Do you have a tween who loves the Harry Potter books? Want to help them find some books to read next? I’ve got thirteen more book series for fans of Harry Potter! This list of fantasy books has lots of choices for your magical tween. My son has read them all, so please comment below if you have any questions.
I’ve included the recommended grade level and Lexile score for each book. The grade level recommendations are more about interest level than difficulty, so don’t worry about them too much. The Lexile refers to the difficulty. If you have questions about this, please ask in the comments below or send me an email.
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The Menagerie is a series by sisters Tui and Kari Sutherland. The Menagerie in the title is a secret place in Wyoming that contains unicorns, phoenixes, dragons, and other magical creatures. When the griffin cubs escape, seventh-grader Zoe has to get them back or the menagerie that her family has been guarding for centuries will get shut down!
Tui Sutherland also is the author of the New York Times bestselling series of books called Wings of Fire, which is about dragons (grade level 3-7, Lexile 710).
Twelve-year-old Christopher Lane’s story has a similar start to that of Harry Potter. He’s known as a liar and a thief at school and his mom doesn’t know how to deal with him. But then the Ministry of Education pays him a visit and invites him to the Myers Holt Academy in London, where he learns that his mind can accomplish feats he hadn’t expected…
The Ability by M. M. Vaughan is a series of two books, The Ability and Mindscape. In Mindscape, the teens continue to use their telekinetic powers for good and evil (grade level 3-7, Lexile 920).
This is another book about a kid who doesn’t fit in, and learns as a tween that she belongs somewhere else. Fern learns that her dull parents aren’t really her parents – she was swapped at birth! Her real father, Bone is an Anybody – which means he can change into someone or something else. But he’s not very good at it, and he needs Fern’s help.
The author, N.E. Bode, is like Lemony Snicket (of the Series of Unfortunate Events) in that he is an amusing presence within the book. This is a very funny, quirky book. The second book is called The Nobodies, and the third book is The Somebodies (grade level 5-8, Lexile 730).
So You Want to Be a Wizard
Nita is a thirteen-year-old girl who is being bullied and accidentally discovers a book about how to be a wizard. She learns to be a wizard and along with Kit, another new wizard, goes on an ordeal in which they must face a dangerous power known as the Lone One. They have to venture into a dark, deadly alternate version of New York populated by the Lone One’s creatures to find a stolen book.
This book is older than the Harry Potter series. It was written in the 80s, and is the first in a series of ten books. Those who love this book are pretty passionate about it. It’s not for very young kids – it is like the Wrinkle in Time series in that it deals with some difficult concepts that young readers might find confusing. It also is appropriate for a young adult audience in that it covers some of the more difficult aspects of growing up. One reviewer likened it to an “American, dark and urban version of Harry Potter” (grade level 6-8, Lexile 960).
Darkmouth: The Legends Begin is the first in the Darkmouth series by Shane Hegarty. It’s been described at Ghostbusters meets Percy Jackson. Finn’s family has protected the world against Legends, were are monsters, for centuries. Now the leader of the monsters is planning an attack and Finn has to help, but he’s not that great at it. The book has the tagline, “He was born to save the world…unfortunately” (Grade level 3-7, Lexile 770).
Story Thieves, a series by James Riley, begins when book-lover Owen sees his classmate, Bethany, climb out of a book in the library. It turns out Bethany is half-fictional, and she has been searching for her dad, who is a fictional character. Owen convinces her to take him into his favorite book series…and things go downhill from there (grade level 5-7, Lexile 750).
Book one of series The Keepers is The Box and the Dragonfly. It’s about Horace, who sees a sign from a bus with his own name on it, which leads him to a warehouse of mysteries known as The House of Answers. This book by Ted Sanders is pretty long, at over 500 pages, but it’s an exciting mix of sci-fi and fantasy that many readers wish was even longer! (Grade level 3-7 Lexile level 660)
The first book in the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage is called Magyk. Septimus Heap is the seventh son of the seventh son, and he goes missing on the night of his birth, replaced by a mysterious baby girl. The series is full of magic, creatures, and an epic adventure (grade level 4-6 Lexile level 920).
The Grimm Legacy
In The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman, Elizabeth is working as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository, which is a library for objects. Hidden in the basement is the secret Grimm collection – a group of magical objects found in Grimm’s fairy tales, such as the mirror from Snow White. When these items begin to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a quest along with her fellow pages to find the thief.
The second book, The Wells Bequest, adds in a science fiction theme rather than just fantasy and is about time travel. The third book, The Poe Estate, is a ghost story. The books are not so much as a series as companions to each other.. All three have elements of adventure and a little romance (grade level 5-8 Lexile 600).
The Books of Beginning
In the first of the Books of Beginning Series, The Emerald Atlas, by John Stephens, Michael, Kate, and Emma are three siblings that have been passed from orphanage to orphanage, unwanted. They are unknowingly being protected from an evil, devastating power. They go on an action-packed and funny adventure through a magical world and through time to try to change history. This series is not only a good choice for Harry Potter fans, but it also has many similar elements with The Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia. This book is a bit scarier than some of the others, and recommended for ages 11+, even though the publisher says grades 4-8 and the Lexile is 720.
The Young Merlin
The first book in The Young Merlin trilogy by Jane Yolen is Passager. It’s the origin story of the wizard Merlin from the King Arthur stories. This one is quite short, only 75 pages. Merlin is abandoned as a young boy in the woods of medieval England. He takes care of himself until he is discovered by a Falconer. This one is appropriate for younger tweens (grade level 3-5, Lexile 860).
City of Fire
City of Fire by Laurence Yep is a fantasy that starts out in an alternate version of 1941 San Francisco. In this alternate universe, there are dragons and griffins along with planes and cars. The twelve-year-old characters travel to the Hawaiian Islands and join up with Pele, the goddess of fire in order to get their treasure back from the dragon who stole it (grade level 5-7 Lexile 900).
This book is very different from all the others, but any tween reader who loves Harry Potter should know about it! It’s actually the second in the series The Creature from my Closet by Obert Skye. In each book, the main character, Rob, has a strange creature emerge from his closet. In the first book, Wonkenstein, it was a combination of Willy Wonka and Frankenstein.
In this book, it’s a combination of Harry Potter and Chewbacca. It’s a very silly book with lots of Harry Potter and Star Wars references. It’s also written in the style of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the like in that it has drawings included. This is a much lighter read than most of my other recommendations, but it’s fun!
Other books in the series include mash-ups of Batman and Ebeneezer Scrooge, Katniss (from Hunger Games) and the Little Mermaid, Pinocchio and Dracula, and Gollum (from The Lord of the Rings) and The Cat in the Hat (grade level 4-6 Lexile 820).
Harry Potter Universe Books
And lastly…they have read all of the books, right? The seven books in the original Harry Potter series are the most important and the best, but there are other books available that take place in the world of Harry Potter. If you don’t already own the original seven, consider buying them! These are books that need to be read over and over. I personally have read the series three times.
A few years ago, they began releasing new versions in beautifully illustrated hardcover. They are wonderful! They make great gifts for Harry Potter lovers. The books are quite large, 9″ x 10.5″ and at least an inch thick. Here’s a link to the first one:
The first books J.K. Rowling added to the Harry Potter universe were the Hogwarts library books. These included Tales of Beedle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Quidditch Through the Ages. These are “replicas” of what the students at Hogwarts read.
There are several versions of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and you really should read all of them because they are excellent and entertaining in different ways. The author is Newt Scamander (maybe through J.K. Rowling’s hand), whose story you will learn later when watching the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
The first version came out in 2001. It is Harry’s copy of the textbook, and is filled with scribbled notes and illustrations by Harry, Ron, and Hermione. It is a bit tricky to find this version since an updated version was released in 2017. The 2017 version does not have the notes from the kids inside, it is presented as a “new” set of textbooks. So when you buy your version, pay attention to the publishing date.
Also in 2017, they released an illustrated version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. My son has this one, and it is spectacular! The illustrations are amazing.
There is also this super-cool version on Kindle which moves:
And finally, there is an Audible version that is read by Eddie Redmayne, the actor who plays Newt Scamander in the movie. It has fantastic reviews and sounds like a lot of fun!
You can also get a screenplay of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This is inspired by the movie of the same name. The movie is in turn inspired by the book I was describing above…it’s a bit confusing if you’re not a Potterhead. Basically, J. K. Rowling had written a “textbook” using the pen name Newt Scamander (that was referenced in Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone) to “teach” young wizards about magical creatures.
Then, it was decided to turn the life story of Newt Scamander into a movie (2016) that is set in the Harry Potter universe but takes place before most of the main characters of Harry Potter were born. You can think of it as a prequel to the main Harry Potter stories. So now there are two movies in this trilogy (the third is planned for release in 2021). Both movies have screenplays that you can read:
I also found this fun-sounding book about the making of the movie The Crimes of Grindelwald – a good choice if your tween is interested in movie-making.
And I can’t finish this round-up without mentioning “the eighth story.” Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a continuation of the original story, but it takes place years later, when Harry is an adult. My family has major mixed feelings on this book. We are always excited to have more Harry Potter in our lives, but there were some disappointments with this playscript. The book is the script to the play that was first performed in London in 2015. Our family was super lucky to get to see the play in San Francisco in 2019. For more on my thoughts all about it, please read this article:
I hope you find some great reads for your Harry Potter-loving tweens! If you have more suggestions in this genre for me to add, please comment below!
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