fair super spectacular, they quickly discover that what you write and what you mean are not always the same. Filled with the familiar details of home and school, but with a sprinkling of magic, this book is just right for fans of Ivy + Bean, Judy Moody, and Dory Fantasmagory, as well for aspiring writers, who, just like Polly, know the magic of stories.

The Baby Firebird book
#8
The Baby Firebird
Written by Paula Harrison and illustrated by Sophy Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

In a land far, far away, a small group of animal lovers work to keep magical creatures safe from the grasp of the evil Sir Fitzroy in this third book in the brand-new Secret Rescuers chapter book series! Talia lives in a tropical rainforest that is home to a flock of magical firebirds. One day she meets a baby firebird and they become best friends. But the firebirds are in terrible danger. Can Talia and her friend Lucas protect the firebirds, and save their home from destruction?

Wish Upon a Sleepover book
#9
Wish Upon a Sleepover
Written and illustrated by Suzanne Selfors
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A group of misfits has a sleepover that involves a scavenger hunt and slightly magical soup in this story of newfound friendship in unexpected places.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn in the Magic Storm (Phoebe and Her Unicorn) book
#10
Phoebe and Her Unicorn in the Magic Storm (Phoebe and Her Unicorn)
Written by Dana Simpson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

It all started when Phoebe skipped a rock across a pond and accidentally hit a unicorn in the face. Improbably, this led to Phoebe being granted one wish, and using it to make the unicorn, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, her obligational best friend. But can a vain mythical beast and a nine-year-old daydreamer really forge a connection?

The Tragical Tale of Birdie Bloom book
#11
The Tragical Tale of Birdie Bloom
Written by Temre Beltz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A hilarious and heartwarming stand-alone middle grade debut, The Tragical Tale of Birdie Bloom is a whimsically fractured fairy tale perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Adam Gidwitz. In the fairy-tale kingdom of Wanderly, everyone has a role. Birdie Bloom is a Tragical—an orphan doomed to an unhappy ending. Agnes Prunella Crunch is a witch. The wicked kind. In Wanderly, a meeting between a witch and a Tragical can only end one way: tragically. But with the help of some mysterious Winds, a few wayward letters, and a very unusual book, the two might just form the kingdom’s unlikeliest friendship—and together, rewrite their story into one that isn’t very Tragical at all.

Sif and the Dwarfs’ Treasures book
#12
Sif and the Dwarfs’ Treasures
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the authors of the Goddess Girls series comes the second book in a brand-new series steeped in Norse mythology, magic, adventure, and friendship. Twelve-year-old Sif is goddess of the harvest, with her abilities woven into her long, blonde hair. She also has special prophetic powers—she is a seer—but is reluctant to share them after a mishap years ago caused a big rift in a friendship that meant a lot to her. And Sif is determined to not let that happen again! But when the mischievous Loki cuts her hair in a horrible prank gone wrong, Sif orders Loki to fix it. Without her hair, the crops in the land of Midgard—which supplies the wheat for food in Asgard Academy as well—are in danger of dying off. With Sif and Freya, Loki goes to ask for help from the dwarfs, specifically, the sons of Ivaldi who are all skilled blacksmiths and strikes a bargain with them. They hammer and spin gold into fine golden strands along with a spear and a ship that will grow to full size once in water. On his way back through the cave, Loki gets an idea for how to get more treasures by playing one set of dwarfs off against another. Envious of the work of the sons of Ivaldi, the dwarfs Brokk and Eitri say they can do better. Loki replies that he doesn’t think they can and that, furthermore, he’ll stake his head on it. Is that a bet that Loki will regret? And will Sif be able to restore her magical powers to prevent the drought in Midgard?

Moon Shadow book
#13
Moon Shadow
Written and illustrated by Erin Downing
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Thirteen-year-old Lucia Frank discovers that she can become the girl she’s always wanted to be with the help of a little “moon magic” in this charming novel about the value of friendship, family, and finding yourself. Lucia Frank has never had time for her mom’s “new age” nonsense. She doesn’t believe in any of that stuff. All she wants is to figure out how to get her best friend, Will, back and cope with her parents looming divorce. But then something strange happens on the night of her thirteenth birthday. When the eclipsed moon slips into the shadow of the earth, Lucia’s Shadow slips out. Now hidden in a moonstone, the Shadow waits for Lucia to sleep so it can come out to play. Lucia’s Shadow seems unlike her in almost every way: daring, outspoken, and unwilling to let anyone push her around. But it actually isn’t the anti-Lucia…in fact, her Shadow is very much like the person Lucia wishes she could be. At first, Lucia is eager to undo whatever magic happened on her birthday so life can get back to normal. But when she realizes her Shadow is doing and saying things she has only dreamed about, she wonders if maybe things aren’t all bad. With a little help from her Shadow, she’s turning into the kind of girl she’s always wanted to be.

Zach King: Mirror Magic book
#14
Zach King: Mirror Magic
Written by Zach King
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Zach King, the award-winning social media superstar with nearly 25 MILLION fans, is back with the third and final magical installment in his hilarious, fun-filled trilogy about Zach, a seventh grader trying to control his new magical powers. Features color graphic novel sections and an augmented reality app that brings the illustrations to three-dimensional life! BIG NATE meets DANTDM in the third magical middle grade adventure by social media superstar Zach King. Since Zach finally recovered his magical powers, middle school has never been better—he’s teaming up with his best friend, Aaron, on their super-popular YouTube channel and talking to the nicest, smartest, prettiest girl in school, Rachel. But when Zach magically “passes through” a magical mirror, he lands in a world that is the exact opposite of everything he’s ever known. Instead of finding himself at Horace Greeley Middle School, he’s at Horace Greeley MAGIC School. And in this world of opposites, everyone here has magic except him. Even worse, Zach is stuck in this world AND his alter-ego, the newly magical Jack, has passed in to Zach’s world and now living his life and getting into all sorts of trouble. Fortunately, Zach can always count on his friends—even this mixed-up magical world’s versions of them! If he can just convince the guys about the truth of his world-jumping misadventure, Zach knows, they’ll work together to figure out how to put everyone back where they belong—before it’s too late. It’s another hilarious adventure from the online and Instagram sensation Zach King. The book comes complete with a free downloadable augmented reality app that animates the illustrations in the book, bringing them to full three-dimensional life.

Magic Molly book
#15
Magic Molly
Written and illustrated by Marty Kelley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

After going to a magic show, Molly decides that she wants to be a real magician, and she hopes that her father's old magic kit may help her master some real magic in time to put on a show for Sharing Time at school--aiming big, she would really like to be able to saw her best friend in half (and of course put her back together).

Aleca Zamm Fools Them All book
#16
Aleca Zamm Fools Them All
Written and illustrated by Ginger Rue
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Aleca Zamm, an ordinary ten-year-old with an extraordinary talent, finds a new friend and has to rescue her Aunt Zephyr from a teleportation crisis in this hilarious third novel in the Aleca Zamm chapter book series. Aleca Zamm knows she’s not the only Wonder at school with a magical ability. Third grader Ford Kimble is a Wonder as well. Ford is able to see people as they used to be in the past and as they will be in the future. He can time travel! Well, sort of! Aleca starts hanging out with Ford to discuss their magical abilities, which makes Aleca’s best friend, Maria, jealous. Aleca even forgot the first meeting of the Secret Pals Club, Maria and Aleca’s new idea for a club that performs secret good deeds for bullied kids! Worse, Maria is onto Aleca’s secret of being a Wonder. She definitely suspects something, but Aleca has sworn to Aunt Zephyr that she won’t tell anyone about her magical ability. Plus, Aunt Zephyr’s ability to teleport is starting to deteriorate along with her age, and Aunt Zephyr’s about to throw in the towel on being a Wonder for good. Can Aleca and Ford figure out how to get Aunt Zephyr’s magical powers back? And can Aleca save her friendship with Maria while still keeping her magical powers a secret?

My Magical Mermaid book
#17
My Magical Mermaid
Written by and illustrated by Yujin Shin
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

In this interactive mermaid novelty book, readers spin a wheel to animate the character on the front cover. Sparkly holographic foil creates a truly impressive effect as the mermaid's tail seems to flow with magical energy! More interactive mechanisms are featured inside the book. Push, pull, spin, and slide your way through the mermaid's enchanted underwater world as she plays with her friends. With gentle rhymes, bright colors, and a bit of sparkle and shine, this magical mermaid is sure to delight!

More than a Princess book
#18
More than a Princess
Written by E.D. Baker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Aislin of Eliasind is more than just a princess -- she's half-fairy and half-pedrasi, with magical gifts from each side of her heritage! One day, as Aislin is venturing through the woods, she is alarmed to hear a band of humans coming through. How did they get past the guarded magical passageway that leads to her hidden kingdom? Mistaken for a human herself, Aislin is captured, and soon realizes she's in even bigger trouble--she's being used as a pawn to help the king of this nearby kingdom, Morrain, find a secret passageway to the warring land of Scarmander, so he can capture his enemies by surprise. Aislin must find a way to break free, while also minding the beautiful human princess and ladies-in-waiting she now shares a castle with, who are all too ready to point out her differences. Thankfully, Aislin's inner strength goes beyond her magical qualities. And with a few loyal friends by her side, she's ready to stand up for herself and her kingdom once and for all. A classic and original fairy-tale that celebrates beauty and goodness in all its shapes and sizes, More than a Princess will resonate with readers who love magic, suspense, girl power, and adventure.

Rocky Zang in the Amazing Mr. Magic book
#19
Rocky Zang in the Amazing Mr. Magic
Written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Erwin Madrid
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Abracadabra! Kalamazoo! Rocky and Judy astound and amaze in the Greatest Backyard Magic Show on Earth! Rocky is perfecting the tricks for his magic show when Judy Moody offers to be his assistant. Rocky agrees, but it turns out that Judy — or Stella the Spectacular as she calls herself — is the most UN-spectacular assistant ever. When she gets ketchup all over the magic rabbit, the Amazing Mr. Magic has had enough! Is Rocky’s magic good enough to mend his and Judy’s friendship? From Megan McDonald comes a Judy Moody story just right for newly independent readers.

The Road to Ever After book
#20
The Road to Ever After
Written by Moira Young
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A young boy escorts an elderly woman back to her childhood home where she plans to die in this funny and heartbreaking middle-grade novel. Davy David, an orphan, lives by his wits in the dead-end town of Brownvale. When a stray dog named George turns Davy’s life upside down just days before Christmas, Davy sets in motion a chain of events that forces them to flee. A mischievous wind blows the two of them to a boarded-up museum on the outskirts of town where they meet the elderly recluse, Miss Flint. She has planned one last adventure before her time is up and hires the reluctant Davy and George to escort her. As they travel, the most peculiar thing begins to happen—Miss Flint gets younger and younger with every mile, and her story unfolds along with it. The Road to Ever After by Moira Young is magical and moving adventure about an unlikely friendship and an unforgettable journey. Praise for The Road to Ever After: "Gorgeous writing combines with a hauntingly bleak near-future setting, a whiff of holiday magic, and a transcendent story arc to make this novel feel like the classic it deserves to become." —Publishers Weekly, starred review "This fairy tale-like novel has good potential as a read- aloud and is just quirky enough to not be sentimental." —School Library Journal

Angel and Bavar book
#21
Angel and Bavar
Written by Amy Wilson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Taking inspiration from “Beauty and the Beast,” Amy Wilson’s second middle grade novel is a stunning modern fairy tale of magic, friendship, and finding the courage to fight for what matters most. After the death of her parents, Angel has a lot to get used to: a new home, a new family, a new school. The last thing she’s interested in is making new friends. Until she meets Bavar, a strange boy who slips through the shadows, a boy who might understand her nightmares. But Bavar doesn’t want to let anyone in. Everyone—and everything—in his enchanted house is already urging him to step up and protect the world from a magical rift and the fearsome monsters traveling through it, a responsibility he wishes he could ignore. Then Bavar discovers that the monsters are the same ones that killed Angel’s parents. Determined to stop the creatures for good, he reluctantly accepts Angel’s help. Together, Angel and Bavar must find the courage to stand up for each other and themselves to repair the rift between worlds…before it’s too late.

The Song From Somewhere Else book
#22
The Song From Somewhere Else
Written by A.F. Harrold and illustrated by Levi Pinfold
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Frank thought her summer couldn't get any worse--until big, weird, smelly Nick Underbridge rescues her from a bully, and she winds up at his house. Frank quickly realizes there's more to Nick than meets the eye. When she's at his house, she hears the strangest, most beautiful music, music which leads her to a mysterious, hidden door. Beyond the door are amazing creatures that she never even dreamed could be real. For the first time in forever, Frank feels happy . . . and she and Nick start to become friends. But Nick's incredible secrets are also accompanied by great danger. Frank must figure out how to help her new friend, the same way that he has helped her. Paired with gorgeous black-and-white illustrations from Levi Pinfold, acclaimed author A. F. Harrold weaves a powerful story about unlikely friendship, strange magic, and keeping the shadows at bay. Awards for The Song from Somewhere Else A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017 A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2017

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator book
#23
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Written by Roald Dahl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the bestselling author of Matilda and The BFG! Last seen flying through the sky in a giant elevator in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie Bucket’s back for another adventure. When the giant elevator picks up speed, Charlie, Willy Wonka, and the gang are sent hurtling through space and time. Visiting the world’’ first space hotel, battling the dreaded Vermicious Knids, and saving the world are only a few stops along this remarkable, intergalactic joyride.

Angel & Elf: Snowy Magic book
#24
Angel & Elf: Snowy Magic
Written and illustrated by Sam Williams
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Elf's dreaming of a white Christmas. "It's not the same without snow," he sighs wistfully. Angel wants to make Elf's wish come true. So she uses her magic, and soon . . . SNOW! Lots of snow, falling faster and getting deeper. But when Santa's workshop nearly gets snowed under, even Elf has to admit it's too much. But will Angel's magic be enough to stop the storm?

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!