Fresh Fantasy Picks for Kids

A Listmania! list by Kate Coombs (Utah, United States)
(VINE VOICE)   
The list author says: "Face it: there's so much children's fantasy out there it's overwhelming. At the bookstore, I pick up the newest fantasy titles with their gorgeous cover art and open the pages with anticipation--only to be turned off by mediocre writing or derivative plots. In reaction to that experience, I've created a list of fantasy books I recommend for upper elementary and teen readers. My emphasis here is not only on good writing, but also on refreshingly unpredictable premises, plots, characters, and settings. (Note: Aside from a few out-of-print books you may have missed, I am listing relatively recent stuff below, not classics such as Lewis's Narnia books, Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, LeGuin's Earthsea books, or Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series. Or, obviously, Harry Potter!)"
Small Persons With Wings
1.  Small Persons With Wings by Ellen Booraem
The list author says:
  "In kindergarten, Mellie's fairy friend abandons her to the teasing of bullies, so she decides she imagined the whole thing. The she moves to her grandpa's old inn and meets all kinds of small persons with wings! Funny and adventurous."
$14.64   Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Agent Q, or The Smell of Danger! (A Pals in Peril Tale)
2.  Agent Q, or The Smell of Danger! (A Pals in Peril Tale) by M. T. Anderson
The list author says:
  "The latest in a series of outrageous spoofs of kids' adventure fiction set in a funny, crazy version of Delaware (with jungles, Tibetan-ish monks, and monsters). Place tongue in cheek and enjoy!"
$12.59   Used & New from: $0.01
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

A Tale Dark and Grimm
3.  A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
The list author says:
  "Meet the Narrator, who will rightly warn you that these stories are scary and gory before leading Prince Hansel and Princess Gretel through a series of adventures adapted from Grimms' fairy tales. Not for the squeamish, but a VERY cool book!"
$13.67   Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)

The Crowfield Curse
4.  The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh
The list author says:
  "William lives at a poor abbey, where he finds out the monks are keeping secrets right about when he rescues a fairy creature in the forest. A darkly atmospheric medieval fantasy."
$13.23   Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

The Night Fairy
5.  The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz
The list author says:
  "Yes, it's a fairy book, but Flory is a tough little thing. After nearly being eaten by a bat, she learns to survive in the day world, arming herself with a thorn dagger and sort of befriending a squirrel. A gem of a tale!"
$13.59   Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

The Thief (The Queen's Thief, Book 1)
6.  The Thief (The Queen's Thief, Book 1) by Megan Whalen Turner
The list author says:
  "The first in a trilogy and a Newbery Honor winner. The Thief is a sly and wonderful adventure; The Queen of Attolia ripped my heart out; and The King of Attolia was the best tale of court intrigue I've ever read. Go Gen!"
$6.99   Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)

The Wee Free Men (Discworld)
7.  The Wee Free Men (Discworld) by Terry Pratchett
The list author says:
  "Makes sense to me--hit a river monster on the head with a frying pan! Try the books which follow, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, and (for teens) I Shall Wear Midnight; they're also about stoic young witch-in-training Tiffany Aching and the insane little blue men who assist her."
$8.99   Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Grimm Legacy
8.  The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
The list author says:
  "In this fun new series start for teens and tweens, Elizabeth goes to work at the New York Circulating Material Respository, where she learns that the collections in the basement are straight out of fairy tales. And now someone is trying to steal the magic..."
$13.23   Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)

The Graveyard Book
9.  The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The list author says:
  "Horror-fantasy master Neil Gaiman has outdone himself! Basically, he uses the premise of The Jungle Book, only sets the story in a graveyard. Read about Bod (Nobody) Owens, who is raised by ghosts and other supernatural creatures while avoiding a would-be murderer, in this tender, scary, funny, wonderful book."
$12.59   Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,124 customer reviews) | 9 customer discussions

Plain Kate
10.  Plain Kate by Erin Bow
The list author says:
  "A medieval girl is manipulated by a vengeful, grieving magic-maker. A dark, poetic tale in which Plain Kate must find a way to stop a rusalka, a soul-sucking Russian water ghost. (For teens.)"
$13.35   Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
11.  Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
The list author says:
  "A young girl named Minli goes on a quest to find her impoverished family's good fortune, accompanied by a dragon. Interlaced with Chinese folktales, this 2010 Newbery Honor winner is inspiring and beautiful as well as a fun adventure story."
$11.89   Used & New from: $3.34
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume 1: Charmed Life / The Lives of Christopher Chant
12.  The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume 1: Charmed Life / The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones
The list author says:
  "You may have read Howl's Moving Castle, which is marvelous, but be sure to try Wynne Jones's Chrestomanci books. Look for Volume 2, as well! The books are all linked by Chrestomanci, a nine-lived enchanter who supervises magic across a series of parallel worlds."
$6.70   Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards, Bk 1)
13.  100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards, Bk 1) by Nathan D. Wilson
The list author says:
  "Henry discovers a set of mysterious cupboards in the wall of his attic room in his uncle's farmhouse, but not all of them lead to friendly places. The start of a richly written trilogy. A bit on the dark side."
$6.99   Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)

Dogsbody
14.  Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones
The list author says:
  "You don't have to be a dog lover to enjoy this story of Sirius, the dog star, being banished to earth in the form of a puppy. Trouble follows him, and he both helps and is helped by a young girl."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

See buying options
The Ordinary Princess
15.  The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye
The list author says:
  "Starts out like Sleeping Beauty, but the last fairy, who is more cranky than malevolent, curses the baby princess that she will be ORDINARY! (So much for golden hair and sapphire-blue eyes.) Ultimately, it's the story of a girl who refuses to play by the rules."
$5.99   Used & New from: $0.01
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)

Crown Duel (Crown Duel / Court Duel)
16.  Crown Duel (Crown Duel / Court Duel) by Sherwood Smith
The list author says:
  "Crown Duel is a romantic adventure, while Court Duel is an adventurous romance--both featuring a fallible yet likable and intrepid heroine. Together, they're a marvelous read, especially for girls. Try her Wren books, too."
$8.00   Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

An Eva Ibbotson Collection: Which Witch?, The Secret of Platform 13, Island of the Aunts
17.  An Eva Ibbotson Collection: Which Witch?, The Secret of Platform 13, Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson
The list author says:
  "I wasn't crazy about Island of the Aunts, but Which Witch? and The Secret of Platform 13 are a hoot. Ibbotson's books are wholesome and upbeat without being bland--a rare commodity these days."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

See buying options
Dial-a-Ghost
18.  Dial-a-Ghost by Eva Ibbotson
The list author says:
  "A temp agency that sends ghosts--and a mix-up about which ghosts are sent where, to the benefit of our young hero. A fun and friendly read."
$6.99   Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Folk Keeper (Jean Karl Books)
19.  The Folk Keeper (Jean Karl Books) by Franny Billingsley
The list author says:
  "The story of a girl who has just enough knowledge to control the monsters that live beneath the castle--and whose own hidden past eventually comes to light. A fresh and satisfying book."
$5.99   Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Dragon's Blood: The Pit Dragon Chronicles, Volume One
20.  Dragon's Blood: The Pit Dragon Chronicles, Volume One by Jane Yolen
The list author says:
  "The first in a trilogy about a boy raising dragons to fight competitively--a mix of sci-fi and fantasy and a terrific read, especially for middle and high school age boys."
$7.99   Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)

The Goose Girl (Books of Bayern)
21.  The Goose Girl (Books of Bayern) by Shannon Hale
The list author says:
  "Although it began with this particularly fine retelling of a well-known fairy tale, The Goose Girl became the first of four books (so far) about the land of Bayern. Another of Hale's books, Princess Academy, won a 2006 Newbery Honor award."
$9.63   Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (372 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Terrier (The Legend of Beka Cooper, Book 1)
22.  Terrier (The Legend of Beka Cooper, Book 1) by Tamora Pierce
The list author says:
  "Magic meets police procedural as Beka Cooper of the Provost's Guard hunts for a magical serial killer in this compelling book for teens. Of Pierce's most recent work, I also quite like her Protector of the Small and Trickster books, but she is best known for her Song of the Lioness (Alanna) quartet."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews) | 8 customer discussions

See buying options
Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog
23.  Flora Segunda: Being the Magickal Mishaps of a Girl of Spirit, Her Glass-Gazing Sidekick, Two Ominous Butlers (One Blue), a House with Eleven Thousand Rooms, and a Red Dog by Ysabeau S. Wilce
The list author says:
  "A unique setting, a version of California where alternative history has a magically talented military presence dealing with a rival Aztec group. Main character Flora is foolish yet brave, roaming her 10,000-room house and making deals with inhuman banished butlers. A bit hard to follow, but worth it. The sequel is more noticeably a book for teens."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

See buying options
Sabriel (The Old Kingdom)
24.  Sabriel (The Old Kingdom) by Garth Nix
The list author says:
  "Sabriel can send escaped denizens from the lands of the dead back to where they belong by means of the various bells that hang at her belt--as part of an ancient tradition meant to keep evil at bay in the Old Kingdom. Try also Nix's Keys of the Kingdom books, starting with Mister Monday."
$8.25   Used & New from: $0.01
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,162 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

Sylvie and the Songman
25.  Sylvie and the Songman by Tim Binding
The list author says:
  "One by one, the animals are losing their voices, but who is taking the songs, and why? When Sylvie's composer father disappears, she and her friend George set out to find him AND some answers."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

See buying options
The Giggler Treatment
26.  The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle
The list author says:
  "Okay, this isn't really for older kids, but I can't resist popping it in because it's different, not to mention nuts! The gigglers are little critters whose job is to find dog poo and put it under the downward-stepping feet of grownups who are mean to kids--need I say more? (2 sequels)"
Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

See buying options
Goose Chase
27.  Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl
The list author says:
  "Patrice Kindl asks that age-old question, "Would you really want to be the girl given supreme beauty by a grateful fairy, not to mention having gold fall out of your hair and diamonds fall from your lips on a regular basis?" As Alexandria soon discovers, these gifts are more trouble than they're worth."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

See buying options
Mortal Engines (Hungry City Chronicles)
28.  Mortal Engines (Hungry City Chronicles) by Philip Reeve
The list author says:
  "Imagine a world where cities crawl around on giant tractor feet, devouring other slower or smaller cities. There are additional books after this one. Dark enough to be best for teens."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

See buying options
Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space
29.  Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space by Philip Reeve
The list author says:
  "Philip Reeve is at it again, this time creating a Victorian adventure set on a rambling spaceship--and why not? This book is doing what a lot of the other adventure books coming out these days are trying to do and failing; it tells a story with real panache. Unlike Mortal Engines, Larklight is a good fit for readers in grades 3-8."
$13.21   Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Stoneheart Trilogy, The: Stoneheart - Book One (Stoneheart Trilogy (Hardback))
30.  Stoneheart Trilogy, The: Stoneheart - Book One (Stoneheart Trilogy (Hardback)) by Charlie Fletcher
The list author says:
  "George angers the stone statues of London and they start chasing him, but nobody else can see what's happening--except for the irritating glint Edie. The statue of a World War I soldier helps the two children, who also meet many strange, less trustworthy characters. A dark, intricate and suspenseful story for older children and teens."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

See buying options
Magpie Gabbard and the Quest for the Buried Moon
31.  Magpie Gabbard and the Quest for the Buried Moon by Sally M. Keehn
The list author says:
  "A story with a tall-tale, "hillbilly" setting and tone, this rollicking read follows Magpie Gabbard on her adventures through the Kentucky mountains--as she tries to return her brother's missing foot, rescue the moon from goblin thieves, and end a decades-old feud with another clan."
Used & New from: $0.01
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

See buying options
Horns and Wrinkles
32.  Horns and Wrinkles by Joseph Helgerson
The list author says:
  "When Claire's cousin Duke dangles her over the river, he ends up falling in himself and is cursed with a rhino horn. Something rivery is going on in this book of Mississippi magic, so Claire sets out to save her friends and relations from a web of malicious spells."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

See buying options
Savvy
33.  Savvy by Ingrid Law
The list author says:
  "Another rural fantasy, featuring Mibs Beaumont and her family, each of whom acquires an odd magical power or "savvy" at age 13. Her father is in a car accident in another city, so Mibs sneaks onto a traveling Bible salesman's bus to try to reach him--and she's joined by more stowaways. (A sort-of sequel, Scumble, is now out!)"
$11.76   Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)

The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories (Junior Library Guild Selection)
34.  The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories (Junior Library Guild Selection) by Joan Aiken
The list author says:
  "From the award-winning author of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, a collection of funny and poignant stories about the Armitage family, whose house regularly attracts magical occurrences. A unicorn in the garden, feuding druids, the Greek furies, and miniature neighbors--everything is fresh in Aiken's skillful hands."
Used & New from: $0.80
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

See buying options
The Order of Odd-Fish
35.  The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy
The list author says:
  "As odd as its name, this book reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and The Lightning Thief--only it's not like any of them, really. Jo flees to another world when strange creatures show up at her aunt's Christmas party, only to find that she may be the greatest danger of all. Bizarrely funny and a bit dark."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

See buying options
The Cabinet of Wonders: The Kronos Chronicles: Book I
36.  The Cabinet of Wonders: The Kronos Chronicles: Book I by Marie Rutkoski
The list author says:
  "Historic Prague plus magical clockwork--another fresh combination! We follow Petra on her mission to retrieve her father's stolen eyes (yes, eyes) from a powerful prince. A bit dark, but well done."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

See buying options
The Siren Song (Cronus Chronicles, Book Two)
37.  The Siren Song (Cronus Chronicles, Book Two) by Anne Ursu
The list author says:
  "After you save the world, not everyone's appreciative, as Charlotte and her cousin Zee find out in this sequel to The Shadow Thieves. Not only do her parents ground her, but the villain she defeated arranges for some elaborate and fishy payback! I love this writer's tongue-in-cheek style."
$15.01   Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Runaway Princess
38.  The Runaway Princess by Kate Coombs
The list author says:
  "What, you thought I wouldn't recommend my own book? It's an ALA Notable book for 2007, but mostly it's just a fun read. The Runaway Princess turns the traditional quest for half the kingdom and the princess's hand in marriage on its head. A sequel called The Runaway Dragon came out recently."
$15.93   Used & New from: $0.01
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

The Blue Girl
39.  The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint
The list author says:
  "Who better than the grandmaster of urban fastasy, Charles de Lint, to represent the subgenre on this list? Also check out Will Shetterly's and Delia Sherman's urban fantasy books for teens. And de Lint's newest, The Painted Boy."
$5.78   Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

Dragon's Bait
40.  Dragon's Bait by Vivian Vande Velde
The list author says:
  "Alys is staked out for the dragon to eat, but the dragon--who can take human form--becomes interested in Alys's desire for revenge and offers to help her. A book for teens, with a hint of romance and some thought-provoking ideas about revenge. Vande Velde has written other good books you might want to look for."
$11.25   Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

More Actions

Discover more about this author
 See all of their Listmania! lists
Make your own list
 Create a Listmania! list
View your page on Amazon.com
 Go to Your Profile page

Customer Discussions about products in this list
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Did anyone else have problems with the depiction of the mother? 1 19 days ago
Books for a 16 year old girl 6 Jan 26, 2012
The Graveyard Book -- Recommendations if I loved this book? 4 Aug 28, 2011
read-aloud suggestions for sisters 6, 4, and 2 1 Jun 28, 2011
The Graveyard Book -- Enlighten me please 9 Jan 13, 2011
Awards this book has won 0 Jun 25, 2010
The Ancient Lands: Warrior Quest- Wow, great reviews. 0 Dec 17, 2009
help finding books for a 11-12 yr. old girl 0 Dec 2, 2009
This is a juvenile fiction book - FYI. 5 Nov 17, 2009
Anyone know this book? 0 Oct 9, 2009
Thanks to Neil Gaiman for his support of TTS 1 Mar 2, 2009
Hi 0 Jan 23, 2007
 
   

About this Listmania!

 

Author

Kate Coombs (Utah, United States)
(VINE VOICE)   
Qualifications: Teacher Adviser, Librarian, Children's Book Writer
Last updated: 2/12/11
Report abuse
    

More Listmania!

 

Beautiful & Intelligent Picture Books for Children Beautiful & Intelligent Picture Books for Children

Beautiful & Intelligent Picture Books for Children: A list of 14 items by Jennifer Anderson

My Favorite Covers My Favorite Covers

My Favorite Covers: A list of 27 items by Kindle-aholic

Scary Middle Grade Reads Scary Middle Grade Reads

Scary Middle Grade Reads: A list of 19 items by Whatcha Reading Now?

Fairy Tale Influenced Fiction 2010 Fairy Tale Influenced Fiction 2010

Fairy Tale Influenced Fiction 2010: A list of 39 items by Heidi Anne Heiner

Eagerly anticipated YA for 2010 Eagerly anticipated YA for 2010

Eagerly anticipated YA for 2010: A list of 39 items by AC

   

More So You'd Like to...

 

Discover the Best Books of Mar-Feb 2010 - Editor's Picks Discover the Best Books of Mar-Feb 2010 - Editor's Picks

Discover the Best Books of Mar-Feb 2010 - Editor's Picks: A guide of 25 items by Terrence Mayer