13 Marvelous New Fantasy and Science Fiction Chapter Books
Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke FANTASY / FAIRY TALE (ages 7 – 10) My 11-year old and I devoured this book by one of our favorite graphic novelists only to discover IT HAS A CLIFF-HANGER! (We only rage because we love.) While Jack’s single mom works, Jack takes care of his his little sister, Maddy. And like the other Jack, this Jack, at the prompting of his sister who doesn’t talk, also trades the family’s one valuable thing, his mom’s car, for seeds. It all goes downhill from there: The seeds turn in to a freaky, monster-growing garden which attack; their neighbor friend secretly steals some 0f the seeds; a dragon appears with a dire warning; and, Maddy is kidnapped by one of the monsters! Action, adventure, intrigue, . . . I almost forgive the cliff-hanger.
Doodle Adventures: The Search for Slimy Space Slugs! by Mike Lowery HUMOR / SCI-FI (ages 7 – 10) This book not only hooks the reader with it’s space-adventure plot and hilarious narrator Carl the Duckbut it invites YOU to find the missing priceless artifact requiring bravery, heroism and drawing. Yes, drawing. Along the journey to retrieve the artifact from Captain Sleezoog (he’s a slug), you’ll be tasked with doing your part. So you’ll make sure (by drawing) that you’ve got a spacesuit, you’ve packed everything you need to bring, the rocket design is perfect plus has some silly (bandages!?) extras, and lots more as the adventure ensues. It may sound contrived but it’s an engaging adventure any kid, artist or not, will love. And there is MORE in the series! Also read: The Pursuit of the Pesky Pizza Pirate!
The King of Kazoo by Norm Feuti FANTASY / ADVENTURE (ages 7 – 10) This graphic novel is about a clueless king named Cornelius whose brave, helpful, and magical daughter, Bing, is the one who knows what’s going on and what to do. Father and daughter along with the helpful inventor named Torq journey to Mount Kazoo to discover what’s behind a recent earthquake. There they must save the country from a destructive volcano created by evil alchemist who is creating the ultimate robot. Funny and full of adventure.
Galactic Hot Dogs: Cosmoe’s Wiener Getaway by Max Brallier, illustrated by Rachel Maguire and Nichole Kelley HUMOR / SCI-FI (ages 7 – 10) I resisted reading this for awhile but after seeing so many kids LOVING it, I knew I should give it a go. Now I know what the fuss is all about — it’s got non-stop action and danger, potty humor, space adventures, zombie aliens, mutant worm wrestling, a misunderstood evil princess, good friends, video games, and a diabolical, hunting-them-down evil queen. Not to mention the loads of cartoon illustrations throughout and hilarious writing with a kazillion exclamation marks!!!! I see what kids are loving now — and recommend this book for boy reluctant readers in particular. (Book 2, The Weiner Strikes Back is also out now.)
Bera the One-Headed Troll by Eric Orchard FANTASY (ages 8 – 12) Bera, a troll, finds a human baby in a little boat near her island. But what to do with it? She sets out on a quest to find the baby’s parents only to discover that the friends she meets along the way and her ancestors will need to help save the baby from a terrible witch. Gorgeous graphic novel illustrations.
Charmed I’m Sure by Sarah Darer Littman FAIRY TALE / REALISTIC (ages 8 – 12) Rose Charming just wants a date to the middle school dance. So she asks her famous mother, Snow White, for help and gets a makeover and a snarky magic mirror who advises her poorly. Will Rose keep listening to the mirror and be a mean glamour girl with a date or will she decide to be her own person with thrift-store style, kindness, and no date? I liked the book’s message of kindness and individuality and the fairy tale characters living life in the real world (New York).
The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing FANTASY (ages 8 – 12)
William and the Witch’s Riddle by Shutta Crum FAIRY TALE / FANTASY (ages 7 – 10) I like that this book is the easier side of middle grade books and like the twist on the original story. Our hero has only his little brother now; his mother is missing and his father is dead. When an evil witch named Morga gives him a riddle to solve with three tasks, he’s scared but determined to complete the tasks in order to be reunited with his mother. Helped by a garden witch, a gnome who changes sizes daily, a very tiny dragon, and a strange mule, he discovers his mother asleep in a glass casket in the woods. Not only that, he learns that she’s a cursed princess. (Think Sleeping Beauty.) Of course, it’s up to him (with help from his friends) to save her. But can his wits win against such a powerful witch?
Foxheart by Claire Legrand FANTASY (ages 9 – 12) In Foxheart, you’ll find time travel, good vs. evil, friendship and belonging and a compelling story about a 12-year old orphan and thief. When her much older self time travels to find her, Quicksilver learns both that she’s magical and about the evil controlling the wolf king. After accepting the truth of her many life-long quests to stop this destructive evil, Quicksilver, along with her dog and a boy named Sly Boots, joins her older self in the past when magic wasn’t persecuted. Now all they must do is the impossible . . .
Out of Abaton, The Wooden Prince by John Claude Bemis FAIRY TALE / FANTASY (ages 9 – 12) In this unique, amazing reimagined Pinocchio story, Pinocchio is an automa whose been sent by the magical, imprisoned king of Abaton, a land with elemental magic, to a fugitive alchemist named Geppetto. Geppetto believes the king sent Pinocchio to be his new son and sets out to rescue the king. As their adventures ensue and they get separated, it’s clear that Pinocchio is becoming flesh and blood, a real boy with feelings and independent thoughts. He meets and befriends half-beasts (chimeras) with Abaton origins, a slave boy, and the sylph princess of Abaton, all who work with him to rescue Geppetto and the king, who end up in the belly of a the Deep One. It’s an exciting, interesting story with a very surprising, totally marvelous ending.
The Mighty Odds by Amy Ignatow SCI-FI (ages 8 – 12) I liked this book but it wasn’t the complete story so be warned, you’ll have to stay tuned until the next book is out to get more of the plot. Basically, this book sets things up — we learn that the random group of students who were in a bus accident all have strange powers. (Like moving a few inches to the left.) Their substitute teacher’s new power is starting fires and he’s making a mess of the town. After some investigation, they reunite with their now invisible bus driver. The bus driver tells them he was transporting something secret and he thinks that affected all of them . . . Something from a laboratory. Something that changed them all.
Going Wild by Lisa McMann FANTASY (ages 9 – 12) After she puts on a mysterious, gifted bracelet that won’t come off, Charlie discovers she has strange animal powers that are only activated by her fear. She and her two friends try to figure out what’s going on but their investigations lead dangerous scientists straight to their door. It’s all connected to the job Charlie’s dad use to have and when her dad is kidnapped, things get even more scary. (Cliff-hanger alert!)
The Unbelievable FIB 1: The Trickster’s Tale by Adam Shaughnessy NORSE MYTHOLOGY / FANTASY (ages 9 – 12) Baba Yaga’s adopted son, Mister Fox, arrives with a mysterious letter for 11-year old Pru that only she can see. He hopes she and her friend ABE will get curious and help him stop the Norse giants who’ve arrived on Earth (Midgard) to steal the runes telling the location of Odin’s Eye for Loki, the trickster. Mister Fox is tricky, too and won’t give the friends answers because he wants them to stay skeptical — this will help them travel to Asgard, with some very special help from Ratatosk, the squirrel of Yggdrasil, and fight Loki and the giants.
These books have been added to the following lists: Best Fantasy Books for Kids Best Sci-Fi Books for Kids Best Books for 8-Year Olds Best Books for 9-Year Olds Best Books for 10-Year Olds Best Books for 11-Year Olds Best Books for 12-Year Olds