We all know a young (or not so young!) fan of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter. My own son repeatedly returns to books in the series, rereading them over and over again. The series has done so much for inspiring a love of reading among young people, but we often hear from parents whose children are stuck in a bit of a Harry Potter rut and are struggling to break out of it. Fortunately, middle grade fantasy is thriving as a genre and there are some fantastic books out there that we think are perfect for Harry Potter fans of all ages. Here are just six of them.
Casander Darkbloom and the Threads of Power by P.A. Staff
Hot off the press, this brand-new fantasy story is perfect for readers aged 8+. It’s a magical book that celebrates difference, written by a debut author with an extraordinary and authentic voice. It’s also the first in a new series. Cas is the Foretold, the one prophesied to defeat the malevolent Master of All. Under the protection of Wayward School, Cas must learn to master his magical abilities. But, as he soon discovers, all may not be quite as it seems – and Cas will need to take control of his own destiny if he is to find the strength to fight the powers of evil.
Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell
Without a doubt a candidate for our book of the year, Impossible Creatures is the first in an epic new trilogy by one of the most exciting voices in contemporary children’s literature – and perfect for fans of Fantastic Beasts. Christopher’s grandfather is the guardian of one of the ways between the non-magical world and a place called the Archipelago, a cluster of magical islands where mythical creatures live and thrive alongside humans. They have been protected from being discovered for thousands of years; now, terrifyingly, the protection has worn thin, and creatures are breaking through.
Fablehouse By E.L. Norry
An action-packed magical adventure for 8+, Fablehouse is a thrilling fantasy with a brilliant cast of diverse characters. We love the atmospheric setting and the story that focuses on friendship and finding your place in the world. Newly arrived at a mysterious mansion surrounded by ancient woodland, Heather roams the countryside with some of the other mixed-race kids who are in care there. Before long they find a stone tower that feels strangely magical. There they meet Palamedes, the Black knight from King Arthur's court. He warns them that danger lurks in a world beneath their feet.
Spellstone By Ross Montgomery
We are huge fans of Ross Montgomery's books – he’s an exceptional talent, writing contemporary classics that both kids and adults love. Spellstone is no exception, packed with magical storytelling and brilliant characters. Recruited into the Order of the Stone, a secret magical organization, Evie finds herself at the heart of an ancient battle to protect the Spellstone, the most powerful magical weapon in the world. Evil is returning to the land, and Evie is the only person who can stop it. But how can she when she doesn’t even know how to use her own powers?
The Spectaculars: The Four Curses by Jodie Garnish
A middle grade novel that combines magic, the theatre and a travelling boarding school is sure to be a hit. Young readers will be immersed in a world of magic, theatre and danger with a large pinch of starstuff in this exciting new series. When Harper joins The Spectaculars at their travelling boarding school, she can't wait to learn all kinds of magic. But when the song of the Four Curses comes to life, and a terrifying creature threatens everything, she must use her new powers to save her school...
The Marvelllers by Dhonielle Clayton
Eleven-year-old Ella Durand is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, a magic school in the clouds for Marvellers from around the world. Ella discovers that being the first isn't easy but she finds friendship in fellow misfits Brigit, a girl who hates magic, and Jason, a boy with a fondness for magical creatures and support from her Elixirs teacher, Masterji Thakur. We know young readers are going to love this new series - a diverse cast of characters, incredible world-building and a story packed with magic, mystery and friendship are the perfect ingredients for a middle grade hit.
From our award-winning monthly book subscriptions to chapter books, letterbox gifts, stocking stuffers and ideas for a Christmas Eve box, we’re here to help you give the gift of reading this Christmas. Head to the dedicated Christmas area on our website for everything you need this festive season!