All Aboard the Fantasy Train!

Have you already read the Harry Potter series backward and forward? Then climb aboard the fantasy train for more great fantasy adventures. Okay, take one more ride on the Hogwarts Express first. We’ll wait.

Photo credit: Karen B. Schwartz, taken at Universal Studios

All good? Then check out these great fantasy adventures!

THE BOGGART by Susan Cooper

From IndieBound:  When Emily and Jess Volnik’s family inherits a remote, crumbling Scottish castle, they also inherit the Boggart — an invisible, mischievous spirit who’s been playing tricks on residents of Castle Keep for generations. Then the Boggart is trapped in a rolltop desk and inadvertently shipped to the Volniks’ home in Toronto, where nothing will ever be the same — for the Volniks or the Boggart.

In a world that doesn’t believe in magic, the Boggart’s pranks wreak havoc. And even the newfound joys of peanut butter and pizza and fudge sauce eventually wear thin for the Boggart. He wants to go home — but his only hope lies in a risky and daring blend of modern technology and ancient magic.

THE WARRIORS series by Erin Hunter

From IndieBound:  Fire alone can save our Clan…

For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by the powerful ancestors. But the warrior code is threatened, and the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger. The sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying — and some deaths are more mysterious than others.

In the midst of this turmoil appears an ordinary housecat named Rusty . . . Who may yet turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

THE HOUND OF ROWAN: Book One of the Tapestry by Henry H. Neff

From IndieBound: Max McDaniels lives a quiet life in the suburbs of Chicago, until the day he stumbles upon a mysterious Celtic tapestry. Many strange people are interested in Max and his tapestry. His discovery leads him to Rowan Academy, a secret school where great things await him.

But dark things are waiting, too. When Max learns that priceless artworks and gifted children are disappearing, he finds himself in the crossfire of an ancient struggle between good and evil. To survive, he’ll have to rely on a network of agents and mystics, the genius of his roommate, and the frightening power awakening within him.

THE STEPS ACROSS THE WATER by Adam Gopnik

From IndieBound:  Ten-year-old Rose lives in New York, the city of bright lights and excitement, and a seemingly endless variety of people, architecture, and food–where extraordinary things happen every day on every block. But Rose wasn’t born in New York; she was adopted as an infant from a far-away country. Though Rose loves her home and her adopted family, sometimes she can’t help but feel different, like she’s meant to be somewhere else. Then one day in Central Park, Rose sees something truly extraordinary: a crystal staircase rising out of the lake, and two small figures climbing the shimmering steps before vanishing like a mirage. Only it’s wasn’t a mirage. Rose is being watched–recruited–by representatives of U Nork, a hidden city far more spectacular than its sister city New York. In U Nork, Dirigibles and zeppelins skirt dazzling skyscrapers that would dwarf the Crysler building. Impeccably dressed U Norkers glide along the sidewalks in roller skates. Rose can hardly take it all in. Then she learns the most astonishing thing about U Nork. Its citizens are in danger, and they need Rose’s help, and hers alone.

UNDER THE GREEN HILL by Laura L. Sullivan

From IndieBound:  Meg and her siblings have been sent to the English countryside for the summer to stay with elderly relatives. The children are looking forward to exploring the ancient mansion and perhaps discovering a musty old attic or two filled with treasure, but never in their wildest dreams did they expect to find themselves in the middle of a fairy war.

When Rowan pledges to fight for the beautiful fairy queen, Meg is desperate to save her brother. But the Midsummer War is far more than a battle between mythic creatures: Everything that lives depends on it. How can Meg choose between family and the fate of the very land itself?

And don’t forget the classics:

THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH by Norton Juster

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle

THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien

THE ENCHANTED CASTLE by Edith Nesbit

HALF MAGIC by Edward Eager

Tell us your favorites in the comments!

Karen B. Schwartz had the good fortune to visit Harry Potter land at Universal Studios with a bunch of other Muggles. She’s got the magic wand and screaming yo-yo to show for it.

8 Responses to All Aboard the Fantasy Train!

  1. I’m a great fan of Roald Dahl’s brand of fantasy and got into Eoin Colfer’s ‘Artemis Fowl’ series to fill the Harry Potter void. Jonathan Stroud’s ‘Bartimaeus’ trilogy is awesome and I see he just won the BOB award for his prequel, ‘Bartimaeus: The Ring of Solomon’, which I’m dying to read.

  2. My students are loving THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE VOL 1 THE SHADOWS by Jacqueline West. It’s wonderful; the language is so fine! The children think the descriptions are fabulous, and are endlessly intrigued by the mysterious paintings in Olive’s house.

  3. Thanks, Karen. I can’t wait to dig into the fantasy novels on your list that I haven’t read yet. :)

  4. Natalie Aguirre

    Thanks for the awesome list. There’s many on the list I need to read.

  5. I credit the SECRETS OF DROON series by Tony Abbott for turning my new-to-chapter-books daughter into the avid teen reader she is now. For years she re-enacted stories from that series, running around the house in a cape :)

    Karen B. Schwartz Reply:

    @Sydney Salter, that is awesome!

  6. These all sound great! And of course I’ve read all those classics. :)

    Other suggestions:
    The Hounds of the Mórrígan by Pat O’Shea
    The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede
    The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley

    Karen B. Schwartz Reply:

    @Laura Marcella, thanks for your suggestions!