Harry Potter’s birthday is this Sunday, and we’re celebrating it by recommending some fantasy books with magical worlds that muggles can immerse themselves into.
David A. Robertson’s The Stone Child is the third book in the Misewa saga series. The book transports us back to Misewa in the midst of very trying times for its protagonist, Morgan. Morgan is running out of time to save Eli, who is near-lifeless and lying at the base of the Great Tree. Morgan has to seek help, so, with Arik and Emily, she leaves the Great Tree and goes in the direction of the Northern Woods to save Eli’s soul before it’s too late. But the Northern Woods is a dark and dangerous place and soon the trio face challenges and life-threatening attacks from strange and horrifying creatures. Just when all seems lost, an ally comes to their aid and Morgan finds the courage to continue on her mission to save Eli’s life. Filled with mystery, adventure, action, and fantastical creatures, The Stone Child is a thrilling continuation of this immensely enjoyable middle-grade series inspired by traditional Indigenous stories. Grades 5-7
If you’re missing Hogwarts, Inglenook School from Heather Fawcett’s The School Between Winter and Fairyland is sure to fill the void. It even has its own fantastic beasts! The book centres around twelve-year-old Autumn Malog, who works as a servant at the magical Inglenook School. Autumn spends her days cleaning the wyvern stalls and coaxing the resident boggart to behave. But secretly, she also searches for clues about the mysterious disappearance of her twin brother. People say he was devoured by the feared Hollow Dragon, but if that’s the case then why does Autumn hear him calling out to her from within the castle walls? Then one day, Cai Morrigan, the “Chosen One” prophesied to one day destroy the Hollow Dragon, unexpectedly seeks Autumn’s help. Together Cai and Autumn embark on a quest to uncover the dark truth of Inglenook School and to find Autumn’s brother. Grades 3-7
Xiran Jay Zhao’s follow-up to her debut novel, Iron Widow, takes us far from the world of mecha warriors, but Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor offers us a different kind of endearing and unconventional warrior instead. Zachary Ying lives with his single mom and hasn’t been exposed to his Chinese heritage much. So, his world is turned upside down when he discovers that he was born to host the spirit of the First Emperor of China and that too on a mission of the most critical importance: to seal the leaking portal to the Chinese underworld before the upcoming Ghost Month blows it wide open. As if this wasn’t bad enough, things become comically bizarre when the First Emperor botches his attempt to possess Zack’s body and binds to Zack’s AR gaming headset instead. Zack’s mom’s soul gets taken by demons and the Emperor won’t stop yapping in Zack’s headset. The only solution to save his mom and the world is for Zack to journey across China to heist magical artifacts and defeat figures from history and myth, all while learning to wield the emperor’s incredible water dragon powers. This book is a thrilling, action-packed, and uproarious middle-grade book that deftly combines fantasy with Chinese history and mythology. Grades 3-7