Filled with magic, suspense, and fascinating characters, Harry Potter books are among the most entertaining for adolescents and teens. If your child loves the genre and has read the entire Harry Potter series, you could consider getting them more such books that encourage their reading habit. If you are looking for books that let your child explore the world of magic and fantasy beyond Hogwarts, then you are in the right place.
In this MomJunction post, we give you a list of 23 books that capture the same magic and imagination as the Harry Potter series of books.
1. The Lord of the Rings Series
Author: J.R R. Tolkien
‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a classic fantasy series that was first published in 1955. The story begins with a dark lord named Sauron forging a supreme ring to override the control exercised by other magical rings. But Sauron’s ring is lost, and a series of events that follow lead the ring to a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. The rest of the story is about Bilbo’s experience of mystery and magic fueled by the ring.
2. Percy Jackson & The Olympians Series
Author: Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson’s mother reveals his secret to him: he is a half-blood, or half human and half god, thus making him a demi-god. But the status of a demi-god comes with its share of challenges and dangers. Soon, Percy finds himself fighting demons to protect humanity in a tale told across five books.
3. The Hunger Games Series
Author: Suzanne Collins
‘The Hunger Games’ is set in dystopian North America which has several districts, with the Capitol district as the crown in the jewel. The other districts wage war against Capitol but are defeated. Capitol forges a peace agreement under which each district has to send a teenage boy and girl for the annual series of games called ‘The Hunger Games.’
The story revolves around a teenage girl named Katniss, who is chosen from her district. Will she or will she not survive this ‘fight unto death’ game? ‘The Hunger Games’ is packed with several fantasy elements that are told across the three books in the series.
4. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
After a tragic event, sixteen-year-old Jacob sets off to an island, off the coast of Great Britain. There, Jacob discovers an abandoned house that contains photographs and records of an orphanage. ‘What was an orphanage doing so far from the mainland?’, wonders Jacob. The children there could be dangerous and probably still alive. Little does Jacob realize that he has stumbled upon a Pandora’s box.
5. The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials
Author: Philip Pullman
The book tells the story of a young girl named Lyra who is heading to the North. The North is ruled by clans of witches and armored polar bears. It is also the place where children get stolen and where her fearsome uncle resides. But the small girl is determined to travel for she needs to rescue her kidnapped friend Roger and bring a world-altering change to the land.
6. The Chronicles of Narnia Series
Author: C. S. Lewis
‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ is a series of seven books with the first one published in 1956. The tale is set in the magical land of Narnia where a talking lion named Aslan and an evil witch named Jadis break their truce. Amidst the tensions, four siblings find their way into Narnia through a wardrobe, and that begins their adventure. The book is full of mythical creatures and fascinating characters that will keep a child wholly entertained.
7. Watership Down
Author: Richard Adams
The story is set in rural England where a group of rabbits learns that their land is going to be ravaged by humans. The rabbits will lose their homes, and there is no other choice but to find a new place to live. Thus, the tiny creatures set out in search of new lands. But the journey is not easy, and the rabbits have their very own problems to solve.
8. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland)
Author: Lewis Carroll
It is the age-old story of fantasy, adventure, and going down the ‘rabbit hole.’ The tale begins with a drowsy Alice lazing on the riverside with her sister. Just then, a rabbit springs along and captures her attention. Alice follows the critter and soon finds herself tumbling down a hole, which leads to a world teeming with strange creatures and talking objects.
9. The Mortal Instrument Series
Author: Cassandra Clare
‘The Mortal Instrument’ is a series of six fantasy books that tell the tale of a young girl named Clary Fray. Clary is drawn into the world of demons and demon hunters when she witnesses the slaying of a demon. ‘Shadowhunters’ is the name of the warrior group that keeps the demons in check. Clary unknowingly gets sets off events that will intertwine her life with those of Shadowhunters forever.
10. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Author: L. Frank Baum
‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ has fascinated young readers all across the world ever since its debut in 1900. The story is about a young girl named Dorothy and her dog Toto who are transported by a tornado to the strange land called Oz. Oz is a land of witches and flying monkeys. Dorothy and Toto make three new friends: a tinman, a scarecrow, and a cowardly lion. Together, they set off to meet the powerful Wizard of Oz who can grant them a wish and probably help Dorothy return home.
11. Pennyroyal Academy
Author: M. A. Larson
Evie enrolls at the Pennyroyal Academy, a place where they train princesses and knights to become warriors. Each student there learns to fight the witches and dragons. At the academy, Evie encounters a new world of friends, enemies, and a strict teacher named Fairy Drillsergeant. When Evie graduates from the academy, she discovers that her fight against witches and dragons is going to be more personal than she thought.
12. Inkheart Series
Author: Cornelia Funke
One night, Meggie’s father reads aloud a book named ‘Inkheart’ while Meggie listens. But the book is no ordinary one; it is riddled with magic. The character of an evil ruler jumps the boundaries of fiction and lands into the realm of reality. Soon, Meggie finds herself in the middle of an adventure story and learns to harness the power of magic herself.
13. The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
Author: Michael Scott
The protagonist of the story is Nicholas Flamel, who is over seven hundred years old. Nicholas finds the secret to a long life in the Book of Abraham the Mage, which lets him live that long. But an evil Dr. John Dee fin this out and is after the book. This time he will need more than himself to save the book. According to a prophecy, Nicholas has to team up with twins Sophie and Josh, who will be the only ones to prevent the book from falling in the hands of evil Dr. Dee.
14. The Ranger’s Apprentice Series
Author: John Flanagan
‘The Ranger’s Apprentice’ is a collection of 12 books that begins with the story of a boy named Will, who gains apprenticeship with Rangers – the protectors of the kingdom. The Rangers practice magic and protect the people from evil forces. The first book narrates Will’s experience witnessing a battle for the first time, and how that sets the stage for his future adventures with the Rangers. The collection of 12 books has enough fantasy and imagination to keep the child busy for a long summer.
15. Dragon Slippers
Author: Jessica Day George
Creel’s aunt wants to give her away to a dragon so that a heroic knight fights the dragon and marries Creel. However, Creel is not worried about her aunt’s plan since no one has seen a dragon. But one day, a dragon appears, and Creel’s worst fears come alive. Creel’s aunt gives her away to the dragon, but the girl is smart and negotiates a deal with the dragon. In return, Creel gets a pair of blue shoes from the dragon. But the shoes are not ordinary and have enough magic to save a kingdom.
Author: Brian Jacques
It is a fantasy tale about a peaceful kingdom of mice. The peace of their kingdom is soon going to be disrupted by the invasion of Cluny the Scourge who is a rat. The mice search for ways to prepare their defenses and learn of a sword that can help them win the battle. But they have to find the sword before it is too late.
17. Keeper of the Lost Cities
Author: Shannon Messenger
Sophie Foster is a 12-year-old who can read the minds of people. She considers her telepathic abilities unique until one day she meets Fitz, a boy who is also a telepath like her. Sophie soon learns that she belongs to a world of telepaths, and the world of humans was only a place for her to hide. She sets out to seek the new world, but not without burying some secrets deep within her mind.
18. Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia
Lena is a young girl who lives in a small, quaint town of Gatlin, where nothing much exciting happens. But Lena has some hidden powers that become her curse. On the other side of town is a boy named Ethan, who wants to escape the sleepy town. But when Lena moves into Ethan’s neighborhood, he is immediately drawn towards the girl. It thus marks the beginning of their friendship and a foray into the dark world.
19. The School for Good and Evil
Author: Soman Chainani
The story tells the tale of a magical place called The School for Good and Evil. Children from the world are kidnapped in pairs; one is sent to the school of good and another to the evil one. Sophie and Agatha are two girls who look forward to being taken to school.
Sophie is always devoted to good deeds and considers herself worthy for the school of good. Agatha, with her mean nature, seems fit for the school of evil. But the girls are shocked to find themselves being selected to a school against their expectations. Soon they realize that it was a deliberate placement to reveal the girls’ true natures.
20. The Five Kingdoms Series
Author: Brandon Mull
The series begins with the story of a young boy named Cole Randolph spending Halloween in the basement of a haunted house with his friends. But the house is a portal to a scary magical place called ‘The Outskirts.’ The place contains five kingdoms. Cole’s friends are pulled into The Outskirts, and it is up to Cole to save his friends and the day. ‘The Five Kingdom Series’ consists of five books that tell the complete adventures of Cole and his friends.
21. The Dark Is Rising
Author: Susan Cooper
On his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers that he is not an ordinary boy. He is a Sign-Seeker – a group of immortal ‘old ones’ who have the power to defeat the dark. The timing of Will’s realization cannot be better, for the evil one called the ‘Dark’ has risen. Will and his team of friends embark on defeating Dark with a weapon that can quell the dark one forever.
22. The Inheritance Cycle Series
Author: Christopher Paolini
‘The Inheritance Cycle’ series begins with Eragon, a teenage boy who discovers a blue stone in the forest. The blue stone turns out to be an egg of a dragon, and eventually, Eragon has a dragon hatchling. The dragon grows to be a tame one. Eragon soon finds himself in the world of magic where all he has is a sword and a dragon to defeat the evil forces.
23. The Underland Chronicles
Author: Suzanne Collins
The story begins with a young boy named Gregor falling through a vent in his New York apartment. After the fall, Gregor finds himself in the magical world of Underland – a city where humans live alongside giant rats and cockroaches. But everything is not well. Humans and creatures of the Underland are at the brink of war. Gregor’s arrival to the Underland was a prophecy, and it is about time that the little boy brings order to this mysterious underground world.
Magic and fantasy can keep you hooked to a story quickly. Even the not-so-regular readers may fall in love with books should they get their hands on these or other such books like Harry Potter. Most books are a part of the series of several books, thus ensuring there is a lot of interesting content for the child to read and stay engaged.
Which fantasy books does your child read? Do tell us more about it in the comment section below.
Disclaimer: MomJunction may earn a commission when products are purchased through affiliate links given in the article. However, this partnership does not influence the editorial content featuring in our list.