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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

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Written by J. K. Rowling & illustrated by Mary GrandPré
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A special new edition in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, with a stunning new cover illustration by Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick. There is a door at the end of a silent corridor. And it’s haunting Harry Potter’s dreams. Why else would he be waking in the middle of the night, screaming in terror? It’s not just the upcoming O.W.L. exams; a new teacher with a personality like poisoned honey; a venomous, disgruntled house-elf; or even the growing threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Now Harry Potter is faced with the unreliability of the very government of the magical world and the impotence of the authorities at Hogwarts. Despite this (or perhaps because of it), he finds depth and strength in his friends, beyond what even he knew; boundless loyalty; and unbearable sacrifice. This gorgeous new edition in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone features a newly designed cover illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick, as well as the beloved original interior decorations by Mary GrandPré.

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The Little Rabbit
Written & illustrated by Nicola Killen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From beloved author/illustrator Nicola Killen comes an enchanting spring story about a magical friendship between a little girl and her stuffed rabbit who comes to life, lovingly told and illustrated in limited color with lovely foil and interactive die cut pages.

Ollie and her favorite friend bunny have been waiting for the rain to stop and spring to come, and at long last the sun arrives. Ollie puts on her rain boots, wraps bunny in a warm scarf, and the two set off for exploring. Then a sudden breeze whispers past and bunny’s nose twitches and their magical adventure begins…

The Little Rabbit is sure to enchant and charm young readers and is great for sharing with a friend.

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The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes
Written by Wade Albert White & illustrated by Mariano Epelbaum
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A thrilling debut novel where fantasy and science fiction meet, dragons aren’t as innocent as they look, and nothing is quite what it seems.

Anne has spent most of her thirteen years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin’s Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope, and new questing partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles, and triumph over monstrous foes—or face the horrible consequences.

Packed with action, humor, and endless heart, this debut novel marks the first volume in an irresistible and original fantasy series.

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The Magic Misfits
Written by Neil Patrick Harris & illustrated by Lissy Marlin and Kyle Hinton
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!)

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The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel
Written & illustrated by Natasha Lowe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Penderwicks meets Edward Eager in this charming coming of age tale about a young witch found in a flowerpot who’s on a journey to discover her roots.

The morning Nora Ratcliff finds a baby in the flowerpot on her front steps her life changes forever. She had always wanted a child, but after her husband passed away, Nora never thought she would have one, but her flowerpot child was a miracle and she decided to name her Mabel. As Mabel grew up, she showed a distinct talent for magic.

When Mabel is accepted to the prestigious witch school, Ruthersfield Academy, she excels at the magic curriculum but is constantly in trouble for experimenting and inventing her own potions. One day she is asked to write a paper on her magical roots and discovers the truth about her birth after a mean classmate blurts out what everyone seems to know except Mabel. Mabel is shocked but the revelation does explain a lot. In rebellion, Mabel changes her name to Magnolia and tries to understand why she was left in the flowerpot and who her birth family might be.

Will Mabel find the answers she’s looking for—or will she discover that families are people who love each other and look after each other and that’s most important of all.

The Collectors book
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The Language of Spells book
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Journey book
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A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans book
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  • The Collectors - 2019 Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book"Original, brave, and addictive."--Adam Gidwitz, bestselling author of the Newbery Honor Book The Inquisitor's TaleFast-paced, witty, and riveting, this contemporary fantasy adventure has magic woven through every page. The Collectors begins an enchanting two-book series from Jacqueline West, the New York Times-bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere series. For fans of Serafina and the Black Cloak, The Isle of the Lost, and The Secret Keepers. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.
    Van has always been an outsider. He's hard of hearing, collects trinkets, and lives with his single mother--an opera singer with a huge personality. Then one day, Van notices a girl stealing pennies from a fountain, and everything changes. He follows the girl, Pebble, and uncovers an underground society full of wishes and the people who collect them. Not all wishes are good and even good wishes often have unintended consequences, and the Collectors have made it their duty to protect us. But they aren't the only ones who have their eyes on the world's wishes--and they may not be the good guys, after all. Jacqueline West spins a story about friendship, magic, and the gray area between good and evil. The Collectors is for fans of Cassie Beasley's Circus Mirandus and Jonathan Auxier's The Night Gardener. Booklist calls it, "A brilliant fantasy adventure exploring the consequences of getting what you wish for."--Adam Gidwitz, bestselling author of the Newbery Honor book The Inquisitor's Tale

  • The Language of Spells - 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.

  • Journey - 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.

  • A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans - Fans of How to Train Your Dragon will love this whimsical tale, the first in a series, by a Newbery Honor winner, featuring charming illustrations and pet “training tips” in each chapter. Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet—a ridiculous notion! Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie’s sketchbook is not what it seems. Somehow, her sketchlings have been set loose on the city streets! It will take Winnie and Miss Drake’s combined efforts to put an end to the mayhem . . . before it’s too late. This refreshing debut collaboration by Laurence Yep, a two-time Newbery Honor winner and a Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winner, and Joanne Ryder features illustrations by Mary GrandPré.

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Circus Mirandus
Written by Cassie Beasley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather. The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn’t want to keep his promise. And now it’s up to Micah to get the miracle he came for.

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The Infinity Year of Avalon James
Written by Dana Middleton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Avalon James and Atticus Brightwell have a secret—one that they aren’t allowed to discuss with anyone. This secret is shared between two best friends. When you and your best friend turn ten years old magical things are said to happen. You both will receive some kind of magical power. It can be a power you can call on time and time again. Or it can be a power that comes once when you need it most. It’s your Infinity Year and the possibilities are endless.

The past year hasn’t been great with her family being torn apart and bullying at school, so Avalon is depending on her magical ability to appear soon and help. With the clock ticking and her eleventh birthday approaching, which would be the end of her powers, Avalon’s hopes are running high. Will she and Atticus get the powers they so desperately want and need?

Dana Middleton’s debut novel is a wonderfully enchanting story of the possibility of magic and the even more magical bond between two best friends.

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The Lost Stone
Written by Jordan Quinn & illustrated by Robert McPhillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Welcome to the Kingdom of Wrenly—a new chapter book series full of fantasy and adventure.

Meet Lucas, the eight year-old prince, and Clara, the daughter of the queen’s seamstress. Lucas is an only child who longs to make friends and go on adventures. Clara knows the kingdom well, so she and Lucas team up and explore the lands of Wrenly!

In The Lost Stone, Lucas and Clara search for Queen Tasha’s missing emerald. On their exciting adventure, they travel to all the main attractions of Wrenly: Primlox (the island of fairies), Burth (the island of trolls), Crestwood (the island of dragons), Hobsgrove (the island of wizards), and the beautiful Mermaid’s Cove. King Caleb has promised to reward the person who finds the precious stone, and Lucas and Clara are determined to search the entire kingdom until they find it!

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

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The Secret Garden
Written by Brooke Jorden & 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!

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Sea Monster!
Written by Jordan Quinn & illustrated by Robert McPhillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Troubled waters ahead! Lucas and Clara search for a scary sea monster in this third chapter book in the fantastical Kingdom of Wrenly series.

Something has been making waves around Wrenly, and it’s not the tides. Prince Lucas is sure that it’s the mysterious sea monster that has only been heard of in tall tales. Now the legendary monster is frightening everyone—from fishermen, to the king’s men, to even the hardiest of sea captains. With the aid of his best friend, Clara, and a cast of unlikely helpers, it’s up to Prince Lucas to discover what is bothering the beast—and make the trouble stop!

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

Anya and the Nightingale book
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Honey Moon Shiver book
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Thieves of Weirdwood book
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The Girl and the Dinosaur book
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  • Anya and the Nightingale - The adventure continues in this exciting sequel to Anya and the Dragon_ in which a dangerous monster lurks beneath the city and only Anya can keep him from taking her friends’ magic—and their lives. Perfect for fans of _The Girl Who Drank the Moon. It’s been a year since a violent Viking terrorized the small village of Zmeyreka and Anya and her foolish friend Ivan saved a friendly dragon from being sacrificed for his magic. But things still aren’t safe in the kingdom of Kievan Rus’.  After embarking on a journey to bring her papa home from war, Anya discovers a powerful forest creature terrorizing travelers. But she soon learns that he’s not the monster the kingdom should fear. There’s an even greater evil that lurks under the city. 
     
    Can Anya stop the monster, save her papa, and find her way home? Or will the secrets of Kiev leave Anya and her friends trapped beneath the city forever?

  • Honey Moon Shiver - “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.

  • Thieves of Weirdwood - Artemis Fowl meets The Spiderwick Chronicles in this brand-new middle-grade fantasy series brimming with action, humor, and monsters beyond imagining. Twelve-year-olds Arthur and Wally are determined to steal their way up the ranks of the notorious Black Feathers gang. With loan sharks chasing after Arthur’s father and Wally’s brother’s hospital bill due, they’re in need of serious cash. When Arthur spots some wealthy strangers exiting a derelict mansion, he smells an opportunity for a big score. Little do the boys realize, they’ve stumbled upon Weirdwood Manor, the headquarters of a magical order who protect the Balance between the Real and Imaginary worlds. When Kingsport is besieged by nightmarish Imaginary monsters, it’s up to these young thieves to save their city.

  • The Girl and the Dinosaur - This evocative, beautifully illustrated picture book celebrates one girl’s limitless imagination, perfect for fans of the Fan Brothers. Anything is possible and nothing’s as it seems . . . In a town by the seaside, Marianne is often seen digging for buried treasure on the beach. One day, she finds the most wonderful treasure of all—a dinosaur skeleton! That night, Marianne makes a wish upon a star that her dinosaur will come to life. She wishes it with all her heart—and it comes true. Together, Marianne’s adventures with her new friend are limited only by their imagination. This enchanting picture book will take you on a magical journey far beyond the page.

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Emma and the Blue Genie
Written by Cornelia Funke & illustrated by Kerstin Meyer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Setting a genie free from a bottle that washes up from the ocean, Emma and her noodle-tailed dog help the genie reclaim his magic nose ring from an evil yellow genie who has stolen all of his powers. By the best-selling author of Inkheart. Simultaneous eBook.

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Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair
Written by Alice Kuipers & 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.

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Marigold Star
Written & illustrated by Elise Primavera
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Elise Primavera comes an imaginative young middle grade fantasy adventure bubbling with wit and whimsy. Marigold Star is destined for greatness. Everyone in Bramblycrumbly thinks so, her parents and pet dragon included. There’s just one problem. Marigold can’t do magic! Then one day she tries a new spell written in a very old book. It’s called the Invis-O-Friend Spell, and it makes Marigold invisible to all but the friend who needs her most. To Marigold’s surprise, the spell works! But now there’s another problem. The spell sent Marigold to the human world. And to return home, she’ll have to befriend a host of human children who are struggling to make friends. Marigold will have to hurry, or the line between her magical world and the human one might crumble until she has no home left to go back to.

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Nightfall
Written by Shannon Messenger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A New York Times bestselling series A USA TODAY bestselling series A California Young Reader Medal–winning series

Sophie and her friends face battles unlike anything they’ve seen before in this thrilling sixth book of the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Sophie Foster is struggling. Grieving. Scrambling. But she knows one thing: she will not be defeated.

The Neverseen have had their victories—but the battle is far from over. It’s time to change tactics. Make sacrifices. Reexamine everything. Maybe even time for Sophie to trust her enemies.

All paths lead to Nightfall—an ominous door to an even more ominous place—and Sophie and her friends strike a dangerous bargain to get there. But nothing can prepare them for what they discover. The problems they’re facing stretch deep into their history. And with time running out, and mistakes catching up with them, Sophie and her allies must join forces in ways they never have before.

In this spectacular sixth book in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must uncover the truth about the Lost Cities’ insidious past, before it repeats itself and changes reality.

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The Sea Pony
Written by Paula Harrison & illustrated by Sophy Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Grace works to save her beloved sea ponies from the evil Lady Cavendish in this sixth book in the adorable Secret Rescuers series. Grace loves the beautiful sea ponies that live in the warm, clear waters around her village. So when she finds out that cruel Lady Cavendish is sailing out to catch the ponies, Grace needs her new friends, Maya and Sophy, to help her save them. But will their rescue plan work? And will Grace ever be able to talk to her favorite sea pony?

The  Shadow  Thieves book
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The Magic Fox book
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  • The Shadow Thieves - Alli must risk everything to save her new family from a rogue organization that is threatening the Thieves Guild’s existence—and the lives of all its members—in this high-stakes sequel to Rules for Thieves.Alli Rosco, former orphan and thief, is free after her disastrous Thieves Guild trial, which left an innocent woman dead while Alli’s partner-in-crime, Beck, fled.Now Alli is getting more than just a fresh start: her long-lost brother, Ronan, has come forward to claim responsibility for her and let her live with him on a trial basis. They try to mend the rift that started when Alli was dropped off at the orphanage while Ronan became a lawyer in Ruhia. But as determined as she is to make things work, Alli can’t seem to stay out of trouble.To make matters worse, Alli finds a surprise guest on her doorstep one night: Beck.He’s on the run and brings news of the Shadow Guild, a rogue organization that is trying to overthrow the current king of the Thieves Guild. Their friends are in real danger. And Beck needs Alli’s help one more time to bring the Shadows down.Once again, Alli is forced to make a hard choice: save her friends, or lose her last chance to have a true family.

  • The Magic Fox - When Sir Fitzroy and his soldiers march into town and demand that all magical creatures be captured and taken away, Poppy races to help a family of magical foxes escape.

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