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Beyond Harry Potter

Young readers who are spellbound by the adventures of Harry Potter, Hermione, and Ron will be just as taken by these fantasy favorites. There are whole worlds beyond Hogwarts to explore, and even you may not be able to put these recommended books down! Note: Some fantasy is best shared with slightly older children.
Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Dealing with Dragons

By: Patricia Wrede
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A princess is bored by the goings-on at the castle but finds adventure with dragons when she runs away. She willingly becomes the captive of Kazul, a grumpy but good-hearted dragon, and the two of them save the other dragons from mean-spirited wizards. Sequels are equally light and engaging and include: Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, and Talking to Dragons.

Half Magic

By: Edward Eager
Illustrated by: Edward Eager
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A boring summer turns into a fantastic series of adventures when Jane and her three siblings find an ancient coin that makes wishes come true – but only halfway. Other magical titles by Edward Eager include: Knight’s Castle, Magic by the Lake, The Time Garden, Magic or Not, The Well-Wishers, and Seven-Day Magic.

High Tide in Hawaii

By: Mary Pope Osborne, Sal Murdocca
Illustrated by: Sal Murdocca
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Hawaii is home to no less than 8 national parks where magic abounds in natural wonders such as the Volcanoes National Park. In this Magic Tree House installment, Jack and Annie are instructed to find a "special magic" in old Hawaii. They find it in Hawaii's beauty and the drama of natural disasters!

Midnight for Charlie Bone

By: Jenny Nimmo
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Like another English boy, Charlie discovers his unique mysterious abilities and goes off to Bloors Academy, a school for specially gifted students. Twists and turns, exceptional magical skills, and remarkable characters make this an adventure not to miss.

So You Want to Be a Wizard

By: Diane Duane
Illustrated by: Diane Duane
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Nita discovers a book entitled So You Want to Be a Wizard? at her local library, she enters another dimension where she successfully defeats the forces of evil. The series continues in Deep Wizardry, High Wizardry, and A Wizard Abroad. Books come alive literally and evil is averted in a more sophisticated novel, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (Chicken House/Scholastic, 2003).

The Book of Three

By: Lloyd Alexander
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Taran, the Assistant Pig-Keeper, and a host of memorable characters set out on a hazardous mission to save Prydain from the forces of evil. Drawing inspiration from the colorful tales of Welsh mythology, The Chronicles of Prydain continue in The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, and The High King.

The Dark Is Rising Sequence

By: Susan Cooper
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

While on vacation in an English village by the sea, Simon, Jane, and Barney Drew, the protagonists of Over Sea, Under Stone, begin a quest to retrieve a relic from King Arthur’s time. Different characters join their quest through The Dark Is Rising, Greenwitch, and the Newbery Award winning The Grey King, until the Drew children, Will Stanton, and Bran Davies defeat the forces of the Dark in the exciting conclusion of the series, Silver on the Tree.

The Hobbit

By: J.R.R. Tolkien
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Bilbo Baggins leaves his comfortable Hobbit-hole when selected by Gandalf the wizard to become part of a dangerous adventure in this prequel to Tolkien's epic Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

By: C.S. Lewis
Illustrated by: C.S. Lewis
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When siblings, Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmund are sent away from London air-raids during World War II, they are placed with an old man in the country. There, they enter another time and place through an old wardrobe found by Lucy. This early installment in the Narnia Chronicles has been lovingly adapted into a sophisticated 2005 movie.

The Secret of Platform 13

By: Eva Ibbotson, Sue Porter
Illustrated by: Sue Porter, Eva Ibbotson
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The secret Island is perfect – with one exception. It’s missing its prince, who was stolen years before as a baby. Now a hag named Odge Gribble, an old wizard, and other memorable characters have set off on a quest to London to rescue the child and reunite him with his parents.

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Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore
April 7, 2014
March 27, 2014
Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.
"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." — Kate DiCamillo