Thursday, August 03, 2017

Fantasy Book List for Ages 8-Teen

Pin It Now!

  Fantasy Book List  

 Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, so naturally I couldn't help but choose these types of books to read aloud to my kids. I lOVED reading aloud, and my kids loved gathering around and listening. We've made such wonderful memories going on all kinds of "paper" adventures! 

I imagine anyone clicking on this post already knows what fantasy entails, but let me define anyway:

Per Wikipedia - "Fantasy is a fiction genre set in an imaginary universe, often but not always without any locations, events, or people from the real world. Most fantasy uses magic or other supernatural elements as a main plot element, theme, or setting. Magic and magical creatures are common in many of these imaginary worlds."
Yes, we've read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Harry Potter. But I haven't listed these books since they are super popular and everyone has already heard of them. I've tried to include books that maybe everyone hasn't heard of. Hopefully, you will find some new titles that pique your interest.

I steer clear from books that contain pronograhic or sexually explicit text. However, some of the books, especially the ones for older kids, may contain some romance.

I also hate books that have foul language, but sometimes that is difficult to avoid entirely. I've tried to note which books I remember having some language.

All descriptions and most of the age ranges are copied straight from Amazon. My personal notes are in italics.

I've read all of the books except for a few series I've noted at the very end. The ones with * are the ones I've read out loud to my kids, but some books I've read aloud with just my daughter. The ones with * have free study questions to go along with the books.

Just a heads up: I do tend to like some fantasy on the more creepy side, like Coraline, for instance. I'd say all the books listed deal with good vs. evil, though.

Fantasy Book List

Ages 10 & Up (Unless noted otherwise)

* Puddlejumpers



Ernie Banks, named for the legendary Chicago Cub shortstop, is a troubled, 13-year-old juvenile delinquent.  Abandoned on the doorstep of the Lakeside Home for Boys when he was three years old, he’s now considered a “lifer,” a permanent ward of the state.  His only proof that he once belonged to somebody is a vintage Ernie Banks baseball card, a crystal acorn he wears on a string around his neck, and a strange spiral birthmark on the bottom of his right foot.

As a last reprieve before being sent to a juvenile detention facility, Ernie is allowed to spend three weeks on a working farm.  When Ernie arrives at the home of Russ Frazier, he learns that the widower’s baby was kidnapped years before.  The single piece of evidence was a red quilt found in a puddle in the nearby woods.  Fascinated by the town’s famous “Quilt Baby” kidnapping, Ernie is determined to solve the case.  He teams up with Joey, a local tomboy, to investigate clues that lead them on a dangerous journey into a forbidden world of dark secrets, magic puddles, and the cavernous underground kingdom of the Puddlejumpers— eleven-inch tall water creatures with whom Ernie has a mysterious connection.

When destiny summons, Ernie must find the courage to save the Puddlejumpers from the Most Dark and lead them in battle against their mortal enemies.  Only then can he find his way home.

I remember all of us liking this story.

Mark of the Thief (Book 1)



 When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods -- magic some Romans would kill for.

Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic's newfound powers for their own dark purposes.

In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire's most powerful and savage leaders.

Rise of the Wolf (Mark of the Thief Book 2

Nic may have escaped enslavement in the mines outside of Rome, but his troubles are far from over. The Praetor War -- the battle to destroy Rome from within -- is in full force, and Nic is caught in the crossfire. The secretive Praetors are determined to unlock a powerful amulet -- one sure to bring the empire to its knees. Worse, the Praetors believe Nic holds the key to finding this amulet, and they will stop at nothing to steal it, even if that means harming the people Nic holds most dear.

When the Praetors capture Nic's mother, Nic knows he must do anything to save her. He challenges the Praetors to a chariot race. If he wins, they will release his mother. But if he loses, he must hand over a magic that will certainly bring about the end of Rome -- as well as his own life. Can Nic once again harness his magic and gather the strength to defeat his enemies? Or will he lose his mother and bear witness to Rome's destruction?

While books about this time period and setting aren't my favorite, I like Jennifer Nielsen's writing style.

The Shadows (The Book of Elsewhere Vol. 1)



This house is keeping secrets . . .

When eleven-year-old Olive and her parents move into the crumbling mansion on Linden Street and find it filled with mysterious paintings, Olive knows the place is creepy—but it isn’t until she encounters its three talking cats that she realizes there’s something darkly magical afoot. Then Olive finds a pair of antique spectacles in a dusty drawer and discovers the most peculiar thing yet: She can travel inside the house’s spooky paintings to a world that’s strangely quiet . . . and eerily sinister. But in entering Elsewhere, Olive has been ensnared in a mystery darker and more dangerous than she could have imagined, confronting a power that wants to be rid of her by any means necessary. With only the cats and an unusual boy she meets in Elsewhere on her side, it’s up to Olive to save the house from the shadows, before the lights go out for good.

More book are in this series, but I think I only read aloud the first one. Cute story.

* The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop



 Enter a world filled with magical chocolate, evil villains, and an adventure twins Lily and Oz never could have dreamed. . . .

Lily and Oz Spoffard have just inherited a magical house with a mysterious boarded-up chocolate shop on the ground floor. The twins’ great-great-uncles were famous chocolatiers, and their chocolate was ANYTHING but ordinary. In fact, it had magical properties.

Now an evil gang is after the secret recipe, and it’s up to Lily and Oz to stop them. The fate of their family, and the world, depends on it.

I think this one might have a few minor curse words in it. It was a fun story, though, and we visited a candy store afterward.

The Stone Mage Wars: Journey to the Fringe (Book 1)



Long ago, Stone Mages were revered in Lyria. They were men and women who could use powerful tradestones to harness their unique gifts of wind, rain, and earth to help those around them. But war with the Southern realm has threatened the mages with extinction. The truth about the tradestones has been lost, and the remaining magic is dwindling.

When Princess Ivy, the beloved daughter of the king, is abducted, it seems that all hope for Lyria is lost as well. But when an unlikely group of loyal subjects embarks on a dangerous journey to the far-distant Fringe, the hope of restoring crown and kingdom is renewed. Among the group is Simon, a fool with wisdom beyond his years; Gilda, a nonmagical witch; Burr, a young thief; and Merrick, a jaded sea captain. Their quest will test their courage, their strength, and their friendship.

But at the Fringe, they encounter a truth that will change everything they thought they knew about themselves, and this small band of heroes must embrace the power that is their birthright and stand together as Stone Mages of Lyria.

Dormia



Introducing Alfonso Perplexon, hero of the epic fantasy tale Dormia!

Alfonso Perplexon is an unusual sleeper. He climbs trees, raises falcons, even shoots deadly accurate arrows, all in his sleep. No one can figure out why.

Then one evening a man arrives at Alfonso’s door, claiming to be Alfonso’s long-lost uncle Hill. This uncle tells a fantastical tale: Alfonso’s ancestors hail from Dormia—an ancient kingdom of gifted sleepers—which is hidden in the snowy peaks of the Ural Mountains. According to Hill, Dormia exists thanks to a tree known as the Founding Tree, with roots that pump life into the frozen valley. But the Founding Tree is now dying, and in a matter of days, Dormia faces an icy apocalypse.

Dormia’s salvation lies with the Great Sleeper, who possesses the special powers to enter a sleep trance and grow a new Founding Tree. Hill suspects that Alfonso is just such a person. In fact, Alfonso’s sleeping-self has already hatched this tree. Now the question is: Can Alfonso and his uncle deliver it in time? They must hurry, but they also must be careful not to be followed by Dormia’s age-old enemy, the Dragoonya, who are always hunting for one of the secret entryways into Dormia.

Alfonso agrees to take the tree to Dormia, and thus begins one of the greatest adventures a twelve-year-old boy could ever wish for.

This book is book 1 in a 3-book series, but I am pretty sure that I only read the first one. So, I'm not including the other 2, since I'm sticking to books we've actually read. I do remember enjoying this book. The title is a Latin word, so this would be a plus for kids studying that language. :)

The Ascendance Trilogy: The False Prince, The Runaway King, The Shadow Throne



 In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together. An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

This series is one of my favorites. In fact, I've read it twice. I have a thing for young adult fiction!

Dreamhouse Kings: House of Dark Shadows (Book 1)



 When the Kings move from L.A. to a secluded small town, fifteen-year-old Xander is beyond disappointed. He and his friends loved to create amateur films . . . but the tiny town of Pinedale is the last place a movie buff and future filmmaker wants to land.

But he, David, and Toria are captivated by the many rooms in the old Victorian fixer-upper they moved into--as well as the heavy woods surrounding the house.

They soon discover there's something odd about the house. Sounds come from the wrong directions. Prints of giant, bare feet appear in the dust. And when David tries to hide in the linen closet, he winds up in locker 119 at his new school.

Then the really weird stuff kicks in: they find a hidden hallway with portals leading off to far-off places--in long-ago times. Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen's dream come true . . . or his worst nightmare.

There are 6 books in this series, but I only read the first one. Both of my boys read the entire series.

Darkest Age Series Book 1: The Coming of Dragons

(ages 9+)

 

Edmund, a king's son in disguise, and Elspeth, a sea captain's tomboy daughter, are the only two survivors of a terrible shipwreck. They just want to go home, but fate has other plans as they are drawn into the fight against an evil warlord terrorizing their homeland. Accompanied by a mysterious minstrel and haunted by magical powers they did not seek, Edmund and Elspeth journey across a savage land of wild boars, fierce rogue knights, and black magic. Fantasy fans will devour this dramatic tale of mystery, wonder, and the power of friendship.

Darkest Age Series Book 2: The Book of the Sword



Snatched by a dragon at the end of book one, Edmund and Elspeth awake to find themselves soaring over the frozen wastes of the Snowlands, hundreds of miles from home.

Escaping the dragon's clutches, they are discovered in the soft snow by Fritha. a charcoal burner's daughter. Edmund wants her help to arrange a passage home, but Elspeth has other ideas. The sword is speaking to her, filling her thoughts more and more. It's destiny is nearby, the purpose for which is was hewn, and where the sword goes, Elspeth must follow, increasingly under it's spell.

Edmund and Fritha refuse to let Elspeth travel alone, and so they set out together on a perilous route to Eigg Loki, the mountain which is drawing Elspeth and the sword, and to the dark secrets which lie at its heart.

Darkest Age Series Book 3: The Circle of Stone



 Loki has been set free, and as Edmund and Elspeth search for the ancient god, they encounter mysterious symbols carved into stone instead of the fire and destruction they expected. The path may lead them into a trap, but with help from their friends, and faith in themselves, Edmund and Elspeth will face Loki one last time in this powerful conclusion to the popular Darkest Age trilogy.

* Splendors and Glooms

(ages 9+)

 

 Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz brings her sorcery to a Victorian gothic thriller — an enthralling, darkly comic tale that would do Dickens proud.

The master puppeteer, Gaspare Grisini, is so expert at manipulating his stringed puppets that they appear alive. Clara Wintermute, the only child of a wealthy doctor, is spellbound by Grisini’s act and invites him to entertain at her birthday party. Seeing his chance to make a fortune, Grisini accepts and makes a splendidly gaudy entrance with caravan, puppets, and his two orphaned assistants.

Lizzie Rose and Parsefall are dazzled by the Wintermute home. Clara seems to have everything they lack — adoring parents, warmth, and plenty to eat. In fact, Clara’s life is shadowed by grief, guilt, and secrets. When Clara vanishes that night, suspicion of kidnapping falls upon the puppeteer and, by association, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall.

As they seek to puzzle out Clara’s whereabouts, Lizzie and Parse uncover Grisini’s criminal past and wake up to his evil intentions. Fleeing London, they find themselves caught in a trap set by Grisini’s ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it’s too late.

Newbery Medal winner Laura Amy Schlitz’s Victorian gothic is a rich banquet of dark comedy, scorching magic, and the brilliant and bewitching storytelling that is her trademark.

It's been years since I read this book aloud to my kids, but I do remember some language in the text. If I'm reading aloud, I skip over any offensive language. Also, this tale seemed a bit darker than others we've read aloud. We did like the story and we had fun discussing what we thought about the title and coming up with some of our own titles to fit the book.

* The Waterstone



In the tradition of epic fantasy fiction comes a breathtaking adventure peopled by unforgettable characters - in a mythical world threatened by an unspeakable secret.

The world is drying. Twelve-year-old Tad - who is only a few inches tall - doesn’t even notice it at first. Busy practicing with his new spear, arguing with his sister, Birdie, and living the normal life of a youngling of the Fisher Tribe, he thinks little of a stream slowed to a trickle here, a pond suddenly dwindling there.

But Tad begins to have strange flashbacks - glimpses of the past that he knows can’t possibly be his own. With these "rememberings" haunting him, he and Birdie begin an adventure marked by great sorrows, fierce battles, and unbreakable friendships. In this remarkable rite of passage, Tad grows to know who he really is and what his destiny holds. For only he can restore the water and save the forests and animals and Tribes.

Only he can retrieve the Waterstone.

I just loved this book! I remember reading it first and then writing questions for my kids to answer. Link to The Waterstone Study Questions

* The Dragon of Lonely Island

(ages 8+)

 

Hannah, Zachary, and Sarah Emily are spending the summer at their great-aunt Mehitabel's house on faraway Lonely Island. There, in a cave hidden high above the ocean, they discover a fabulous creature: a glittering three-headed golden dragon with a kind heart, an unpredictable temper, and a memory that spans 20,000 years. Transported by the magic of the dragon's stories, the children meet Mei-lan, a young girl in ancient China; nineteenth-century cabin boy Jamie Pritchett; and, in more recent times, Hitty and her brother, Will, who survive a frightening plane crash on a desert island. In this fluidly written novel, Rebecca Rupp explores what three children from the present learn from the past - and from an unlikely but wise and generous friend.

* The Return of the Dragon (Dragon of Lonely Island)

(ages 8+)



In the long-awaited follow-up to THE DRAGON OF LONELY ISLAND, three adventurous children find further intrigue on a tiny Maine island where a talkative three-headed dragon lives out its days.

With their parents off to London on a special trip, Hannah, Zachary, and Sarah Emily are thrilled to be going back to Aunt Mehitabel's house on Lonely Island. Though their favorite aunt can't join them, they know their tummies will soon be filled with Mrs. Jones's mouthwatering cookies and their minds full of Fafnyr, the fabulous creature they befriended last summer. The glittering three-headed dragon remains safely hidden in a cave high above the ocean, waiting for the children's return.

But is Fafnyr's hiding place safe? As the children nervously discover, a white yacht is now anchored off the private island, and a crew led by billionaire J. P. King has been scouring onshore, supposedly watching birds. The children have promised to keep Fafnyr's existence a secret, but it's hard to know if the smooth-talking Mr. King is friend or foe. Only Fafnyr's own stories can lead the Dragon Friends to the heart of the mystery, as they teach the children to think more clearly, to make the right decisions - and to discover what's worth fighting for.

* Journey to the Blue Moon

(ages 8+)



Time gets out of hand in a witty, suspenseful new fantasy from the author of THE DRAGON OF LONELY ISLAND.

Choose time or lose time. The inscription on his grandfather's pocket watch has always confused Alex. But now that Alex has lost the heirloom, time is all he can think about — time slipping through his fingers. That's when an encounter with a strange lady clues him into the Blue Moon, a place where earthlings search for what they've lost.

Soon Alex is in a rickety spaceship hurtling toward a topsy-turvy world of eccentric characters — from Miss Mumsley, who lost her heart to a prospector, to a medieval scholar who lost his way while calculating pi. It's a perilous journey, plagued by Time Eaters, who suck up their prey's time. How will Alex ever find the watch — and the sense of direction — he's lost? From Rebecca Rupp comes a fast-paced fantasy honoring friendship and courage.

* Coraline

(ages 8+)

 

Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house. . . ."

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life. It's been years since I read this to my kids, but I LOVED it. Definitely a favorite!

* Breadcrumbs

(ages 8+)

 

 The winner of numerous awards and recipient of four starred reviews, Anne Ursu's Breadcrumbs is a stunning and heartbreaking story of growing up, wrapped in a modern-day fairy tale.

Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to go in after him. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbs is a stunningly original fairy tale of modern-day America, a dazzling ode to the power of fantasy, and a heartbreaking meditation on how growing up is as much a choice as it is something that happens to us.

In Breadcrumbs, Anne Ursu tells, in her one-of-a-kind voice, a story that brings together fifty years of children's literature in a tale as modern as it is timeless. Hazel's journey to come to terms with her evolving friendship with Jack will deeply resonate with young readers.

This book is full of allusion. Have fun with your kids trying to them all!

* The Giant Slayer

(ages 8+)



The spring of 1955 tests Laurie Valentine’s gifts as a storyteller. After her friend Dickie contracts polio and finds himself confined to an iron lung, Laurie visits him in the hospital. There she meets Carolyn and Chip, two other kids trapped inside the breathing machines. Laurie’s first impulse is to flee, but Dickie begs her to tell them a story. And so Laurie begins her tale of Collosso, a rampaging giant, and Jimmy, a tiny boy whose destiny is to become a slayer of giants.

As Laurie embellishes her tale with gnomes, unicorns, gryphons, and other fanciful creatures, Dickie comes to believe that he is a character in her story. Little by little Carolyn, Chip, and other kids who come to listen, recognize counterparts as well. Laurie’s tale is so powerful that when she’s prevented from continuing it, Dickie, Carolyn, and Chip take turns as narrators. Each helps bring the story of Collosso and Jimmy to an end—changing the lives of those in the polio ward in startling ways.

The story the main character (a polio victim) tells is fantasy. We all enjoyed this one a bunch.

* Igraine the Brave

(ages 8+)

 

In the spirit of DRAGON RIDER and THE THIEF LORD, an enchanting fairy tale told with Cornelia's trademark warmth and wit: Perfect Funke fare for readers in the middle grades--Cornelia's "sweet spot"!

Igraine dreams of becoming a famous knight just like her great grandfather, but the truth is, life at the family castle is rather boring. Until the nephew of the baroness-next-door shows up. He's got a dastardly plan to capture the castle and claim as his own the wonderful singing spell books that belong to Igraine's magician parents. To make matters worse, at the very moment of the siege, her mom and dad botch a spell, turning themselves into pigs! Aided by a Gentle Giant and a Sorrowful Knight, it's up to Igraine to be brave and save the day--and the books!

Dragon Rider

(ages 7+)

 

With a lonely boy named Ben on board, the brave young dragon Firedrake sets out on a magical journey to find the mythical place where silver dragons can live in peace forever. Flying over moonlit lands and sparkling seas, they encounter fantastic creatures, summon up surprising courage--and cross the path of a ruthless villain with an ancient grudge who's determined to end their quest. Only a secret destiny can save the dragons in this enchanting adventure about the true meaning home.

Inkheart Trilogy

(ages 8+)

 

 Cornelia Funke's masterful trilogy is now available in this lovely keepsake edition. Meggie and Mo's extraordinary adventure through the exhilarating and sometimes terrifying world of books that come to life is here in its entirety. Paperback editions of each of Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath are included, all at one great price.

From the first book: One cruel night, Meggie's father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART-- and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books.

Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever. This is INKHEART--a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life. Dare to read it aloud.

I enjoyed reading these books myself. I think 8 would be a little young unless a parent is reading aloud. I do remember some language - I believe one of the characters takes the Lord's name in vain a few times.

Dragon's Egg

(ages 8+)

 

 It is a rare talent, and only she can care for the Inn's herd. She feeds them, gathers their eggs, and tends to their injuries. But Mella dreams about the dragons of legend, even though hardly anyone believes they still exist. Dragons are small farm animals, not huge fire-breathing monsters. Everyone knows that.

Until one day changes everything.

A Knight of the Order of Defenders arrives at the Inn. Signs of the mythical dragons have led him there, he says. Then a simple errand takes Mella through the forest, where she stumbles across a dragon's egg—and faces the true, terrifying dragon guarding it. On the spot, Mella vows to get the egg safely to the fabled Hatching Grounds. She must leave her home for the first time, and she finds an unlikely companion in the Defender's squire, Roger.

For Mella and Roger, this one day is the beginning of an adventure. Where will it take them?

* The Spiderwick Chronicles

(ages 6-10)

 

  Experience the fantastical with this complete collection of the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles series.

Join twins Jared and Simon and their older sister, Mallory, as they discover the fantastical world of Spiderwick. This complete set of The Spiderwick Chronicles includes The Field Guide, The Seeing Stone, Lucinda’s Secret, The Ironwood Tree, and The Wrath of Mulgrath.

This was a fun series to read aloud. It might be a little much for a 6-year-old to read on his own, though. 

* Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin

(ages 8+)

 

  This funny fractured fairy tale goes behind the scenes of Rumpelstiltskin. New York Times Bestselling author Liesl Shurtliff "spins words into gold [Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor winner]."

In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.

To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.

Such a fun book! Click for free study questions and activity ideas.

* Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood

(ages 8+)

 

Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic. But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.

With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .

Liesl Shurtliff weaves a spellbinding tale, shining the spotlight on a beloved character from her award-winning debut, Rump. 

Another winner here! Click for free study questions and activity ideas.

* Ella Enchanted

(ages 8+)

 

 How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse? 

At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy's gift—the "gift" of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head!

But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. She goes on a quest, encountering ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes, determined to break the curse—and live happily ever after.

Probably one of my favorite mama/daughter read-alouds. :)

* The Fairy's Mistake

(ages 8+)

 

 Gail Carson Levine charmed the world with Ella Enchanted, her spirited retelling of the Cinderella story. Now this award-winning author turns her attention to two more classic fairy tales, and deftly turns them upside down and inside out with her trademark wit and hilarity.

In The Fairy's Mistake, two very different sisters have two very different encounters with the fairy Ethelinda. Rosella is kind and helpful. Her reward: Jewels and gems tumble out of her mouth whenever she speaks. Myrtle is rude and spiteful. Her punishment: Bugs and vipers slither out of her mouth. The fairy Ethelinda feels she's meted out justice just right--until she discovers Rosella has been locked up by a greedy prince and Myrtle is having the time of her life!

This book is a novella in a series - my daughter and I have only read the first one. Click for free study questions and activity ideas.

The Two Princesses of Bamarre

(ages 8+)

 

When plague strikes Bamarre, Princess Addie must fulfill an ancient prophecy.

Brave and adventurous, Princess Meryl dreams of fighting dragons and protecting the kingdom of Bamarre. Shy and fearful, Princess Addie is content to stay within the safety of the castle walls. The one thing that the sisters share is their unwavering love for each other.

The tables are turned, however, when the Gray Death leaves Meryl fatally ill. To save her sister, meek Princess Addie must find the courage to set out on a dangerous quest filled with dragons, unknown magic, and death itself. Time is running out, and the sisters' lives—and the future of the kingdom of Bamarre—hang in the balance.

I actually just read this book a couple of days ago when I was sick. My 11-yr-old daughter is reading it now. I'm a fan of Gail Carson Levine's writing. 

A Tale of Two Castles



 Newbery Honor author of Ella Enchanted Gail Carson Levine weaves a spellbinding tale about a clever heroine, a dragon detective, and a shape-shifting ogre.

Newly arrived in the town of Two Castles, Elodie unexpectedly becomes the assistant to a brilliant dragon named Meenore, and together they solve mysteries. Their most important case concerns the town’s shape-shifting ogre, Count Jonty Um: Someone is plotting against him. Elodie must disguise herself to discover the source of the threat amid a cast of characters that includes a greedy king, a giddy princess, and a handsome cat trainer.

Readers who loved Ella Enchanted and Fairest will delight in this tale of a spirited heroine who finds friendship where she least expects it and discovers that goodness and evil come in all shapes and sizes.

Fairest



 Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to be pretty . . .

Aza's singing is the fairest in all the land, and the most unusual. She can "throw" her voice so it seems to come from anywhere. But singing is only one of the two qualities prized in the Kingdom of Ayortha. Aza doesn't possess the other: beauty. Not even close. She's hidden in the shadows in her parents' inn, but when she becomes lady-in-waiting to the new queen, she has to step into the light—especially when the queen demands a dangerous favor. A magic mirror, a charming prince, a jealous queen, palace intrigue, and an injured king twine into a maze that Aza must penetrate to save herself and her beloved kingdom.

* Tuck Everlasting



Doomed to―or blessed with―eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing that it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

I read this alone and then as a read aloud years ago. Definitely a favorite!!

* Rose

(ages 9+)

 

  How would you know if you were special?

Mr. Fountain's grand mansion is a world away from the dark orphanage Rose had left behind. The gleaming, golden house is practically overflowing with sparkling magic―she can feel it. And though Rose had always wanted to be an ordinary girl with an ordinary life, she realizes she may possess a little bit of magic herself.

* Rose and the Lost Princess

(ages 9+)

 

 Holly Webb's hit middle-grade fantasy series are the perfect books for 11 and 12 year-old girls beginning to realize their own power and potential-and who might just still believe in magic...

In this second volume, the spunky young magician Rose returns to battle the forces of darkness and save the country's beloved Princess. Set in 19th century England, this magical adventure offers a rich sense of history and a strong, independent heroine young readers can really root for. Rose is perfect for "fans of princesses, magic, fantasy, and mystery" (School Library Journal).

Not all magic is used for good... Rose's whole life has changed in a matter of weeks. Once a lonely orphan, now she's an apprentice to the King's chief magician! But as Rose's magical abilities blossom, she's still uneasy about her new powers-and learns the hard way that power often comes at a price.

When the Princess vanishes, rumors of dark magic fly through the city, casting doubt and suspicion on everyone with magical powers. Even Rose's friends don't seem to trust her anymore.

Now Rose must find the missing girl. Can she shatter the power of an evil magician before all is lost?

There are more books in this series, but I only read the first 2 aloud to my daughter. So many books, so little time to read them all!

* Dragonsdale

(ages 8+)

 

A fantasy world where every girl has a dragon of her own to groom, train, and ride; a unique and highly commercial take on the popular dragon theme!

Imagine a stable full of dragons! A place where a group of young girls are busy grooming the beautiful beasts and getting them ready for competition--with all the ups and downs, all the drama that inevitably results! Dragonsdale is such a place. The stable is run by Cara's father, but, after a tragic dragon accident in which her mother lost her life, Cara herself is strictly forbidden to fly. Yet she cannot resist the lure of the magical fire-breathing creatures, and so in secret she trains Skydancer, her rare, wild Goldenbrow dragon, and dreams of the day when she, too, can take flight.

* Dragonsdale #2: Riding the Storm

(ages 8+)

 

When Breena and Moonflight go missing, it's Cara and Skydancer to the rescue, RIDING THE STORM to save them: Book 2 in the fully illustrated, highly accessible new DRAGONSDALE series!

Cara's so overjoyed to be a dragonrider at last, she doesn't notice Breena's jealousy. And when Cara deliberately loses a competition to help her friend, Breena's not grateful--she's insulted, and lashes out at Hortense, who sets about sabotaging the girls' friendship. Disqualified from competition, Breena and Moonflight suffer a terrible fall. Cold and hurt, the two seek shelter in the Cave of Sighs. But the tide is rising, threatening to wash them away! Cara must sacrifice the championships and seek instead the help of the merfolk in order to rescue her best friend and her beloved dragon!

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes (Book 1)

(ages 8+)

 

Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable—until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank to a place unlike anything he’s ever seen. In the past, the people of Lyrian welcomed visitors from the Beyond, but attitudes have changed since the wizard emperor Maldor rose to power. The brave resistors who opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving a realm where fear and suspicion prevail.

In his search for a way home, Jason meets Rachel, who was also mysteriously drawn to Lyrian from our world. With the help of a few scattered rebels, Jason and Rachel become entangled in a quest to piece together the word of power that can destroy the emperor and learn that their best hope to find a way home will be to save this world without heroes.

Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion (Book 2)

(ages 8+)

 

 After the cliffhanger ending of A World Without Heroes, Jason is back in the world he’s always known—yet for all his efforts to get home, he finds himself itching to return to Lyrian. Jason knows that the shocking truth he learned from Maldor is precious information that all of his friends in Lyrian, including Rachel, need if they have any hope of surviving and defeating the evil emperor.

Meanwhile, Rachel and the others have discovered new enemies—as well as new abilities that could turn the tide of the entire quest. And as soon as Jason succeeds in crossing over to Lyrian, he’s in more danger than ever. Once the group reunites, they strive to convince their most-needed ally to join the war and form a rebellion strong enough to triumph over Maldor. At the center of it all, Jason and Rachel realize what roles they’re meant to play—and the answers are as surprising as they are riveting.

Beyonders: Chasing the Prophecy

(ages 8+)

 

 The #1 New York Times bestselling Beyonders fantasy trilogy comes to a stunning and epic conclusion.

Jason and Rachel were not born in Lyrian. They did not grow up in Lyrian. But after all of the battles and losses, the triumphs and adventures, and most of all, the friendships forged in this fantastical world, Lyrian has become home to them in a way they never could have imagined.

And so, armed now with the prophecy of a dying oracle, they have gone on their separate quests—each surrounded by brave and powerful allies—knowing that the chance for success is slim. But Jason and Rachel are ready at last to become the heroes Lyrian needs, no matter the cost.

Packed with thrills, action, and drama, this third and final installment of Brandon Mull’s #1 bestselling Beyonders trilogy brings the series to a gripping conclusion.

* The Crowfield Curse (Book 1)

(ages 8+)

 

If the deepest secret has been spoken, can the deadliest curse be broken?

Sent into the forest to gather firewood for the medieval abbey where he's an apprentice, Will hears a cry for help, and comes upon a creature no bigger than a cat. Trapped and wounded, it's a hobgoblin, who confesses a horrible secret: Something is buried deep in the snow, just beyond the graveyard. A mythical being, doomed by an ancient curse...

What does this mystery have to do with the cryptic brotherhood of monks Will serves? What does it have to do with the boy himself? When two cloaked figures darken the church's doorway and start demanding answers, Will is drawn into a dangerous world of Old Magic.

* Kringle

(ages 8+)

 

 Just in time for Christmas comes a fantasy epic from one of today's most popular writers for children. It is the story of a young orphan realizing his destiny -- to become the legendary Kris Kringle.

Unlike the traditional Santa Claus myth, KRINGLE is a coming-of-age story about an orphan who becomes a force for good in a dark and violent time. It is a tale of fantasy, of goblins, elves, and flying reindeer -- and of a boy from the humblest beginnings who fulfills his destiny.

Our tale begins in 500 A.D., when goblins kidnapped human children and set them to work in underground mines. Kringle is one such child.... until he discovers his mission - to free children from enslavement. His legend lives on today, as he travels the earth every Christmas Eve to quell the goblins once more.

Loved reading this aloud before Christmas years ago! I highly recommend it. 

Ages 12 & Up

The Inheritance Cycle



The Inheritance cycle is the unforgettable, worldwide bestselling saga of one boy, one dragon, and a world of adventure. When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he and his dragon, Saphira, are thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands. . . .

I absolutely love this series - I believe only my oldest and I have read it. 

A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword Book 1)



An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers Will Love.

 In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.

Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.

The Hero's Lot (The Staff and the Sword Book 2)



Falsely accused of terrible crimes, Errol Stone is placed under compulsion and sentenced to undertake a perilous quest. He must succeed. . .or die trying.

A Draw of Kings (The Staff and the Sword Book 3)



After the king's death, Illustra faces threats both inside and outside its borders. Will the next king be revealed in time to save their world?

I'd personally recommend The Staff and the Sword series for high school and up.

By Darkness Hid (Blood of Kings Book 1)



Given the chance to train as a squire, kitchen servant Achan Cham hopes to pull himself out of his pitiful life and become a Kingsguard Knight. When Achan's owner learns of his training, he forces Achan to spar with the Crown Prince--more of a death sentence than an honor. Meanwhile, strange voices in Achan's head cause him to fear he's going mad. While escorting the prince to a council presentation, their convoy is attacked. Achan is wounded and arrested, but escapes from prison--only to discover a secret about himself he never believed possible.

To Darkness Fled (Blood of Kings Book 2)



Enter darkness...

They have no choice. Chased by an evil prince, Achan, Vrell, and the Kingsguard knights flee into Darkness. They head north, for Tsaftown and Ice Island, where they must free an army that can help them fight for Er'Rets.

Darkness sickens Vrell. How long can she keep her secret without being caught? Achan already suspects her of lying. If she is not careful, he will suspect her of treason as well. She hopes he will let his suspicions go until they reach her home.

Achan wanted freedom, but this new journey has bound him more than ever. Sir Gavin's claims are so far fetched. First, that there might only be one God, and second, that this God chose Achan to push back Darkness, the magnificent curse of Er'Rets. Him. Achan. Barely a man himself.

Each setback Darkness brings seems minor compared to the one choice only Achan can make. What will he choose?

From Darkness Won (Blood of Kings Book 3)



Achan steps into his role as Crown Prince and prepares for war. But war against whom? Could Esek still be alive? Has Lord Nathak taken Esek's place? Or is the mysterious Hadad the true enemy Achan must confront?

Vrell has her own agenda of serving Prince Oren as a healer, but when she is stormed and lost to the Veil, Achan does all he can to bring her back. His conversations with her are strange, though, as if she has no memory of who he is.

In a land consumed by Darkness, the fate of Er'Rets hangs in the balance as Achan endeavors to take the throne and end the reign of Darkness.

While these books contain some romance, there are no sex scenes. Also, the last two series mentioned are considered "Christian," but remember they are also fantasy. Different words are used to represent Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Fantasy Books My Kids Recommend

Up until this point, each book that I listed I have read. I have not read any of the books listed below.

My boys recommend . . .

Percy Jackson Series

(ages 10+)

 

 All five books in the blockbuster Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, in paperback, have been collected in a boxed set fit for demigods. Now with glorious new cover art and packaged with a special poster, this value-priced set includes the best-selling The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian. Whether it is for readers who are experiencing Percy's thrilling adventures with Greek gods and monsters for the first time, or for fans who want to devour the saga again, this gift will be prized by young and old.

My daughter recommends . . .

Survivors

(ages 8+)



 This collectible, giftable box set contains paperback editions of the first three action-packed novels in the New York Times bestselling Survivors series, from the #1 nationally bestselling author of Warriors!

Lucky has always been a Lone Dog—until the Big Growl, a devastating earthquake that changes his world forever. Now he needs a Pack, and it will take all of their skill and cunning just to stay alive. This three-book set includes The Empty City, A Hidden Enemy, and Darkness Falls, and is the perfect introduction to the series Kirkus Reviews praised as "wild and wonderful adventure" in a starred review. It's sure to thrill both dedicated Erin Hunter fans and readers who are about to discover the heart-pounding action, epic adventures, and rich animal fantasy folklore of Survivors for the first time.

There are lots more Survivors' books, and my daughter has read them all. I've only linked to the first three.

Warriors

(ages8+)

 

 Join the legion of fans who have made Erin Hunter’s Warriors series a #1 national bestseller! This box set—featuring striking new art—includes all six books in the first Warriors series and is perfect for the collections of longtime Erin Hunter fans and readers new to the Warriors world.

For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their warrior ancestors. But now ThunderClan is in grave danger. Rival ShadowClan is growing stronger, a traitor may be hiding in their midst, and rising tensions threaten every cat in the forest.

In the dark days ahead, ThunderClan’s fate will rest in the paws of an unexpected hero: an ordinary house cat named Rusty…who may yet turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

Another series that seems to never end, but I've only linked the first 6 books. Again, my daughter has read them all!

  Fantasy Book List

I really hope you've found some new titles to check out! Feel free to share your favorite fantasy books in the comments. :) 

This post may be linked up to one or more of the following fabuloulink-ups

{affiliate links included}

No comments:

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...