books: fantasy

The Huntress by Sarah Driver (9+ years)

“The Huntress” is the name of a ship where 13-year-old Mouse lives with her grandma, father and brother, Sparrow. But one day Mouse’s father goes missing and she discovers her brother is in danger. To set things right Mouse must find the Storm Opals scattered throughout the kingdom of Trianukka, braving terrodyls and merwraiths along the way. A heart-thumpingly brilliant adventure, complete with moonsprites, beast-chatter and sea hawks.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver


His Royal Whiskers by Sam Gayton (7+ years)

Something bad has happened to Prince Alexander, the only heir to the mighty Petrossian Empire.
Something worse than kidnapping. Something worse than murder. Somehow, the Prince has been miraculously transformed into a fluffy-wuffy kitten. Why has this terrible catastrophe happened? Who are the boy and girl brewing secret potions down in the palace kitchens? And how are they possibly going to avoid getting their heads chopped off?

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Snow Merchant by Sam Gayton

Fire Girl 
by Matt Ralphs
 (9+ years)

9781447283553Fire GirlTwelve-year-old Hazel Hooper has spent her whole life trapped in a magical Glade created by her mother, Hecate. She’s desperate to meet new people and find out about the world. And, more than anything, she wants to be a witch. But when her mother is kidnapped by a demon – everything changes . . .

Suddenly Hazel is alone in the world. Well . . . not quite alone. For it turns out that Hazel does have magic – she’s just not very good at controlling it. And she may have accidentally created a grumpy familiar in the form of a dormouse called Bramley.

Determined to rescue her mother, the young witch and her mouse set out to track down the demon and find Hecate. However, it turns out that life outside the Glade is far more dangerous than Hazel ever could have imagined. Witch Hunters are everywhere – and the witches are using demons to fight back!

Luckily for Hazel she manages to enlist the help of a handsome boy called David, and his drunken master, Titus White, who are expert demon hunters.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Fire Witch by Matt Ralphs


A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson (9+ years)

It’s bad enough having a mum dippy enough to name you Owl, but when you’ve got a dad you’ve never met, a best friend who needs you more than ever, and a new boy at school giving you weird looks, there’s not a lot of room for much else. So when Owl starts seeing strange frost patterns on her skin, she’s tempted to just burrow down under the duvet and forget all about it. Could her strange new powers be linked to her mysterious father?And what will happen when she enters the magical world of winter for the first time?

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable


The Black North by Nigel McDowell (9+ years)

the black northStorm clouds are gathering on the Divided Isle. Oona Kavanagh’s home has escaped the worst of the ravages of war, but now the Invaders from the ruined Black North are threatening. When Oona’s twin brother, Morris, is kidnapped, Oona is forced on a journey to the furthest reaches of the country to rescue him. With rumours of the Echoes – a mysterious blight creeping across the land – and Briar-Witches and Invaders at her heels, can Oona save her brother before the South turns as Black as the North?

If you liked this book, you may also like: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

Perijee & Me by Ross Montgomery (9+ years)


When 11-year-old Caitlin discovers a shrimp-like alien creature on the shores of her island home, she takes responsibility for teaching it about the world. Mostly, this just involved stopping little Perijee from eating everything! Caitlin becomes increasingly close to her alien friend, treating him like a brother. There’s only one problem – Perijee won’t stop growing. Then the authorities try to hunt him down and through his fear, Perijee disappears and starts causing trouble. Caitlin must leave home and travel across the country to try and convince Perijee to stop destroying everything before it’s too late.
If you liked this book, you may also like: Beetle Boy by MG Leonard

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver (8+ years)

wolf bThe first book, Wolf Brother, carries you back thousands of years to the ancient darkness of the forest: to a world steeped in natural magic and elemental terror, a world in which trusting a friend means risking your life.  An outcast from the Clans, Torak must battle his way past the terrifying Soul Eaters and their demon bear – with only a young wolf cub by his side.  A gripping, action-packed plot coupled with a wonderfully compelling world.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman


Gods and Warriors series by Michelle Paver (8+ years)

g and wThe first book, The Outsiders, is set in the Bronze Age, in a time of myths and ancient magic, and young Hylas is running for his life.  The mysterious black warriors want Hylas dead and so begins his quest across land and sea to find his missing sister and discover why he is being hunted.  But time is running out and Hylas has only the runaway daughter of a High Priestess and a dolphin to help him on his way.  Just as gripping and action-packed as the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series – a must read!

If you liked this book, you may also like: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver


The Burning Shadow by Michelle Paver (8+ years)

imagesHylas the Outsider is captured by slavers.  Set to work in the terrible underground mines of Thalakrea, he learns to his horror that he’s now closer than ever to his murderous enemies, the Crows. He has to escape before they find out he’s here. Pirra, the daughter of the High Priestess, is also on the run. When Fate reunites her with Hylas, their survival depends on ancient magic and an orphaned lion cub – unless the Gods have other plans. Just as great as the first book – another must read!

If you liked this book, you may also like: Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver


Ophelia & the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee (8+ years)

Ophelia-and-the-Marvelous-BoyUnlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia’s help. As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy’s own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world. A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman


Not As We Know It by Tom Avery (9+ years)

91e0hGuBQ5LNed is my twin brother. We do everything together. But Ned is sick, and I’m afraid. Today we found something amazing on the beach. Can it save my brother?

If you liked this book, you may also like: My Brother’s Shadow by Tom Avery



Stonebird series by Mike Revell (8+ years)


When ten-year-old Liam moves house to be closer to his dementia-suffering grandma, he’s thrown into an unfamiliar place, with a family that seems to be falling apart. Liam doesn’t remember what his grandma was like before she became ill. He only knows the witch-like old woman who snaps and snarls and eats her birthday cards. He wants to fix it, but he can’t. Walking his dog one day, Liam discovers an old stone gargoyle in a rundown church, and his life changes in impossible ways. The gargoyle is alive. It moves unseen in the night, acting out Liam’s stories. And stories can be dangerous things… Seeking revenge against the bullies at his new school, Liam tells a story about the gargoyle attacking them. When one of them ends up in hospital, a regretful Liam vows never to go near the gargoyle again. But his grandma’s illness is getting worse, his mum isn’t coping, and his sister is skipping school… What if the gargoyle is the only thing that can save Liam’s family?

If you liked this book, you may also like: Skellig by David Almond


One Wish by Michelle Harrison (8+ years)

cover44193-mediumHaving the ability to see fairies means that Tanya Fairchild’s life has never been easy. After all, real fairies are nothing like the ones in books; ones that grant wishes or leave money for teeth. Real fairies don’t like to be talked about, and they cast spells if Tanya steps out of line. The most she’s ever received in exchange for one of her teeth is a chewed up toffee. Of course, it would help if Tanya knew someone – anyone – else who could see them, too. When Tanya meets Ratty, she discovers that can he see fairies, but only after he goes missing does Tanya learn that her new friend has another extraordinary ability; an ability that has the potential to destroy them both…

If you liked this, you might also like: 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison


The River Singers by Tom Moorhouse (8+ years)

TheRiverSingers-200‘Something was approaching the burrow. Something deadly. Something that made Sylvan’s fur bristle with fear…’ Knowing their lives are under threat, water vole Sylvan and his brother and sisters have no choice but to abandon their burrow for ever. Together they set out on an epic journey along the Great River; but with dangers lurking at every turn, will they ever find a safe place to call home?

If you liked this, you might also like: Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell


Mountwood School for Ghosts by Toby Ibbotson (8+ years)

mountwood-school-for-ghosts-978144727100001At top-secret Mountwood School for Ghosts the magical staff instruct their students in the highest levels of haunting. Although the Stinking Druid, the Legless Warrior and Vera the Banshee try very hard to be terrifying, they’re just too riddled with fears of their own to be properly scary. Then two human children arrive seeking help. Daniel and Charlotte have powerful enemies – can a force of paranormal professionals help scare them away? The bunch of misfit phantoms at Mountwood School wants to rise to the challenge, but will they just make things much, much worse?

If you liked this, you might also like: Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson


Fortunately, The Milk… Neil Gaiman (7+ years)

FortunatelytheMilk_HardbackUK_13654403762Mum’s away. Dad’s in charge. There’s no milk. So Dad saves the day by going to buy some. Really, that’s all that happens. Very boring. YAAAAAAAWWWN. There are absolutely definitely none of the following things inside: globby green aliens, intergalactic police, pirates, angry volcano gods demanding human sacrifice. And most definitely NOT a time-travelling hot-air balloon piloted by the brilliant Professor Steg…

If you liked this, you might also like: Oliver & The Seawigs by Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre


His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman (9+ years)

lights‘Without this child, we shall all die’. Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. The destiny that awaits her will take her to the frozen lands of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight. Her extraordinary journey will have immeasurable consequences far beyond her own world…  First book in the series: Northern Lights. Without doubt one of the best books (and series) moontrug has ever read. Lyra is a heroine in a million and the world of witch-clans and ice-bears she finds herself in is more powerfully created than almost any other.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver


Phoenix by S F Said (8+ years)

PhoenixLucky thinks he’s an ordinary Human boy. But one night, he dreams that the stars are singing – and wakes to find an uncontrollable power rising inside him. Now he’s on the run, racing through space, searching for answers. In a galaxy at war, where Humans and Aliens are deadly enemies, the only people who can help him are an Alien starship crew – and an Alien warrior girl, with neon needles in her hair. Together, they must find a way to save the galaxy. For Lucky is not the only one in danger. His destiny and the fate of the universe are connected in the most explosive way…

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher.



The Snow Leopard by Jackie Morris (4+ years)

imgresFrom the beginning of time, high above the hidden valley, Snow Leopard has sung the stars to life, the sun to rise and the moon to wax and wane. She has woven words of protection to keep the hidden valley safe from the world and as she sings, a child lies dreaming the song down in the valley beneath. But time is passing, and Snow Leopard needs to find a singer who will follow her. But while she is searching, soldiers come looking for gold and slaves… Jackie Morris’s poetic text weaves the spirit of nature into a universal myth for our time, drawing threads of transformation into a children’s story glistening with wonder. Set against the stunning landscapes of the Himalayas, her superlative illustrations of the nearly-extinct Snow Leopard offer a message of hope at a time when many of the world’s wildest places are being worn away by human beings.

If you liked this book, you may also like: East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Jackie Morris.


The Ice Bear by Jackie Morris (4+ years)

ice bearBack in a time when people and animals lived together in harmony, a bear-child is stolen away from his mother. A hunter and his wife find the child and, wrapping him in sealskin, they sing him songs of the ice, the wind and the great white bears. One day the child wanders off and a bear comes to take him back to his mother. But by now the hunter is on the trail, determined to kill the creature that has taken his child…

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Snow Leopard by Jackie Morris.


East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Jackie Morris (8+ years)

cover-903x1024From the moment she saw him, she knew the bear had come for her. How many times had she dreamt of the bear…. Now, here he was, as if spelled from her dreams. “I will come with you, Bear,” she said.
It is the beginning of an extraordinary journey for the girl. First to the bear’s secret palace in faraway mountains, where she is treated so courteously, but where she experiences the bear’s unfathomable sadness, and a deep mystery… As the bear’s secret unravels, another journey unfolds…  a long and desperate journey, that takes the girl to the homes of the four Winds and beyond, to the castle east of the sun, west of the moon.
This beautiful, mysterious story of love, loyalty and above all, freedom, is inspired by fairy tale, and is magically told and illustrated by Jackie Morris.

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Snow Leopard by Jackie Morris.


Oliver & The Seawigs by Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre (6+ years)

OliverOliver grew up in a family of explorers – but his biggest adventure is about to begin! Along with his new friends, a grumpy old albatross, a short-sighted mermaid and a friendly island called Cliff, Oliver goes off in search of his missing parents. But before he can put his rescue plan into action there’s the evil Stacey de Lacey and an army of pesky sea monkeys to contend with . . . EEP! Award-winning dynamic duo, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, have created a book bursting with eccentric characters and stunning two colour illustrations, and it’s been shortlisted for the 2014 Blue Peter Book Awards, in the Best Story category.

If you liked this book, you might also like: Osbert the Avenger by Christopher William Hill


The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher (10+ years)

Obsidian Mirror sqOberon Venn is a vulcanologist and explorer. He keeps himself to himself and has only one friend, David Wilde – until he marries the beautiful Leah. But years later Leah is killed in a car crash and Venn locks himself up in Wintercombe Abbey – a gloomy house hidden deep within the folds of a dark, tangled forest. David, Venn’s friend, becomes worried about him and gives him a mysterious-looking time machine, the Obsidian Mirror, which he says will bring back Leah. To prove it, David tries to use the mirror as a time machine – but he disappears inside it.  On hearing of his disappearance, David’s son, Jack (a stroppy, arrogant 15 year-old) becomes convinced Venn has murdered his father and comes to Wintercombe Abbey to uncover the truth. And this is where Sarah comes in. Emerging from a slit in the air, Sarah bursts into Jack’s world – pursued by a wolf made of ice.  And if that’s not enough to get your heart pumping, the presence of the Shee, a magical race of dark fairies, will be.  Ruled by the terrifying Shee Queen, Summer, the dark fairies will do everything in their power to prevent Venn, Jack and Sarah from using the Obsidian Mirror. A must-read for fantasy lovers – Fisher’s Chronoptika series is up there with the best!

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Box of Red Brocade by Catherine Fisher.


The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis (7+ years)

narniaFour children, evacuees from World War Two, find themselves sent away from London to an old professor’s house in the country. Miserable and homesick, the Pevensie children stumble across an old wardrobe with a secret.  On the other side of this wardrobe is the mystical land of Narnia, where talking fawns and wolf guards roam. But Narnia is controlled by the White Witch in an eternal winter and before long, the Pevensie children find themselves fighting to restore goodness to Narnia in the name of the real king, Aslan.  First book: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  This series is up there with the best: packed full of fantastic characters, wonderful creatures, hideous evils and true goodness.  This series teaches you more about life than several years in school…

If you liked these books, you may also like: The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien


Skellig and My Name is Mina by David Almond (8+ years)

skellig dWhen a move to a new house coincides with his baby sister’s illness, Michael’s world seems suddenly lonely and uncertain.  Then, one afternoon, he stumbles into the ramshackle garage of his new home and finds something magical.  A strange creature – part owl, part angel, a being who needs Michael’s help to survive.  Skellig.  But it’s only later that Michael realises how much he needs Skellig if his sister is to survive.  Wonderfully original and beautifully imagined.

‘Writing will be like a journey, every word a footstep that takes me further into undiscovered land.’ We meet Mina first as Michael’s unique friend in Skellig. This book is the prequel – her diary – full of incredible facts, wonderful ideas and a journey into the night.  After all, ‘Anything seems possible at night when the rest of the world has gone to sleep.’  Beautifully told.  If we all thought like Mina, our minds would be buzzing with the infinite wonder of life.

If you liked these books, you may also like: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis (10+ years)

The Dark InsideThe House on the Hill has been abandoned for as long as James can remember. So when he discovers Webster, a drifter, hiding there, he’s instantly curious about the story behind the homeless man. What is he running from? Afflicted by a dark curse, Webster is no longer who he used to be. But there is said to be a cure and it might just be that by helping Webster, James will find some solace of his own. Together they embark on a journey, not knowing that what they discover will impact them both in ways they never imagined…A gripping and haunting story about loss and hope, perfect for fans of Patrick Ness and David Almond.

If you liked this book, you might also like: Skellig by David Almond


Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (8+ years)

inkTwelve-year-old Meggie discovers that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, has a secret: he can ‘read’ fictional characters to life.  But when one of those characters, Capricorn, abducts them and tries to force them into his service, Meggie realises just how dark magic can be. Together with Dustfinger, a mysterious fire-dancer with secrets of his own, Meggie and her father must fight back against Capricorn and thwart his deadly plans.  No one has a better grasp of magic than Cornelia Funke; the very pages are whispering with mystical secrets.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Reckless by Cornelia Funke.


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (11+ years)

monster done‘The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.  But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting, the one from the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother had the treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…  This monster is something different, something ancient, something wild.  And it wants the truth.’  A heart-wrenching story – impossible to read without crying.  A lot.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Skellig by David Almond


Flood & Fang by Marcus Sedgwick (8+ years)


Meet the wonderfully weird Otherhand family and their faithful guardian, Edgar the raven, and discover the dark secrets of Castle Otherhand. Edgar is alarmed when he sees a nasty looking black tail slinking under the castle walls. But his warnings to the inhabitants of the castle go unheeded: Lord Valevine Otherhand is too busy trying to invent the unthinkable and discover the unknowable; his wife, Minty, is too absorbed in her latest obsession – baking; and ten-year-old Cudweed is running riot with his infernal pet monkey. Only Solstice, the black-haired, poetry-writing Otherhand daughter, seems to pay any attention. As the lower storeys of the castle begin mysteriously to flood, and kitchen maids continue to go missing, the family come ever closer to the owner of the black tail… The first in the Raven Mysteries series.

If you liked this, you might also like: Goth Girl by Chris Riddell


Osbert The Avenger by Christopher William Hill (8+ years)

Christopher-William-Hill-Osbert-the-AvengerThe first book in the gruesomely funny Tales from Schwartzgarten series. Meet Osbert Brinkhoff, the unlikeliest of avengers. His is a tale of dark delights and ghastly goings-on, of injustice and revenge. The villains are vicious. The settings are sinister. And good does NOT always prevail…If you prefer cleavers to kittens and fiends to fairies…then welcome to the GRUESOMELY FUNNY Tales from Schwartzgarten.

If you liked this book you might also like: Oliver & The Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre


I, Coriander by Sally Gardner (9+ years)

IThe story is told by Coriander, daughter of a silk merchant in 1650s London. Her idyllic childhood ends when her mother dies and her father goes away, leaving Coriander with her stepmother, a widow who is in cahoots with a fundamentalist Puritan preacher. She is shut away in a chest and left to die, but emerges into the fairy world from which her mother came, and where time has no meaning. When she returns, charged with a task that will transform her life, she is seventeen. This is a book filled with enchantments — a pair of silver shoes, a fairy shadow, a prince transformed into a fox – that contrast with the heartbreaking loss and cruelty of Coriander’s life in the real world. With its brilliantly realized setting of old London Bridge, and underpinned by the conflict between Royalists and Puritans, it is a terrific page turner, involving kidnapping, murder and romance, and an abundance of vivid characters.

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Disgrace of Kitty Grey by Mary Hooper.


Peter Pan by J M Barrie (7+ years)

peter‘All children, except one, grow up.’  In stifling Edwardian London, Wendy Darling mesmerizes her brothers every night with bedtime tales of swordplay, swashbuckling, and the fearsome Captain Hook. But the children become the heroes of an even greater story, when Peter Pan flies into their nursery one night and leads them over moonlit rooftops through a galaxy of stars and to the lush jungles of Neverland. Wendy and her brothers join Peter and the Lost Boys in an exhilarating life – free of grown-up rules – while also facing the inevitable showdown with Hook and his bloodthirsty pirates.  A true classic.  Neverland is a world you never want to leave.

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis


Harry Potter series by J K Rowling (9+ years)

hpHarry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy – until he is rescued by an owl, taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel with He Who Must Not Be Named. The Reason: Harry Potter is a wizard.  First book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Page-turning action, brilliant characters and a magical world like no other.

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer.


The Owl Service by Alan Garner (9+ years)

owlSomething is scratching around in the attic above Alison’s room. Yet the only thing up there is a stack of grimy old plates. Alison and her stepbrother, Roger, discover that the flowery patterns on the plates, when traced onto paper, can be fitted together to create owls – owls that disappear when no one is watching. With each vanished owl, strange events begin to happen around Alison, Roger, and the caretaker’s son, Gwyn. As the kids uncover the mystery of the owl service, they become trapped within a local legend, playing out roles in a tragic love story that has repeated itself for generations… a love story that has always ended in disaster.  ‘A rare imaginative feat, and the taste it leaves is haunting.’

If you liked this book, you may also like: Skellig by David Almond


The Princess Bride by William Goldman (10+ years)

puffFencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles. What more could you ask for?

If you liked these book, you may also like: Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer.


Varjak Paw – S. F. Said (8+ years)

Varjak-PawBased on S. F. Said’s own cat, Varjak Paw is a pampered mesopotamian blue cat who has an inkling that there is more to life beyond the garden wall… Teased and misunderstood by his family, Varjak ventures out into the world.  But there are dangers lurking everywhere and he realises the large gentleman and two strange black cats that entered his house are just the start of it… Using a secret form of cat marital arts – ‘The Way’ – Varjak must face the evil hench-cats and get to the bottom of the mysterious Vanishings. Winner of the Smarties Prize for Children’s Literature in 2003, Varjak Paw is a must read for everyone who feels there might be a little bit more to life than what first meets the eye.

If you liked this book, you may also like: War Horse by Michael Morpurgo


Tom’s Midnight Garden – Philippa Pearce (7+ years)

tom gardLying awake at night, Tom hears the old grandfather clock downstairs strike . . . eleven . . . twelve . . . thirteen . . . Thirteen! When Tom gets up to investigate, he discovers a magical garden. A garden that everyone told him doesn’t exist. A garden that only he can enter . . .  ‘A story that touches our deepest feelings about what is lost and gained in growing up.’

If you liked this book, you may also like: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson


The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien (10+ years)

lotrWritten for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.  A remarkable story of courage and friendship set in a brilliantly realised fantasy world – a genuine masterpiece.

Through the urgings of the enigmatic wizard Gandalf, young hobbit Frodo Baggins embarks on an urgent, incredibly treacherous journey to destroy the One Ring. This ring — created and then lost by the Dark Lord, Sauron, centuries earlier – is a weapon of evil, one that Sauron desperately wants returned to him. With the power of the ring once again his own, the Dark Lord will unleash his wrath upon all of Middle-earth. The only way to prevent this horrible fate from becoming reality is to return the Ring to Mordor, the only place it can be destroyed. Unfortunately for our heroes, Mordor is also Sauron’s lair.  The most widely read and influential fantasy epic of all time, it is also quite simply one of the most memorable and beloved tales ever told.

If you liked these books, you may also like: The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis


The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton (6+ years)

treeJo, Bessie and Fanny come to live at the edge of the Enchanted Wood where the trees, ‘a darker green than usual,’ whisper their secrets: ‘Wisha-wisha-wisha.’ In the wood is the Faraway Tree — a huge tree inhabited by fairy-folk and laden with fruit of all kinds from acorns to lemons. Its topmost branches lead to ever-changing magical lands above the swirling clouds.  The three children make friends with Moon-Face, Mister Watzisname, Silky, and the Saucepan Man, feasting with them on Pop Biscuits and Google Buns and sliding down the slippery-slip which spirals down inside the trunk. Climbing the tree involves dodging the dirty washing-water which Dame Washalot pours down the trunk at regular intervals and avoiding peeping in at the Angry Pixie, who throws things at those who poke and pry.  But there is much to poke and pry for – as the children soon find out…  Reading this book is like holding magic in the palm of your hand.

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis


Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan (9+ years)

rangerBook One: The Ruins of Gorlan. Will is small for his age, but fast and quick-witted. All his life, he has dreamed of becoming a great knight like the father he never knew, so he is devasted when he is rejected by Castle Redmont’s Battleschool. Instead he is apprenticed to Halt, the mysterious Ranger whose uncanny ability to move unseen is thought to be the result of black magic. Reluctantly, Will learns to use a Ranger’s secret weapons: a bow and arrouw, a mottled cloak and a stubborn little pny. It may not be the sword and battlehorse he longs for, but when Will and Halt set out on a desperate mission to prevent the assassination of the King, Will finds that a Ranger’s weapons are not so useless after all… Over 3 million copies sold world-wide – each book in the series as gripping as the last.

If you liked these books, you may also like: Harry Potter series by J K Rowling


The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint–Exupery (9+ readers)

primceOn one level this is the story of an airman’s discovery in the desert of a small boy from another planet – the Little Prince – and his stories of intergalactic travel.  On the other hand, this is a much bigger story: a thought-provoking allegory of the human condition.  A beautiful stories full of wonderful truths: ‘Here is my secret. It is very simple: one sees well only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes.’

If you liked this book, you may also like: Wonder by R J Palacio


Watership Down by Richard Adams (9+ years)

Watership DownThe story of a group of courageous rabbits who, spurred on by Fiver’s prophecy, decide to leave the safety of their idyllic warren to find another home.  But the journey from their native Sandleford Warren is fraught with danger: deadly predators and evil adversaries block the rabbits’ path towards their promised land.  A stirring tale of adventure, bravery and survival against the odds, Watership Down is a true classic.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Varjak Paw by SF Said


The Mennyms series by Sylvia Waugh (8+ years)

mennFrom the outside, 5 Brocklehurst Grove looks like an ordinary house – the windows are always clean, and the garden well tended. And from the inside, to hear the voices of the inhabitants, the Mennym family, you would think they were a perfectly ordinary family, too. But you’d be wrong, for the Mennyms are far from ordinary. The whole family shares an astonishing secret behind which it’s hidden for forty years; a secret to which nobody has ever come close… until perhaps, now. When an airmail letter from Australia comes through the letterbox of number 5, its contents are enough to plunge the whole family into fear that now, for the first time, the mystery surrounding it is about to be exposed…  Wonderfully funny and eccentric and beautifully told – a timeless classic.

If you liked these books, you may also like: The Borrowers by Mary Norton


The Edge Chronicles (consists of three trilogies) by Patrick Stewart and Chris Riddell (8+ years)

edgeBeyond the Deepwoods (first book in the Twig Trilogy): Young Twig lives in the Deepwoods, among the woodtrolls, but he isn’t one of them. In a brave attempt to find out where he truly belongs, Twig wanders into the mysterious, fascinating and sometimes hazardous world beyond the Deepwoods. In his travels he encounters myriad peculiar creatures, like his wise guardian, the caterbird; the slaughterers, a peaceful race who butcher animals for their livelihood; and the vicious, bile-swilling rotsucker.  Always mindful of the Gloamglozer, whose presence haunts the thoughts of all the inhabitants of the Edge, Twig pursues his quest until he discovers his roots, not among the trees, but in the skies. With his new allies, the sky pirates, Twig prepares to embark on his next adventure.  A richly inventive fantasy – with illustrations to die for.

If you liked these books, you may also like: The Redwall series by Brian Jacques


Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (9+ years)

wonderlandOn an ordinary summer’s afternoon, Alice tumbles down a rabbit hole and an extraordinary adventure begins. In a strange world with even stranger characters, she meets a rabbit with a pocket watch, joins a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and plays croquet with the Queen! Lost in this fantasy land, Alice finds herself growing more and more curious by the minute . . . Totally original and completely charming.

If you liked these books, you may also like: The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis


Redwall series by Brian Jacques (10+ years)

redwallAs the inhabitants of Redwall Abbey bask in the glorious Summer of the Late Rose, all is quiet and peaceful. But things are not as they seem. Cluny the Scourge–the evil one-eyed rat warlord, is ell-bent on destroying the tranquility as he prepares to fight a bloody battle for the ownership of Redwall. This dazzling story in the Redwall series is packed with all the wit, wisdom, humour, and blood-curdling adventure of the other books in the collection, but has the added bonus of taking the reader right back to the heart and soul of Redwall Abbey and the characters who live there.

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell 


The Borrowers by Mary Norton (8+ years)

jojowellborrowThe Borrowers own nothing at all; they live in the secret places of quiet old houses – behind the mantelpiece, inside the harpsichord, under the kitchen clock. Everything they have is borrowed from the ‘human beans’ who don’t even know they exist. Arrietty’s father, Pod, is an expert Borrower – he can scale curtains using a hatpin and bring back a doll’s teacup without breaking it. Girls aren’t supposed to go borrowing but as Arrietty is an only child her father breaks the rule. But then Arrietty makes friends with a boy – a ‘human bean’ – and from that moment danger is never far away for, above all else, they must avoid the great disaster of ‘being seen’.  Widely imaginative, enchantingly told.

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh 


The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley (9+ years)

The Water BabiesTom is a young chimney sweep working for the swindler Mr Grimes.  But during a job at the country manor, Harthover, Tom loses his way and falls down a chimney into Ellie’s bedroom.  Desperate to cover his own back during a robbery there, Mr Grimes tips Tom off as a common thief.  And so from Ellie’s bedroom, Tom darts over the grounds and down to the river.  He dives into the stream there and below the surface of the seemingly normal river, Tom discovers a magical world.  One where water-monkeys and water-squirrels play and more importantly, where the water babies live. But Tom must decide whether he rescues the water-babies from their terrifying fate or finds his way back to Ellie.

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Borrowers by Mary Norton.


The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy (6+ years)

witchMildred Hubble is a trainee at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches, but she’s making an awful mess of it. She keeps getting her spells wrong and crashing her broomstick. And when she turns Ethel, the teacher’s pet into her worst enemy, chaos ensues. . .  A spell-binding series of books.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Harry Potter series by J K Rowling



real life






 ‘Reading stays with you until the very end – after Narnia is gone, Lord Voldemort is defeated and Alice is awake…’ (Anonymous)

9 thoughts on “books: fantasy

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