Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to good and evil. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about good and evil.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about good and evil, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Perelandra to popular sellers like The Neverending Story to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Wishmakers.
We hope this list of kids books about good and evil can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
“Looking for a fantastically fast-paced and funny read? Your wish is granted!” —Chris Grabenstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
Twelve-year-old Ace’s life is about to change in the most unexpected and magical ways—all because of a peanut butter jar.
When he opens it, he inadvertently releases a genie named Ridge. Now a Wishmaker, Ace is given a week to complete a seemingly impossible quest, and if he fails the world will end in the most tragic (but cuddly) way imaginable.
Luckily, Ridge can help by granting Ace an unlimited number of wishes…as long as Ace is willing to accept the consequences. The bigger the wish, the greater the consequence. So, if Ace wants to avoid having pogo sticks for legs or his clothes turn invisible, he’ll have to be careful what he wishes for and get a little creative.
Perfect for fans of Dan Gutman and Max Brallier, this new middle grade series by Tyler Whitesides (author of the Janitors series) is a wonderful mix of unpredictable magic, zany humor, and daring adventure. You’ll wish it never ends!
New York Times bestselling authors and YouTube sensations Pat and Jen from the Minecraft-inspired channel PopularMMOs fall into a “hole” new world of adventure in their exhilarating second graphic novel. Fans of DanTDM: Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal and Minecraft: The Crash will love the second graphic novel from PopularMMOs, full of hilarious jokes, thrilling action, and all of your favorite characters in an exciting new setting.
After Pat and Jen saved Bomby, their cat Cloud, and one hundred friendly zombies from the clutches of Evil Jen and brought them home from the underworld, they thought their adventuring days were over. But ever since their return, more mysterious new holes have started appearing—and more and more of their friends have started disappearing! After Jen stumbles into one and Pat rushes after her, they find themselves trapped in a dark, dank boomium mine. Now Pat and Jen need to free their friends, figure out who’s behind this evil plot, and find a way to get back home—before it’s too late. In this sequel to their New York Times bestselling graphic novel, go on a brand-new adventure with PopularMMOs, one of the most popular YouTubers in the world with over 19 million subscribers and 12 billion views!
In this Caldecott Medal-winning tale set in Old Japan, a lively little woman who loves to laugh pursues her runaway dumpling—and must outwit the wicked three-eyed oni when she lands in their clutches.
“The pictures are in perfect harmony with the humorous mood of the story. . . . It’s all done with a commendable amount of taste, imagination, and style.”—School Library Journal (starred review)
“A beautifully convincing tale.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Using elements of traditional Japanese art, the illustrator has made marvelously imaginative pictures.”—The Horn Book
“Lent’s pictures are a lively blend of finely detailed, delicate drawings and rip-roaring good humor.”—The Boston Globe
“A good read-aloud with lots of suspense.”—Learning
Awards: ALA Notable Children’s Book Child Study Association Book of the Year The Horn Book Fanfare
Minecraft-inspired YouTube star PopularMMOs brings everyone’s favorite characters to life in a thrilling adventure to save their friend, battle the undead, and escape the hole new world they’ve crashed into with one unfortunate misstep. Fans of DanTDM: Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal and Zach King: My Magical Life will love this PopularMMOs graphic novel adventure, filled with hilarious jokes, thrill-a-minute action, and beloved characters. When Pat and Jen stumble into a hidden hole while playing hide-and-seek, they find that they’re trapped in a dangerous underworld and that their good friend, Bomby, has been kidnapped! Now it’s up to our daring duo and their “friend” Carter to battle the zombies, find the castle, and get back home before it’s too late. Can Pat and Jen find Bomby and flee the underworld before they get zombified by the evilest villain of them all—Evil Jen? One of the most popular YouTubers in the world, with over 13 million subscribers and 10 billion views, PopularMMOs brings together one magical unicorn, one talking cloud, an enormous golem, a dimwitted ship captain, and one oblivious cat in this heart-stopping adventure, as Pat and Jen try to rescue their friends from the zombie-filled new world they’ve fallen into with a single regrettable stumble.
Since becoming Kid Normal, Murph Cooper and the Super Zeroes – fellow students with arguably less-than-useful talents like the ability to conjure tiny horses from thin air – have been catching bad guys all over the place. But being a hero isn’t easy, especially when you can’t tell anyone about your epic adventures and your classmates still don’t believe you’ve got what it takes. And then, far away in a top-secret prison, the world’s most feared supervillain breaks his thirty-year silence. His first words? “Bring Kid Normal to me!” This supervillain was responsible for stealing the powers from some of the greatest Heroes Alliance members of all time. Does Murph have what it takes to bring him down? With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this laugh-out-loud story proves that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.
Dog Man: Fetch-22 - Petey the Cat is out of jail, and he has a brand-new lease on life. While Petey’s reevaluated what matters most, Li’l Petey is struggling to find the good in the world. Can Petey and Dog Man stop fighting like cats and dogs long enough to put their paws together and work as a team? They need each other now more than ever — Li’l Petey (and the world) is counting on them! Dav Pilkey’s wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of being true to one’s self.
The Wishbreaker - Ace and Ridge are back to save their friend—and the world—in this sequel to The Wishmakers. Being a Wishmaker may be more trouble than it’s worth. Sure, you get a genie who can grant an unlimited number of wishes, but for each one you make you have to accept an awful consequence in return. Not to mention that you’re also given an impossible quest and only seven days to fulfill it! Despite all that, Ace and his genie, Ridge, managed to complete their last mission—but they couldn’t save their friend Tina from being abducted by a rogue genie who’s bent on using his limitless power to rule the world. To rescue her, Ace must reunite with Ridge to become a Wishmaker once more, and they’ll need to team up with the unlikeliest of new allies. It’s not every day you get a second chance to save the world, so Ace is determined to learn from his past mistakes and wish for the best, literally. Perfect for fans of Max Brailler, Adam Gidwitz, and Dan Gutman, this middle grade series is a wonderful mix of unpredictable magic, zany humor, and daring adventure. “An ingenious premise” raved Kirkus in a starred review!
Live and Let Swim: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish - The name’s Goldfish. Zombie Goldfish. Fishy mayhem abounds with two more fin-tastic stories featuring our favorite (New York Times-bestselling!) zombie goldfish.
Casper Tock and the Everdark Wings - From bestselling author Abi Elphinstone comes a wondrous new series about four secret unmapped kingdoms hidden in our own world! Casper Tock hates risks and is allergic to adventures. So it comes as a nasty shock to him one day when he hides from bullies in an ancient grandfather clock—and ends up finding an entire world inside. Casper discovers that this sky kingdom of Rumblestar is one of the four Unmapped Kingdoms in charge of controlling the weather in Casper’s own world. What’s more, Casper is now stuck in Rumblestar, and the only person there who doesn’t think he’s a demon spy is a strange girl named Utterly, who hates rules and is allergic to behaving. All Casper wants is to find his way home, but Rumblestar is in trouble. An evil harpy called Morg is trying to steal the magic of the Unmapped Kingdoms. And if these kingdoms fall, Casper’s world will be destroyed as well. And so, together with Utterly and her miniature dragon, Arlo, Casper embarks on a quest full of cloud giants, storm ogres, and drizzle hags. Can he, Utterly, and Arlo—the unlikeliest of heroes—save both their worlds from the clutches of Morg?
The writer, in a dream, boards a bus on a drizzly afternoon and embarks on a incredible voyage through Heaven and Hell. He meets a host of supernatural beings far removed from his expectations and comes to significant realizations about the ultimate consequences of everyday behavior. This is the starting point for a profound meditation upon good and evil. “If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.
Danger lurks everywhere at Fablehaven, where someone has released a plague that transforms beings of light into creatures of darkness. In dire need of help, the Sorensons question where to turn, now that long trusted allies have been revealed as potential foes. Kendra embarks on a special mission that only she can attempt because of her new abilities as fairykind, while Seth stays behind and discovers an incredible new talent of his own. The siblings are put to the test as the threat grows both abroad and home at the Fablehaven preserve, and Brandon Mull spins his richest and most thrilling fantasy tale yet in this third title of the popular fantasy series.
Captain Awesome gets to meet his idol in this super special seventeenth adventure of the Sunnyview Superhero Squad! In this super special, Captain Awesome encounters his biggest villain yet! But just when all might be lost, someone lends a hand. And not just a regular hand. A super hand. Because it’s Super Dude! This super special is 160 pages packed with action! With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Captain Awesome chapter books are perfect for beginning readers!
The Guardians’ powers are put to the ultimate test in their final battle in this conclusion to the epic chapter book series from William Joyce. When we last saw the Guardians, they were celebrating their victory during Bright Night, the final great Battle of the Moon, where they defeated Pitch once and for all. Or so they thought. Now, many years later, the Guardians have settled into their final selves, embracing their public images and the Earth Holidays. But the world has not been without evil since Pitch’s imprisonment. First there was the World War, then The Crash which has led to what the humans call a Great Depression. All the Guardians feel the weight of these events, but Jack Frost—now half human, half of his former self Nightlight—feels it the most. Jack’s transition from Nightlight to Guardian was not an easy one. Always inclined to keep to himself, Jack has become especially isolated from the other Guardians since his transformation. Yet it is Jack who Ombric Shalazar (once a great wizard, now known as Father Time) trusts with a tremendous secret. But for Jack to fully understand this secret, he must revisit his past—and finally tell his story. Jack’s story, however, isn’t the only one to be reopened; an old enemy whose chapter we thought closed will reappear and with him bring a darkness and destruction that will test the Guardians like never before. It’s a battle of superlatives—the worse fighting the greatest, but where, oh where, is Jack?
When the most powerful weapon in the land of Prydain falls into the hands of Arawn, Lord of the Land of Death, Taran and Prince Gwydion rally an army to stand up to the dark forces.
The companions’ last and greatest quest is also their most perilous. The biting cold of winter is upon them, adding to the danger they already face. Their journey, fraught with battle and bloodshed, ends at the very portal of Arawn’s stronghold. There, Taran is faced with the most crucial decision of his life.
In this breathtaking Newbery Medal-winning conclusion to The Chronicles of Prydain, the faithful friends face the ultimate war between good and evil.
The Lost Books: The Scroll of Kings - “A page-turner of a fantasy with elements of humor as well as intrigue, swordplay, and librarian-versus-hostile-book combat.” —Booklist From Sarah Prineas, author of the acclaimed Magic Thief series, comes a stunning new tween fantasy where books literally come to life! The powerful Lost Books at the palace library are infecting the rest with an evil magic, and two unlikely friends must figure out who, or what, is controlling the books and their power. If they can’t, the entire kingdom could be at risk. Sarah Prineas returns to her classic middle grade roots with this imaginative, fast-paced adventure for book lovers everywhere.
E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core! - E. Aster Bunnymund uses his martial arts skills, his network of tunnels, and the help of MiM, Sand Mansnoozy, and Nicholas St. North to battle the Nightmare King, Pitch, who has sent a venomous serpent to attack Bunnymund’s royal guard of warrior eggs.
The Grey King - There is a Welsh legend about a harp of gold, hidden within a certain hill, that will be found by a boy and a white dog with silver eyes — a dog that can see the wind. Will Stanton knew nothing of this when he came to Wales to recover from a severe illness. But when he met Bran, a strange boy who owned a white dog, he began to remember. For Will is the last-born of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to saving the world from the forces of evil, the Dark. And it is Will’s task to wake-with the golden harp — the six who must be roused from their long slumber in the Welsh hills to prepare for the last battle between the Dark and the Light.
The Neverending Story - When it was published more than a decade ago, this special story within a story captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of readers worldwide. A lonely boy named Bastian is drawn into a beautiful but doomed world. Only Bastian can save this enchanted place of dragons, giants, monsters, and mysteries . . . but will he have to stay there forever? This beautifully repackaged hardcover classic will lure even more readers into its wondrous world.
For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.
Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken — Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good — powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most.
In The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis, one of the most renowned Christian authors and thinkers, examines a universally applicable question within the human condition: “If God is good and all-powerful, why does he allow his creatures to suffer pain?” With his signature wealth of compassion and insight, C.S. Lewis offers answers to these crucial questions and shares his hope and wisdom to help heal a world hungering for a true understanding of human nature.
A super-secret operative saves the world from a diabolical threat through her ability to brandish just the right book at just the right time in this delightfully silly superhero tale illustated by Eisner Award-winner and Caldecott Honoree Vera Brosgol. When an evil genius has a diabolical plan to destroy every book on the planet, who has the tome-toting page power to thwart his dastardly scheme? Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian! She’s got the gadgets. She’s got the disguises. And she’s always got the right book at the right time. It’s a good thing, too, because Lyric McKerrigan is the world’s last hope! Jacob Sager Weinstein and Vera Brosgol introduce a smart and crafty heroine who is part comic-book hero, part reader extraordinaire, and wholly awesome.
When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad robots are coming to collect the little guy for nefarious purposes, and it’s all up to a five-year-old armed only with a wrench and a fierce loyalty to her mechanical friend to save the day! #1 New York Times Bestselling author Ben Hatke brings his signature sweetness to a simple, moving story about friendship and overcoming fears that will appeal to readers of all ages.
For anyone who loved Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, this is a humorous and important book about learning to follow your heart and proving that kindness can outweigh villainy any day.
Maximillian Villainous is a monster who doesn’t have the heart to be a villain. His famous family pulls pranks on the likes of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and Max spends his time undoing them. So when he brings home a bunny to be his sidekick, Max’s disapproving mother hatches a plan. She challenges Max and the bunny to become a devious duo; otherwise . . . the bunny hops. If they want to stay together, Max and the bunny have no choice but to go against their nature. They blunder into villainy with comical effect until Max discovers that embracing his good heart may just be the key to pulling off the most devious deed of all and winning his family’s acceptance.
Delightfully fun and irreverent, Maximillian Villainous is an empowering story about embracing one’s true self and finding acceptance. Up and coming illustrator Lesley Breen Withrow brings the characters to life with bold and colorful illustrations in a style reminiscent of Richard Scarry.
The Chosen Ones - Effie and her gifted friends—Raven, Maximillian, Lexy, and Wolf—embark on another adventure to save the world from the evil Diberi. The second book in the magical Worldquake trilogy, that’s “tailor-made for Harry Potter’s fans” (Kirkus Reviews), will leave you utterly entranced.
Greenwitch - Simon, Jane, and Barney, enlisted by their mysterious great-uncle, arrive in a small coastal town to recover a priceless golden grail stolen by the forces of evil — Dark. They are not at first aware of the strange powers of another boy brought to help, Will Stanton — nor of the sinister significance of the Greenwitch, an image of leaves and branches that for centuries has been cast into the sea for good luck in fishing and harvest. Their search for the grail sets into motion a series of distubing, sometimes dangerous events that, at their climax, bring forth a gift that, for a time at least, will keep the Dark from rising.
Mysticons: Quest for the Codex - An action-packed chapter book novelization based on Nickelodeon’s hit animated series about four girls who transform into legendary warriors. To save their realm from an evil, undead queen, the girls embark upon a search for a magical item known as the Codex.
Phase Three: MARVEL'S Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 - Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the action-packed adventures of Peter Quill, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer as they unravel the mystery of Peter’s true parentage. This middle grade book will tell the full story of the movie set to rock the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
The second book in C. S. Lewis’s acclaimed Space Trilogy, which also includes Out of the Silent Planet and That Hideous Strength, Perelandra continues the adventures of the extraordinary Dr. Ransom. Pitted against the most destructive of human weaknesses, temptation, the great man must battle evil on a new planet — Perelandra — when it is invaded by a dark force. Will Perelandra succumb to this malevolent being, who strives to create a new world order and who must destroy an old and beautiful civilization to do so? Or will it throw off the yoke of corruption and achieve a spiritual perfection as yet unknown to man? The outcome of Dr. Ransom’s mighty struggle alone will determine the fate of this peace-loving planet.
An extra ordinary boy ends up at an extraordinary school for children with super powers in the first book in a new series from the author of Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja.
The first book in C. S. Lewis’s acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice, and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Once on the planet, however, Ransom eludes his captors, risking his life and his chances of returning to Earth, becoming a stranger in a land that is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity. First published in 1943, Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force.
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.
“The first book in a middle grade series about three young heroes who go on a quest to save a collection of magical books from an evil villain who plans to dominate the world”—
The Apprentice Witch - A special middle grade debut of magic and courage in a world of witches, written with the charm and enchantment of Circus Mirandus and The Apothecary. Arianwyn has flunked her witch’s assessment: She’s doomed. Declared an apprentice and sent to the town of Lull in disgrace, she may never become a real witch— much to the glee of her arch-rival, Gimma. But remote Lull is not as boring as it seems. Strange things are sighted in the woods, a dangerous infestation of hex creeps throughout the town, and a mysterious magical visitor arrives with his eye on her. With every spirit banished, creature helped, and spell cast, Arianwyn starts to get the hang of being a witch—even if she’s only an apprentice. But the worst still lies ahead. For a sinister darkness has begun to haunt her spells, and there may be much more at stake than just her pride . . . for Arianwyn and the entire land.
Most People - Michael Leannah wrote Most People as an antidote to the scary words and images kids hear and see every day. Jennifer Morris’s illustrations provide the perfect complement to Leannah’s words, leading us through the crowded streets of an urban day in the company of two young children. We see what they see: the hulking dude with tattoos and chains assisting an elderly lady onto the bus; the business man helping the girl who has fallen from her bike; the family showing concern for the homeless woman; all the myriad interactions of daily life. Most People is a comforting response to the dreadful news reports that surface far too often in our world today.
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos - Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London. Her father may be head curator, but it is Theo—and only Theo—who is able to see all the black magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts in the museum. When Theo’s mother returns from her latest archaeological dig bearing the Heart of Egypt—a legendary amulet belonging to an ancient tomb—Theo learns that it comes inscribed with a curse so black and vile that it threatens to crumble the British Empire from within and start a war too terrible to imagine. Intent on returning the malevolent artifact to its rightful place, Theo devises a daring plan to put things right. But even with the help of her younger brother, a wily street urchin, and the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers, it won’t be easy . . . she quickly finds herself pursued down dark alleys, across an ocean, through the bustling crowds of Cairo, and straight into the heart of an ancient mystery. Theo will have to call upon everything she’s ever learned in order to prevent the rising chaos from destroying her country—and herself!
My FANGtastically Evil Vampire Pet - This epic spin-off of Mo O’Hara’s New York Times bestselling My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series features an aspiring evil scientist, paranormal pets, and plenty of hilarious summer camp shenanigans. Welcome to Camp Mwhaaa-haa-ha-a-watha! This summer is going to be epic. Epically evil, that is. ‘Cause I’m going to Evil Scientist Summer Camp! No annoying little brothers. No annoying zombie goldfish. Just me, my best friend Sanj, our notebook of evil plans, and my truly evil (and totally forbidden) vampire kitten Fang. We’ve got it all planned out. Okay, so maybe I didn’t expect for the totally not-evil Geeky Girl to show up, or for Sanj to find a new partner to work with, but there’s no way I’m going to let them ruin my summer. Evil Emperor of the Camp, here I come! Signed, The Great and Powerful Mark
For every parent tired of telling their kids to PLEASE JUST GET ALONG, this hilarious and imaginative new picture book—from the beloved creators of Babymouse—is here to help. Sort of. Meet the Evil Princess and the Brave Knight. She casts terrible spells, while he fights dragons. He rescues cats in distress, while she makes mischief. No wonder there isn’t much peace in this kingdom! But is the Evil Princess really so evil? And is the Brave Knight truly as chivalrous as he seems? Children and parents will laugh at seeing familiar family dynamics play out in this charming and imaginative new story.
Modo, who first made his appearance in The Hunchback Assignments, is a young, disfigured spy trained to be the ultimate secret agent. Not only is Modo brilliant and strong, but he also has a special ability: he can temporarily take on the appearance of other people. While on holiday, Modo and fellow spy Octavia Milkweed find themselves in Ember’s End. Created by the slightly mad scientific genius Dr. Ebenezer Ember, this is no ordinary wild-west town. It is surrounded by an energy field that prevents gunpowder from firing, and messages are sent via pneumatic tubes. There are also rumors that before Dr. Ember died, he built a weapon so powerful it could end all wars. With the local sheriff recently deceased, the two travelers are suddenly put in charge of Ember’s End law enforcement.
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.
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