Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball by Laura Ellen Anderson (ages 6 – 9)
Amelia loves her pet pumpkin Squashy and two best friends, Florence the yeti and Grimaldi the reaper. The friends welcome their school’s new student, the prince Tangine, yet Tangine is the rudest, meanest kid they’ve ever met. To make matters worse, he forces Amelia to give Squashy to him! So Amelia and her friends set out to rescue Squashy. In doing so, they discover the prince and king’s big secret…which, when revealed, makes everything better. It’s a light-hearted illustrated beginning chapter book about friendship, kindness, and looking beneath the surface.
Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly (ages 8 – 12)
A story infused with mythology about the power of stories, belief in the stories, and the courage to change your future. Lalani, a poor girl in a fishing village, savors stories like sustenance. They help her survive her cruel stepfather and stepbrother and give her a roadmap life, especially in difficult times. Thinking she’s helping her village, Lalani wishes for rain from a magic-wielding Mindoren hiding on the mountain. However, she forgets to ask for the rain to stop. When it never stops, the village blames Lalani. Believing in the stories and reflecting on something she heard (“Things will never change if everyone’s asleep“), Lalani bravely faces the biggest danger of her life — traveling in a boat across the sea from which no one has ever returned– to find a flower that might fix things. Richly layered and full of depth, this beautiful story is a must-read.
Saving Fable by Scott Reintgen
Voyage of the Frostheart by Jamie Littler (ages 8 – 12)
You won’t want to leave this magical, dangerous, snowy world! Voyage of the Frosthart is a fantastic, illustrated adventure story about an orphan boy with forbidden musical powers. You’ll meet sentient creatures like the vulpi, a walrus and a yeti, not just human-kin, who live in Strongholds to stay safe from the monstrous Lurkers and Leviathans. After Ash’s Pathfinder parents disappear, Ash moves in with a strict guardian Yeti named Tobu. Unfortunately, they’re banished from their home when Ash uses his forbidden Song Weaver magic. They leave the village with a Pathfinder crew, a ship that sails over the snow. On their journey, Ash realizes that he can find his parents using the words in his childhood lullaby. But he’ll be tried, tested, and tricked. Who will he trust? And which side will he choose — light or dark?
The Princess Who Flew with Dragons by Stephanie Burgis (ages 8 – 12)
Although this book is set in the world of The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart and its sequel, you can read this story independently. (And then you’ll want to read those two books if you haven’t, they’re really good!) Sofia is an impulsive, quick-tempered younger sister and princess, who hates being a princess; she would rather study philosophy. When her sister the crown princess makes Sofia take a diplomatic trip, it forces Sofia to see her own privilege, opening her eyes to new experiences and new friends. Then when her older sister and other royals are kidnapped by the ice giants, Sofia embarks on a quest to save her sister along with her dragon friend and a kobold not-really-friend. Not only is this a marvelous fantasy adventure story that I couldn’t put down but I really loved Sofia’s character and how much she grew up throughout the story.
Added to: The Best Dragon Books for Kids
Legends of the Sky by Liz Flanagan (ages 8 – 12)
If you like dragons and inspiring orphans who fight against evil — you’ll love this story about a girl who, after witnessing a murder, saves a sack of dragon eggs from a strange visitor to the island of Arcosi where dragons have been extinct for centuries. Unfortunately, she becomes embroiled in the political ambitions of a maniacal ruler who wants the hatchling dragons for himself. But it’s Milla and her friends who each bond a dragon, not the Duke. It becomes clear that the teenagers and their dragons are not safe — and if they want to see justice for all the people in Arcosi, they must fight back. A wonderful, dramatic story perfect for fantasy-loving readers.
The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao (MYTHOLOGY) (ages 8 – 12)