45+ Best Fantasy Books for Tweens and Middle-Grade Fantasy Readers
Does your middle schooler love to read fantasy? Our kids adore fantasy books so much that we knew we needed to make a list of middle-grade fantasy books. These books are perfect for your 10, 11, 12, and 13-year-olds to read.
None of the books is too scary or contains a subject matter that is too mature, in our opinion. We have read all these books and love them. When it came to which books to include, we had input from all our kids as well as my niece who is a huge bibliophile!
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Ultimate List of Fantasy Books for Tweens
Book Series // School // Dragon // Mythology // Magic // Graphic Novels // Fairy-Take Retellings // Ghost // Historical Fantasy // Animal // Classics // More //
The Best Middle-Grade Fantasy Book Series for 10-13-year-olds
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Move over Harry Potter, there is a new middle-grade fantasy series poised to take your throne! Meet Sophie Foster, a newly found elf living in the human world.
In book one of this ever-growing series, she’s taken back to the Lost Cities and sent to Foxfire Academy to learn to harness her powers as a Telepath.
In the process, she is welcomed into a new family, makes loads of friends, and uncovers a secret organization trying to destroy the human world. Books about secret societies, magical creatures, and magic? Yes, please.
All 5 of our children loved this middle-grade fantasy series, and frankly, Jackie and I did too! It’s also a great family-friendly audiobook for long car trips.
We’ve got a whole list of books like KOTLC if you have already read this series.
Did you love this series? We do too! That’s why we created a list of Books Like Keeper of the Lost Cities
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling
I was in university when this book was published and the first four were sitting on my younger brother’s bookshelf before I picked it up to see what the fuss was about.
I read all four books in as many days and was married with a child before the final book was published.
This is one the fantasy books for tweens that is so much more than just a book. It is a vernacular that is used in our house. It is the book that changed all books and our culture forever.
I am so grateful for the world of Harry Potter because I think it opened up the world of books to people who may never have known they love to read.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
I don’t think there is a boy (or girl) out there who has read this middle-grade fantasy series and not loved it. It is the only series that can compare to Harry Potter in terms of how much my son LOVES it.
This first Percy Jackson book is about our beloved Percy, who discovers he is a demi-god and must recover Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt. He travels into the underworld to locate the lightning bolt and, at the same time, try to save his mother.
His amazing adventures with Annabeth and Grover along the way create the foundation for all the books that follow in this amazing and epic series. If you love Percy Jackson, you should check out our 18 Exciting Books like Percy Jackson for Fans to Enjoy or our Epic Guide to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson Books in Order
Love Fantasy Books? We do too! That’s why we created a list of Books Like Harry Potter and Books Like Percy Jackson!
Fantasy Books for Tweens Set in School
The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy by Anne Ursu
My daughter read this book and loved it. “Marya’s brother is going to be a sorcerer. When an accident happens, Marya is sent to Dragomir Academy. It is a place for troubled girls.
When she is there, the Dread attacks. The Dread is a cloud-like creature that can spawn itself and destroy villages.
I really liked this book because I love magic and the girls at the school work together as a team. This book was exciting and I want to read the next one.” This is one of the fantasy books for tweens that is perfect for Harry Potter Fans
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
This book is a fairy tale retelling of Cinderella. A fairy named Lucinda puts a curse on Ella that requires her to do whatever anyone tells her to do. Lucinda thought that she was helping Ella’s mother because she would not stop crying.
As Ella gets older, she being to attend a boarding school where she tried to make friends. She realizes, she needs to rid herself of this gift so that she can stop doing the horrible things that other people make her do.
This is one of those middle-grade fantasy books that my daughter reads over and over again.
The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris
I love Neil Patrick Harris and was so excited to read this book that he wrote about a group of magical misfits who come together to find friendship and self-worth in this wonderful series.
Carter has run away and never expects to find friends and magicians like him in the little town. Now, the friends must come together to save the little town from B.B. Bosso and his crew.
Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School #1) by Jen Calonita
Gilly gets caught stealing a bracelet and it is her final strike. She is sent to Fairy Tale Reform School. There, she meets her roommate, Kayla, who is a fairy.
The teachers at the school are reformed villains like the Evil Queen and Cinderella’s stepmother. When things go awry in the school, Gilly is the only one that can help. Will she be able to save everyone? If given a chance to go home early, should she go or stay to fight the evil in the school? This is such a cute middle-grade fantasy series that adds a little humor.
Fantasy Books for Tweens with Dragons
Eragon Christopher Paolini
Eragon, a 15-year-old boy, believes that he is merely a farm boy until one day, he discovers a polished blue stone in the forest. When the stone hatches and a dragon emerges, Eragon enters a world full of magic and power that he never knew existed.
Eragon discovers that he is a dragon rider, one of few left. This middle-school fantasy series is a world of dragons, magic, and power. Almost a “Dragon Masters” for the more mature reader, this series will take you into a world of fantasy you won’t forget. This is another pick on our list of YA fantasy books that are technically middle-grade but worth the read.
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Hiccup, an unlikely hero, overcomes many obstacles in the harsh Viking landscape. These middle-grade fantasy books are funny with cute illustrations that are bound to entertain even the pickiest of readers.
They have been made into a popular animated movie as well that my kids watch over and over..
The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire #1) by Tui T. Sutherland
Five dragons of different types, (a mud wing, a sea wing, a sand wing, a rain wing, and a night wing) are trapped in a mountainside cave to protect them from the outside world because they are part of a prophecy.
The dragons learn that the guardians plan to kill Glory, the rain wing because she was not supposed to be part of the prophecy. In order to save Glory, they hatch a plan and must work together as a team to escape.
Middle School Mythology Books for your 10-13-year-olds
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwambe Mbalia
Like me, my eldest is fantasy-book obsessed. After ripping through all of Rick Riordan’s books, he wasn’t sure what to read next.
Enter, Tristan Strong! This epic middle-school fantasy trilogy is based on African American folk heroes and West African mythology and it quickly engrossed my son. He finished the story and begged me to take him to the library for the next installment.
Tristan is grieving the loss of his best friend, Eddie when a mysterious creature shows up and tries to steal Eddie’s notebook.
As he tries to keep the notebook, Tristan accidentally punches a tree…opening a gateway to another world. Soon he’s in the middle of a battle and he needs to figure out a way to get back home. This is the perfect series for kids that love books like Percy Jackson.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan
This middle school fantasy series by Rick Riordan is based on Norse Mythology. Magnus Chase dies in battle and is brought to Valhalla where he is given the task of bringing back a powerful weapon to keep the monsters at bay and stop Ragnarok from destroying everything.
We don’t want to give too much away about this trilogy. All of our kids love Rick Riordan and this book is no exception. If you want more info and the complete guide to all things Percy Jackson (who is a secondary character in this series, you can check out our post: Epic Guide to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson Books in Order. This is one of the fantasy books for tweens that is an absolute must-read for kids that are looking for books like Percy Jackson.
The Flame of Olympus (Pegasus book 1)
When Pegasus crashes onto a roof during a storm, Emily finds him and comes to his rescue. She treats his wounds and cares for him when she finds out he is from Olympus.
Now Emily finds herself teaming up with a team to bring Pegasus back to Olympus ad rescue the gods. My daughter really loved this middle-grade fantasy book.
Tween Fantasy Books About Magic
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
This book is the perfect mixture of adventure, magic, and mystery. Felicity and her family arrive in Midnight Gulch, a town that used to be filled with magic before a curse pushed all the magic away. Felicity hopes to understand where the magic went and bring it back to the town.
It is a wonderful story that is perfect for all ages.
A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer
Brystal Evergreen finds out that she can perform magic when reading a book from her library, but women aren’t supposed to read!
When she is sentenced to a correctional facility, she was quickly whisked away to an academy where she can learn magic! My kids devoured this middle-grade fantasy as quickly as Chris Colfer’s last series.
Tuesday’s at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Every Tuesday, the Castle will change itself in some way by adding rooms or changing stairways. When Cellie’s parents, King and Queen Glower, are ambushed, nobody knows what happened to them. It is up to Cellie to find the truth and save her family.
This book is the first in a series of fantasy books for tweens. The series is light-hearted and fun.
Fantasy Graphic Novels for your 10-13-year-old
The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag
Boys grow up to be shapeshifters and girls become witches. But, what if you are a boy who loves witchery? Would you show your talents if it meant you would be exiled?
This Middle grade challenges gender stereotypes and is a perfect witch book for any middle-grade fantasy reader. Not only is the story great and the illustrations gorgeous, but the message of this book made it a must for best graphic novels of all time.
The Stonekeeper: A Graphic Novel (Amulet #1) by Kazu Kiuishi)
To me, the images in this graphic novel, along with the story, make this one of the scarier picks on the list.
After Emily and Navin’s father dies, they move into the home of their great-grandfather with their mother. strange things start happening and a strange creature lures their mother into another world. With the help of a mechanical rabbit, they must venture to the underground world to save her.
Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier
After a monster apocalypse has hit his town, Jack has been living in his treehouse with everything a 13-year-old needs: Oreos, Mountain Dew, and lots of video games.
He realizes that he cannot fight the monsters on his own so he builds a team of middle schoolers to launch a fight back. This is the first book in the fantasy books for tweens series with over 7 million copies in print.
Fairy Tale Retellings for your Tween
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
You might want to bump this series to the top of your reading pile because it’s becoming a movie starring some big-name actors.
Sophie thinks her history makes her a good fit for the School of Good like Cinderella and Snow White before her. Agatha is thinking the School of Evil is a better fit for her. But when the opposite schools are assigned to each girl, they need to figure out who they really are and where they belong.
This is one of the books like Percy Jackson we recommend for kids who love Camp Half-Blood. And, this middle-grade fantasy was just made into a movie as well! It was recently turned into a Netflix book adaptation starring Kerry Washington.
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
While this story is about the land of fairy tales, think Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella, it has the element of magic and wonder that Harry Potter fans will love.
Alex and Connor’s grandmother gives them the family book of fairy tales. Before they understand what is happening, they find themselves transported into the book. They set off on an adventure to get back home.
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Berry
This Peter Pan retelling finds Peter aboard a ship of sailors. He and a bunch of other orphans aboard the ship have to protect a treasure locked in a chest hidden on the ship from pirate captain Black Stache.
Think of this as the origin story of Tinkerbell, her fairy dust, and how Peter gained his ability to fly.
Fantasy Books for Tweens: Ghosts
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
This middle-grade fantasy / mystery reminded me of Harry Potter in some ways. A child is trying to uncover the secrets of Greenglass House, a hotel for smugglers and spies before the adults do.
We read this as a family read-aloud and it was wonderful. You may wonder why this mystery is on a list of fantasy books for tweens, but keep reading and you will find out!
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
We like to listen to books as a family when we are in the car together or doing a puzzle. The standout book for me this month was Winterhouse. It’s such a fun hotel novel!
This middle-grade mystery was as enthralling to me as it was to my boys. I loved the slight bits of magic in the story and the captivating setting of an expansive ski hotel on a snowy mountain at Christmas time. If you love a cozy mystery book, pick this one up!
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs
This series is full of magic and mystery. The amazing combination of fiction with antique photographs leads to a truly unique story.
In this story, Jacob travels to a remote island off the coast of Wales searching for answers. What he finds are more questions.
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
While this is technically a middle-grade fantasy book, it was SCARY. I absolutely loved it but, it should not be read by anyone who is afraid of ghost stories.
When Cass is rescued from drowning, she is suddenly able to maneuver between the land of the living and the other side of the veil. The boy that rescued her is a ghost and he becomes her best friend.
Her parents are ghost hunters and then they get a job filming a tv show in Scotland, they all pack up and go, including Cass’s ghost. What they find is scary, creepy and a fabulously fun read
Historical Fantasy Books for Tweens
The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
All of my kids have read this book and they all loved it- devoured it in a day. In 13th century France, three children set out on a quest with their dog. Each of the children, and the dog, have a magical gift.
Somehow this book is able to combine historical characters and mythical tales of the 13th century with morals and lessons that are completely relevant today.
Magyk by Angie Sage
Septimus Heap is the seventh son of a seventh son. He disappears the night that he is born and his parents are told he is dead.
That night, his father finds a baby girl in the snow. This story sets up the adventures for the rest of the series with magic, adventure, and bravery.
The Alchemyst: The Immortal Life of Nicholas Flamel
Like so many great fantasy novels, Sophie and John Newman have newfound powers that they do not know how to use. Suddenly, it is up to them to save everyone from Dr. John Dee.
Dr. Dee has stolen the Book of Abraham the Mage, Nicholas Flamel’s book. Inside are the secrets to eternal life and in the wrong hands, the book can destroy everything. Can Sophie and John master their powers and save the world?
Tween Fantasy Books by Diverse Authors
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
My daughter loved this Newberry Award-winning book. It is also the winner of more awards than I will mention. Every year the people of a small town leave a baby as an offering to a witch in the hope that she will not hurt the town.
But, the witch is kind and rescues the children rather than harming them. When the witch, Xan, accidentally feeds the baby moonlight instead of starlight, the girl becomes magic and Xan chooses to raise her and names her Luna. Luna will have to learn to use her magic and protect the ones she loves.
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
This fantasy book for tweens is a book that is perfect for all ages. Amari is searching for her brother and will not be deterred. She believes the key to finding him is an invitation to try out at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs she finds a briefcase in his closet.
The magical world, the story, and the characters are all captivating in this book. Be aware that there is a bullying aspect woven throughout.
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Aru Shah is a Rick Riordan Presents story based on ancient Indian mythology. 12-year-old heroine Aru is a storyteller who stretches the truth. But on a dare from classmates trying to catch her lying, she lights a lamp that sets an ancient demon free.
Now she’s on a mission to find the legendary Panda Brothers and return the demon to the land it came from. The first in the series, this is a great one for fans of Keeper of the Lost Cities.
Fantasy Books for Tweens with Animals
Willowdeen by Katherine Applegate
In a fire, Willowdeen’s house burns down and kills her parents with it. She is adopted by her aunts. She loves all animals, especially screechers. People think they are pests but she loves them and finds out they are dying off. Her new friend corner gives her a wood screeched as a present when the last screeched dies off. One day and she is crying, she comes back to find her wood screeched has come to life. With the help of her pet screecher and corner, they must solve the mystery of the disappearing hummingbears.
Endling by Katherine Applegate
Byx is a Nearly extinct creature that resembles a standing dog that can glide. Right after her family is chased off and killed she has to seek help from humans and a creature that she was planning to kill for food.
she dodges death many times before finally ending up in a populated city, pretending to be a normal dog. This is the perfect animal fantasy book for tweens.
Warriors #1: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
This is the first book in a series of books. Rusty, a house cat, wanders into the forest where he has a fight with a cat named grey paw. Two cats, part of a Clan of wild cats, were watching the encounter and asked Rusty to join the clan.
There is a prophecy that a cat with fire-colored fur would save the Thunder clan from evil. This is the book that has launched it all- 7 series of Warriors!
The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein
This series was introduced to my daughter by her middle school librarian. There is a cat named Aldwyn who is being chased by a bounty hunter. When he escapes into a shop that is specifically for magical pets, he finds himself adopted by a wizard in training. Together, Aldwyn, a bluejay named Skylar, and a tree frog named Gilbert, must rescue Jack and the other Loyals after they are kidnapped and cannot use their powers.
Middle-Grade Classic Fantasy Books for 10-13-Year-Olds
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis
The iconic book is actually the second book in the Chronicles of Narnia Series. However, since the first book is technically a prequel, I consider this the first and it can be read independently of the rest of the books in the series,
When four children discover a secret passage from a wardrobe into the Land of Narnia, they find a land enslaved by the white witch. They find friends, enemies, and magic. This is one of the classic fantasy books for tweens that has withstood the test of time.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
This classic book tells the story of Meg, a high school student, who must travel through space and time to rescue her father.
Along with her younger brother and her friend, Meg learns about the tesseract- a wrinkle in time and space that she must travel through in order to save her father from Evil.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
An introduction to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit was the first fantasy book that I ever read. Smaug, a dragon, is the main antagonist in this story. This book opened up a whole new world and genre of book.
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys his comfortable life close to home. When a wizard named Gandalf shows up on Bibloa’s doorstep with dwarves, they invite him on a quest. There, he will encounter Smaug, a creature named Gollum and find a ring that will change his life.
This YA fantasy is the prelude to the amazing Lord of the Rings trilogy. It is an iconic book which made it an easy pick for the best graphic novels of all time.
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials) by Philip Pullman
I read this fantasy book for tweens years ago and it stayed with me. As the name suggests, it is dark and probably not for kids who get scared easily.
Lyra lives in a world where all humans have animal familiars and parallel universes are all within reach. When Lyra’s best friend Roger is taken North by gobblers, she sets off to find him and bring him home. With the help of an armored bear, Lyra is determined on her quest but what she doesn’t know could kill her.
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Peter Pan is one of Kirsten’s favorite childhood stories. The magical world of Neverland with its pirates, mermaids, and natives is so engrossing.
The story of Peter Pan and his adventures with the Darling children have inspired countless spin-off books, movies, and theatrical productions for a reason. This classic fantasy book for teens is a must-read for everyone.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol and MinaLima
My daughter recently came home with this book from school. It is a classic and many children know the story of Alice. While my daughter loves the Disney version of this book, She did not enjoy the original.
For her, it was too creepy. I am not sure if her feelings would have been different if she had not seen the movie version.
More Fantasy Books for Tweens
Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan
This book is the newest in a series of fantasy books for tweens by Rick Riordan. Ana and her brother Dev are students at Harding Pencfoft academy, a school that specializes in marine science. When Ana heads out on an expedition, the school is bombed and Ana believes everyone has died.
With only her brother left in her family, Ana is desperate to find out what happened and who bombed the school. The Professor who accompanied them on the trip informs them that Land Institute and H-P have been fighting in a war for over 150 years.
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Animals all head to Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. It is a sanctuary of magic in a world that has stopped believing. Kendra and her brother Seth do not know that their grandfather is the caretaker of Fablehaven.
On the festival night, a window to their bedroom gets left open and the monsters are let in. It is up to Kendra and Seth to save their family. Parts of this middle-grade fantasy book are a bit scarier for younger children to read but if your child likes books like Percy Jackson, they should be ok with it.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl is a kid genius who is trying to utilize the power of fairies to find his father. With the help of his butler, they kidnap a fairy names Holly Short in order to restore his family’s fortune and find his power.
He underestimates the power of the fairies because he thinks that he is the smartest. This fantasy book for tweens is perfect for anyone who wants to see the villain’s perspective and root for them as well.
my favorites are keeper of the lost cities and wings of fire. they’re both pretty long series and keeper of the lost cities has some long books and major cliffhangers, but I would definitely recommend them.
Both are great series! I’m glad KOTLC has a 10th book coming!
Keeper of the Lost Cities, one hundred percent. Not a lot of people I know read it, and I was more than pleased to see it first on the list.
It’s fantastic – the kids and adults in my family all ready it!