Thursday, October 6, 2016

After Harry Potter

In the past two days, two parents have come to me saying, "My child has read all of Harry Potter (and/or Percy Jackson) (multiple times)... what's next?"  While I have a lot of great suggestions for the child who's read everything, many of those may not appeal to a child who is just looking for fantasy.  I'm not personally a fantasy reader, so I haven't read all of these myself, but these recommendations come on good authority.  For those kids, here are a few ideas.

Don't forget these classics:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Chronicles of Prydain trilogy by Lloyd Alexander.  An undeservedly forgotten series.

A Wrinkle in Time quintet by Madeleine L'Engle.

Newer series:

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins (author of The Hunger Games).  For those children who are not ready - or whose parents are not ready! - for The Hunger Games

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Not exactly fantasy but may appeal to fantasy lovers:

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.

For fans of fairy tales, these series take them to a new, darker, level:

The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer.

The SIsters Grimm by Michael Buckley and Peter Ferguson.

The Grimm series  by Adam Gidwitz.

What other books do you suggest for a child who loved Harry Potter and/or Percy Jackson and is ready for something new?


  1. Another underservedly forgotten fantasy series is The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper. And I think the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series is really for older kids -- it's pretty dark and scary. I'd also recommend: The Books of Beginning Series by John Stephens; The Apothecary Series by Maile Meloy; and the Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy (Maile's brother).

    1. Thanks! I love the Wildwood illustrator, Carson Ellis.

  2. Forgot one more: The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud.

  3. Fantasy readers:
    Elfquest (graphic novels with new stories still being published after 40 years)

    Piers Anthony with particular attention to Xanth and The Incarnations of Immortality

    Magician Trilogy by Raymond Feist

    I also don't know any fantasy readers that wouldn't also enjoy reading:
    Ringworld by Larry Niven
    Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov
    Lots of other sci-fi by Greg Bear

    If they want to read something familiar, there are many stories in the Star Trek and Star Wars universe that range from good to excellent.

  4. I want to read "Peculiar Children" but I'm like number 200 on the hold list for 5 copies of the Ebook at NYPL.

    Also, one of my favorite podcasts is "Imaginary World's" about "the creation of them and how we suspend our disbelief." Currently, the host Eric Molinsky, is focusing on fantasy worlds. Last week he discussed how important a well drawn map can be to a well told fantasy world.

  5. Other friends who did not comment here also recommended books by John Bellairs as well as Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, and pointed out that Rick Riordan recommends read-alikes on his website.