Hello everyone! It’s that time again! So the other day, for some reason, I was thinking about all these old children’s and middle grade books I used to be completely obsessed with, so I figured I’d make them this month’s theme! In order to narrow things down a little I decided to go with just fantasy novels, and stick to a few books and series that don’t get a huge amount of attention! Let’s get started!
First off, I could not start this list without mentioning Gail Carson Levine. She was one of my all time favorite authors growing up, and more than one of her books are on my all-time favorites list!I could go for the obvious and suggest “Ella Enchanted” (which is amazing by the way), but instead I’m going to go for one of my all time vastly underrated favorites: “The Two Princesses of Bamarre” by Gail Carson Levine. This book follows the story of two sisters, Meryl, who is brave and courageous, and Addie, who is more timid and introverted. When Meryl catches the plague that’s been devastating their kingdom, it’s up to Addie to go on a find a cure, embarking on a quest with dragons, sorcerers, and several other types of fantasy creatures. The whole thing is super well written and creative, and all around an amazing high fantasy!
The second book I have to recommend is “Half Magic” by Edward Eagar. I first read this book back in fifth grade, and it (as well as absolutely everything else by this author) is absolutely adorable. The story revolves around a group of children who find a magical coin that can grant wishes, but will only give you half of what you wish for (for example if you were to wish for a million dollars, you would get half a million dollars), and follows their adventures as they figure out how to use the magic. This book is full of that charm that comes with really old children’s books, and it has this great whimsical tone that makes it a really fun light read!
Next up we have the first book in one of my all time favorite middle grade series: “Fablehaven” by Brandon Mull. This five book series follows the story of two siblings, who after being dropped off at their grandparent’s house for the summer, learn that their grandfather is the caretaker of Fablehaven, a sanctuary for magical creatures, which they must save after a powerful evil is unleashed. This is one of those series that gets better with each book, and the whole thing just has this really cool and unique version of magic and magical creatures! I will say real fast that this is also a series that really treads the line between middle grade and YA (the characters get older with each book, and some of the later books get really dark for middle grade) but it will definitely always be one of my all time favorite fantasy series!
Next we have another book by another of my all-time favorite: “The Secret of Platform 13” by Eva Ibbotson. This book revolves around a portal from London to a magical island that only opens for nine days every nine years. At the start of the story, the island’s prince is abducted as a baby in London right before the portal closes, so nine years later a team consisting of a wizard, a hag, a fey, and an (invisible) giant, go through the portal in order to find the prince and bring him back to the island. The characters in this book are all incredibly endearing, and the story is actually something I really haven’t seen before! If you’re looking for a really cute and unique fantasy book, this is definitely one I’d recommend!
Finally, the last book I have to recommend this month is another start to a series: “Peter and the Starcatchers” by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. This book serves as sort of a prequel to “Peter Pan”, following an orphan boy named Peter and an admiral’s daughter named Molly as they travel on the Neverland, a ship carrying a mysterious trunk. I don’t want to say much more, because this is definitely a book that works really well when you don’t know much about it, but just know that it’s super well written and puts a really cool spin on a classic story! (Also, the Broadway play adaptation is amazing!)
Well that’s about it for this month’s recommendations! See you next time and thanks for reading!