If your kids are big Harry Potter fans like mine, here’s a list of books similar to Harry Potter in that they are magical fantasy or adventure stories that I’m sure your kids will like or love almost as much as HP.
Books for Kids Who Love Harry Potter
The Familiars series by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson (8 – 12 years)
I’m a big fan of this series and it’s a bit easier to read than the Harry Potter books. Do you know about familiars? They are the magical animal companions to wizards. And in this first story, they’ll have to save the world when the wizard’s powers are taken away. Great for kids who love animals and magical adventures.
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer (8 – 12 years)
Fairy tales come alive when Alex and Conner (brother and sister) find themselves entering INTO the the fairy tale book given to them by their grandmother. Their only way home from this magical world is to find the ingredients for a Wishing Spell. They embark on a dangerous, mysterious, and life changing journey. This is a wonderful, addictive adventure fantasy series with every book superbly imagined and written and I’m positive Harry Potter fans will love it!!!
Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman (8 – 12 years)
If your child hasn’t learned about Nordic mythology, this will be a great intro. To end the long winter, Odd must journey to find Asgard, a city under siege from the Frost Giants. A wonderful, nail-biting adventure!
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George (ages 8 – 12)
Every Tuesday, the castle where Princess Celie and her family live, adds on a new room, or turret, or wing. Celie loves her castle, and it’s living ways. So, when robbers attack her parents carriage, and they are never seen again, Celie takes comfort that their room is exactly the same, hoping the castle knows they are still alive. But, can the castle and Celie stop the Royal Council and the foreign prince from taking over the kingdom? My kids and I LOVE this unique and imaginative series! I bet your Harry Potter fans will, too.
Half Upon a Time by James Riley (series) (ages 8 – 12)
When Princess May’s grandma, Snow White, is kidnapped, she’s tossed into Jack (of the beanstalk fame) farm. With an and the two venture to rescue dear old grandma back. Fairy tales collide in this humerous and action-packed adventure.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan (ages 8 – 12)
I LOVE this story – action, humor, fantasy, and intrigue!! Magnus is a smart and snarky kid who is thrust into a crazy situation — the Norse world of which he’s apart since (surprise!) his dad is Frey, a god that’s been off the radar for awhile. When Magnus dies right off in the story, he’s taken to Valhalla, one of the Norse Mythology afterlife locations but he won’t stay there long. He decides that despite the risks, he must find his dad’s missing sword somewhere in the Nine Worlds.
Sea of Trolls series by Nancy Farmer (10 years and up)
A bard, a boy, a band of Viking berserkers, trolls, dragons, and a quest — what more could you want in a mythological fantasy series? This is one of those can’t-put-down books that will keep you up all night reading and I loved all the books in this series. (Actually, I love all Farmer’s books.) Your Harry Potter enthusiasts will enjoy reading this remarkable adventure with elements of Norse and Old English mythology.
The Iron Trial (Magisterium) by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (ages 9 – 13)
Even though Callum tries to fail the entrance trials, he is admitted the the school his dad says is evil. But the Magisterium school is not as bad as he expect. Call learns about his elemental powers, he forges bonds of friendship with his teammates, and rescues a wolf puppy who is infused with the evil magic of Chaos. I couldn’t put this book down — especially after the surprise twist of who Callum really is!! The second book, The Copper Gauntlet, is now out and just as excellent as the first. (I’m anxiously awaiting the third.)
Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull (8 – 12 years)
I’m officially in love with this imaginative world. Brandon Mull has outdone himself with an inventive, totally unique world, and interesting characters. Cole, a regular kid, is trick-or-treating with his friends when they all get kidnapped. Cole manages to hide but follows the kidnappers — to another world of five kingdoms, slavery, and magic. Cole is found and sold to slavers on the dreaded Outskirts. There he’ll battle mysterious beings living on cloud castles, discover an exiled princess, escape from slavery, and have unimaginable adventures. Just for starters.
Unwanteds by Lissa McMann (10- 16 years)
Artemis Fowl The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin (10 years and up)
Also available as a full text novel, this series is about an anti-hero. Ok, a villain, evil genius kid named Artemis who is actually quite compelling. He plots to steal the fairies gold which leads him to kidnap a fairy-cop and hold her for ransom. It’s such a great series, I read it twice.
Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (8 years and up)
I think you already know about these books but if you don’t, they’re absolutely engaging fantasy adventures that will hook your kids just like Harry Potter. We recently listened to the series on audio book which was even more fun to hear it read in a British accent. (Since we’re American.)
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle (ages 8 – 12)
I’ve read this book so many times, I can’t count — many times with my classes as a read aloud — and every time it’s just as fantastic. (That doesn’t always happen with books.) A Wrinkle in Time is a remarkable, well-written adventure in space that deals with the overarching theme of good vs. evil. Meg and her brother, Charles Wallace, and friend, Calvin, set of to find her scientist father who disappeared while researching tesseracts.
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chaining (ages 8 – 12)
The School for Good and Evil trains kids to be either heroes or villains. When two children are forcefully taken to attend the school, Sophie, a beautiful (yet stuck-up) princess-type, can’t wait to go to the School for Good. The other girl, Agatha, a black-wearing, drab classmate expects that her goth looks make her a candidate for Evil. But, no! Sophie is put in the School for Evil while Agatha goes to the School for Good. The move surprises them both and yet we realize it’s exactly right. It’s an EXCELLENT trilogy that will have you questioning stereotypes, good and evil, and what makes a good friend.
The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows by Jacqueline West (series) (ages 8 – 12)
My daughter introduced me to this awesome book series about a house that seems to be haunted; with paintings that lead to other worlds, and mysteriously cryptic, talking cats. Olive soon learns that the previous owners trapped many people in the paintings, including a boy Olive befriends who is now a 2D painting. The plot’s twistings kept me wondering what was happening, and I loved the main character’s gumption and her supportive side-kick cats.
The Green Ember by S.D. Smith (ages 8 – 12)
The Unfairest of Them All by Shannon Hale (ages 8 – 12)
The second book in the fun and imaginative Ever After High series, we’re seeing the results of Raven decided to choose her own story and ending. Kids have picked sides – rebel or royal – and Raven and Apple need to bring everyone together or all of their happy ever afters will be no more. These are easy to read, magical, and fun-filled fairy tale mash-ups!
39 Clues by various authors (ages 8-12)
This series has about a billion books so if your kids like it, they’ll be reading and reading and reading. There are also series within series but you’ll figure it out as you go. To start off, two orphan siblings named Amy and Dan, are told in their grandma’s will that they belong to the very famous and powerful Cahill family which has several different branches. The other decedents and them have the choice to either get 1 million dollars or a clue. The kids race around the world trying to discover all the clues to reveal the family’s biggest secret of all — the source of their power. My 12-year old loves these books and has listened to many on audio.
The Cloak Society by Jeramy Kraatz (ages 8 – 12)
Alex’s parents raised him in their secret society of supervillains, training him all his life for a life of villainy. He surprises himself in a battle when he saves the life of his enemy, a Ranger of Justice girl named Kirbie. They secretly become friends making Alex question his entire life and the next big mission to wipe out all of the Rangers. This exciting adventure does make us wonder more deeply about nature vs. nature.
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee (ages 8 – 12)
Stuck in a museum with her sister and father who is working on a sword exhibit, Orphelia’s curiosity leads her to a locked room where a boy has been trapped for thousands of years. But Orphelia doesn’t believe in that kind of thing. Except she kind of does. She remembers her mother used to tell her those stories . . . This is a breathtaking journey of loss, acceptance, hope and friendship and homage to the Snow Queen fairy tale. I loved it so much I wrote about it for the first Read Brightly book club pick.
The Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas (ages 8 – 12)
Trinket’s storyteller father disappeared years ago. Now that her mother has died, Trinket decides to take the map her father left behind and try to find him. Her friend, Thomas the Pig Boy, travels with her. Each place on the map gives Trinket a new story to tell and she imagines she could learn to be a storyteller like her father. Amazing adventures ensue but when Trinket learns the fate of her father in the seventh story, she must make a very hard decision. I’ve read this book twice and the second time through confirmed it’s the author’s amazing storytelling — its an excellent bedtime chapter book choice.
Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling
Another must-own book for Harry Potter fans. This is what Dumbledore left to Hermione in his will that helped the friends figure out the Deathly Hollows.
Crown of Three by J.D. Rinehart (Book 1) (ages 8 – 12)
The realm is ruled but a power-hungry and despicable king. When his mistress gives birth to triplets of a prophecy, the three children are spirited away and hidden separately. Now that the children are older, each of them face challenges and adventures that lead them to the truth of who they really are — the foretold saviors of the empire. This is a great adventure story with cool creatures, a few zombies, danger, and epic kid-power. I’m looking forward to the next book.
Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland (series) (ages 8 – 12)
My daughter LOVES this series. I only liked it but I’ll admit to not being a huge fan of animal-only stories. So the gist is that a group of dragonets leave their protectors safety and are captured by a dragon faction. The dragonets might just be the long-awaited dragonets of the prophesy that will end the dragon wars for good. Or they might not. One thing’s for sure: when the dragonets are captured, things don’t look good for their future.
Thrones of Bones Frostborn by Lou Andres (8 – 12 years old)
Two misfits — a boy named Karn who is only good at playing a board game, and a girl named Thianna who is a half-human, half-giantess — unexpectedly partner to survive deadly soldiers, undead warriors, trolls, and a dragon. I absolutely loved this adventure and can’t wait for the next in the series. Plus, I’m so happy to see that Norse mythology is growing in popularity with writers. The only thing I suggest is that you to make sure to use the glossary as you read — there are many words which aren’t commonly known and specific to Norse culture.
Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly (8 – 12 years)
Lockwood & Co The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (8 – 12 years)
I devoured this book – and I don’t like scary books. It really wasn’t too scary. Taking place in old-time London, we learn that dangerous ghosts and spirits are appearing everywhere. Teens Lucy, Anthony, and George badly need money for their ghost agency so they take a perilous job that may just be their last. I haven’t read the other books in the series yet but they all look just as good.
The Olympians series by George O’Connor (9 – 14 years)
I’m a big fan of all these graphic novels by O’Conner – and my kids love them. I highly recommend them and they’re great for reluctant readers.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (10 – 14 years)
Don’t judge this excellent series by the it’s dreadful movies, please. These books are really amazing! Basically there are really still Greek gods and sometimes they have kids with humans and those kids are half-bloods with unique powers. Unfortunately for these kids, monsters are out to kill them and they are the only ones who can save the world from war between the gods and in a later book, between the Titans and the gods. Compared to Harry Potter, the language isn’t as rich but it’s still a fantastic fantasy adventure.
Starcatchers series by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson (10 years and up)
I adore this series and know your kids will, too. The authors imagined what happened BEFORE Peter Pan and this is the result. A stunning, totally creative fantastical adventure of magical star stuff, evil shadows who want to rule the universe, and so much more.
Storybound by Marissa Burt (8 – 12 years)
Una falls into the land of stories of heroes and villians but something is very wrong. No new stories are being written. So how did she get written in and who is she? We read this for bedtime and my kids and I looked forward to it every night. A great fantasy fairy tale adventure!
Nightbird by Alice Hoffman (ages 12 – 18)
Wow. Nightbird’s magic isn’t only in the story but in the woven images of enchanting characters and plot. This book will stay with you long after the last page. Twelve-year-old Twig lives on the edges, trying to stay unnoticed in order to protect her secret brother — a handsome, smart boy who lives in the attic of her home. He bears the family curse — he has wings. But when he won’t stay hidden anymore, and reveals himself to their beautiful neighbor girl. Twig hurries to stop both the curse and the town from hunting her brother as a monster. A wonderfully bewitching story I couldn’t put down!
Erec Rex by Kaza Kingsley (ages 8 – 12)
Life is not easy for twelve-year-old Erec Rex. His single mother can barely support her six adopted kids. And they’ve moved into an apartment so tiny that Erec sleeps with the washing machine. Worse, there is a strange force within Erec that is making him do odd things. His urge to obey these thoughts grows — until it becomes impossible to resist them. Then one morning, Erec’s mother is missing. The force inside Erec commands him to find her, leading him on an adventure that will change him forever. When he arrives in Alypium, a hidden world where old knowledge of magic is kept, Erec learns that his mother and the entire kingdom are in peril. And he might be the only one who can save them.
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (12 years and up)
Sanderson always writes with uniqueness, plot twists, and compelling adventure. In this sci-fi adventure series (that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND,) Epics are super-powerful individuals who have extraordinary powers they use for bad — in other words, their own gain. What’s worse, Epics now control the major cities and one Epic, Steelheart, killed David’s father right in front of him when David was young. Now as a teen, David wants revenge. He joins the Reckoners to assassinate Steelheart. But he’ll have to convince the group he’s not an Epic spy, and that it’s even possible to kill one of the most powerful Epics in the world.
Constable & Toop by Gareth P. Jones (ages 8 – 12)
Don’t worry, this isn’t scary like you might imagine. It’s an interesting imagining of the ghost world. Some ghosts work for the “Ghost Bureau” – a predictably stuffy governing agency that does very little. Other ghosts are stuck haunting houses and can’t escape. Yet other ghosts are rogues. In this story, the Black Rot is killing haunted house ghosts. And they don’t reappear. So it’s up to a bumbling ghost named Mr. Lapsewood to find out how to stop it. Totally entertaining and very well-written.
Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull (9 – 13 years)
I endorse this series mostly. The last few books got a bit dull for me but I loved the first few. Two siblings visit their grandparents who they learn run a mythical creature refuge called Fablehaven. Of course, this kids not only discover this secret, but mayhem and adventure ensue.
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (series) (9 – 13 years)
We read this dragon book twice for a bedtime stories in addition to the subsequent books in the series including the newly published FOURTH book, Talking To Dragons! This is about a strong female princess named Cimorene who doesn’t want to be a princess rescued and married off. She leaves her home to apprentice herself to a dragon. For fun. No rescuing involved, thank you very much. Plus, she must help save her dragon from the wizards. LOVE and highly recommend this dragon series.
Undertow by Michael Buckley (ages 12+)
Michael Buckley’s Alpha are from the ocean — clans of creatures with wild amphibian and human appearances and a specific hierarchy. Not only is this world development imaginative, the plot is crazy good –filled with tension, action, and adventure. Our 16 year old heroine, Lyric, is trying to hide that her mom is one of the Alpha (First People) or they’d disappear to a camp if discovered. Lyric’s school is ordered to integrate with the First People. Worse, Lyric is ordered to help the prince, Fathom. Not good for someone trying to fly under the radar. Tensions are high as protestors and students get violent with their hatred of the Alpha but there’s something much worse than the Alpha. And it’s coming. LOVED it! (My husband also loved this book and was mad that he stayed up all night to read it. He told me next time to suggest something more boring.)
Wereworld by Curtis Jobbing (ages 12+)
Drew is raised on a farm and knows little of his surroundings. He’s ill prepared to live on the run, which he does when his were powers arise. Fortunately, he meets a other WereLords including a WereBear Lord who fought with Drew’s father and is willing to help him. Kidnappings, revenge, murder, and a prophecy — this book has all the elements you’ll want in a fantasy adventure series. I loved the story, the writing, and the characters.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown (ages 13+)
Love, love, love this YA sci-fi series that takes place on Mars with a caste society, color coded by the level of your caste. Darrow, a low-caste Red, infiltrates the ruling Gold caste’s special training school. His training? Kill or be killed. Lead an army or be enslaved. Better than Hunger Games – especially for boys who don’t want to read about romance and really get enthralled with battle strategy. Excellent. Epic. Don’t miss this series!
Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly (ages 13+)
A great girl power book for teens — this is the story of five mermaids who journey to find each other and then to find the sea witches. An ancient evil is being unleashed and not only is trying to kill the girls, but enslave or kill their communities. Very entertaining.
The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holberg (ages 13+)
In a world where magicians specialize in a specific magic (metal, paper, and so forth), magician-in-training Ceony is assigned to learn from Magician Emery Thane. When his ex-wife tries to kill him, Ceony animate a magical heart to save Emery’s life then leaves to fight the evil magician Excisioners. As the story develops, so does the attraction between Emery and Ceony. Great character development with fast-paced action.
Air Awakens by Elise Kova (series) (ages 13+)
Vhalla thinks she’s just a library assistant but when the prince needs her, she learns she’s the only air elemental in the kingdom. Now she must decide if she’ll train her magic or let the wizards remove it. The second book is already out, too! Adventure and magic make this a great story.
The Infernal Devices (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess) by Cassandra Clare (series) (ages 14+)
Romance, fantastical creatures including vampires and shifters, and plenty of magic. This is the Victorian world of the Shadowhunters. I read the first three books in this series and liked them okay but my 14-year old absolutely loves this series except she thinks there’s too much romantic drama.
Harry Potter Film Wizardry by Brian Sibley (ages 10+)
My kids love this book! It’s a lot of beautiful photos with details from behind the scenes of the movies.
Enjoy these books similar to Harry Potter!
And let me know which books your kids are loving!
Books for 8-year olds
Books for 9-year olds
Books for 10-year olds
Books for 11-year olds
Books for 12-year olds
Don’t miss these book lists:
- Books for kids who like Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- Fantasy chapter book recommendations
- Best chapter books series that kids will love