Gift Guide: For Kids Who Love Fantasy & Magic

 

Great for readers who enjoyed the Harry Potter series or Rick Riordan books. Recommendations ranging from age 6-18.

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The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet, Book 1 By J. D. Peabody Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781546001980
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: WorthyKids - September 13th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

When their father goes missing after a mysterious train crash, Everett and his little sister Bea find a curious pen in his belongings, and its magical Ink begins to rewrite their once-ordinary lives. The Ink leads them to a world they never knew existed--one teeming with impossible magic, formidable allies, and villains who are determined to destroy everything they hold dear. Together, Everett and Bea embark on an adventure through secret tunnels in England and Scotland to find and protect the last Inkwell, and ultimately to save their father. But in order to do so, Everett must find a way to tap into the most magical power of all: his courage. Perfect for fans of The Silver Arrow, the Bookwanderers, and Inkheart, this classic battle of good and evil pits creativity against the forces that would seek to blot it out for good.


Cress Watercress By Gregory Maguire, David Litchfield (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Gregory Maguire, David Litchfield (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781536211009
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Candlewick - March 29th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-11 years old). 

Gregory Maguire turns his trademark wit and wisdom to an animal adventure about growing up, moving on, and finding community. When Papa doesn't return from a nocturnal honey-gathering expedition, Cress holds out hope, but her mother assumes the worst. It's a dangerous world for rabbits, after all. Mama moves what's left of the Watercress family to the basement unit of the Broken Arms, a run-down apartment oak with a suspect owl landlord, a nosy mouse super, a rowdy family of squirrels, and a pair of songbirds who broadcast everyone's business. Can a dead tree full of annoying neighbors, and no Papa, ever be home? In the timeless spirit of E. B. White and The Wind and the Willows--yet thoroughly of its time--this read-aloud and read-alone gem for animal lovers of all ages features an unforgettable cast that leaps off the page in glowing illustrations by David Litchfield. This tender meditation on coming-of-age invites us to flourish wherever we find ourselves.


The Silver Arrow By Lev Grossman Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780316539548
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - August 31st, 2021

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

Kate and her younger brother Tom lead dull, uninteresting lives. And if their dull, uninteresting parents are anything to go by, they don't have much to look forward to. Why can't Kate have thrilling adventures and save the world the way people do in books? Even her 11th birthday is shaping up to be mundane -- that is, until her mysterious and highly irresponsible Uncle Herbert, whom she's never even met before, surprises her with the most unexpected, exhilarating, inappropriate birthday present of all time: a colossal steam locomotive called the Silver Arrow.

Kate and Tom's parents want to send it right back where it came from. But Kate and Tom have other ideas -- and so does the Silver Arrow -- and soon they're off to distant lands along magical rail lines in the company of an assortment of exotic animals who, it turns out, can talk. With only curiosity, excitement, their own resourcefulness and the thrill of the unknown to guide them, Kate and Tom are on the adventure of a lifetime . . . and who knows? They just might end up saving the world after all.


Rick Riordan Presents The Last Fallen Star (A Gifted Clans Novel) By Graci Kim Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781368061278
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - April 26th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (9-12 years old). 

Riley Oh can't wait to see her sister get initiated into the Gom clan, a powerful lineage of Korean healing witches their family has belonged to for generations. Her sister, Hattie, will earn her Gi bracelet and finally be able to cast spells without adult supervision. Although Riley is desperate to follow in her sister's footsteps when she herself turns thirteen, she's a saram--a person without magic. Riley was adopted, and despite having memorized every healing spell she's ever heard, she often feels like the odd one out in her family and the gifted community. Then Hattie gets an idea: what if the two of them could cast a spell that would allow Riley to share Hattie's magic? Their sleuthing reveals a promising incantation in the family's old spell book, and the sisters decide to perform it at Hattie's initiation ceremony. If it works, no one will ever treat Riley as an outsider again. It's a perfect plan!

Until it isn't. When the sisters attempt to violate the laws of the Godrealm, Hattie's life ends up hanging in the balance, and to save her Riley has to fulfill an impossible task: find the last fallen star. But what even is the star, and how can she find it?

As Riley embarks on her search, she finds herself meeting fantastic creatures and collaborating with her worst enemies. And when she uncovers secrets that challenge everything she has been taught to believe, Riley must decide what it means to be a witch, what it means to be family, and what it really means to belong.


The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Vol. I By Diana Wynne Jones Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780063067035
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 18th, 2021

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

Volume I contains Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant.

In Charmed Life, the first Chrestomanci book, the orphaned Cat Chant and his sister Gwendolen are taken to live at Chrestomanci Castle. There they are under the guardianship and tutelage of the Chrestomanci--a nine-lived enchanter who polices the many worlds of the multiverse. Gwendolen thinks highly of herself and her magical skills, but it soon comes out that Cat is the more powerful. He himself is a nine-lived enchanter and will one day take up Chrestomanci's job--if he and Chrestomanci can stop Gwendolen from wreaking havoc in multiple worlds.

The Lives of Christopher Chant is the story of Chrestomanci's own childhood and how he came to live at the Castle himself. With distracted parents, a nefarious uncle, and a severe guardian who was Chrestomanci before Christopher, it's no wonder that Christopher keeps losing his lives.


How to Heal a Gryphon By Meg Cannistra Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781335426871
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Inkyard Press - October 4th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

To save her family, she'll have to make a dangerous bargain and tip the scales of balance.

With her thirteenth birthday just around the corner, Giada Bellantuono has to make a big decision: Will she join the family business and become a healer or follow her dreams? But even though she knows her calling is to heal vulnerable animals, using her powers to treat magical creatures is decidedly not allowed.

When a group of witches kidnaps her beloved older brother, Rocco, and her parents are away, Giada is the only person left who can rescue him. Swept into the magical underground city of Malafi, Giada will need the help of her new companions to save her brother -- or risk losing him forever.


The Marvellers By Dhonielle Clayton, Khadijah Khatib (Illustrator) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250174949
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - May 3rd, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

Eleven-year-old Ella Durand is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, a magic school in the clouds where Marvellers from around the world practice their cultural arts, like brewing Indian spice elixirs and bartering with pesky Irish pixies.

Despite her excitement, Ella discovers that being the first isn't easy--some Marvellers mistrust her magic, which they deem "bad and unnatural." But eventually, she finds friends in elixirs teacher, Masterji Thakur, and fellow misfits Brigit, a girl who hates magic, and Jason, a boy with a fondness for magical creatures.

When a dangerous criminal known as the Ace of Anarchy escapes prison, supposedly with a Conjuror's aid, tensions grow in the Marvellian world and Ella becomes the target of suspicion. Worse, Masterji Thakur mysteriously disappears while away on a research trip. With the help of her friends and her own growing powers, Ella must find a way to clear her family's name and track down her mentor before it's too late.


The Marvelous Land of Snergs By Veronica Cossanteli, Melissa Castrillón (Illustrator) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781609458089
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Europa Editions - September 20th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

At the Sunny Bay Home for Superfluous and Accidentally Parentless Children, Pip and Flora were never good at following the rules. When Flora is kidnapped, they find themselves in the Marvelous Land of Snergs, a magical place of cinnamon bears and scrumptious feasts, vegan ogres and disgraced jesters, and a villain dressed entirely in purple.

Their main ally is the forgetful but lovable snerg, Gorbo, who promises to lead them home. That is, if they can get past the wicked Widow Meldrum and her dastardly schemes.


Lightfall: The Girl & the Galdurian By Tim Probert, Tim Probert (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Tim Probert, Tim Probert (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062990464
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperAlley - September 1st, 2020

Recommended for middle grade readers (9-12 years old). 

For fans of Amulet and middle grade readers who love sweeping worlds like Star Wars, the first book of the Lightfall series introduces Bea and Cad, two unlikely friends who get swept up in an epic quest to save their world from falling into eternal darkness.

Deep in the heart of the planet Irpa stands the Salty Pig's House of Tonics & Tinctures, home of the wise Pig Wizard and his adopted granddaughter, Bea. As keepers of the Endless Flame, they live a quiet and peaceful life, crafting medicines and potions for the people of their once-prosperous world.

All that changes one day when, while walking through the woods, Bea meets Cad, a member of the Galdurians, an ancient race thought to be long-extinct. Cad believes that if anyone can help him find his missing people, it's the Pig Wizard.

But when the two arrive home, the Pig Wizard is nowhere to be found--all that's left is the Jar of Endless Flame and a mysterious note. Fearing for the Pig Wizard's safety, Bea and Cad set out across Irpa to find him, while danger fights its way out of the shadows and into the light.

Will these two unexpected friends find the beloved Pig Wizard and prevent eternal darkness from blanketing their world? Or has Irpa truly seen its last sunrise?


The Wild Robot By Peter Brown Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780316382007
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 7th, 2020

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

Can a robot survive in the wilderness?

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is--but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a violent storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island's unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home -- until, one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.


City of Illusion By Victoria Ying, Victoria Ying (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Victoria Ying, Victoria Ying (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780593114520
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - August 31st, 2021

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

It's been a peaceful three months since Hannah Morgan and Ever Barnes saved their beloved Oskars, and activated the powers of their city's Megantic. Ever now lives with the Morgan family and the two children watch over and learn more about Oskar (the Megantic) every day.

But their conflict-free days come to an abrupt end when Mr. Morgan is captured while on a family trip to nearby Alexios, and the kids get into a spat with a group of street magicians who con Hannah out of her pocket money. Chifa and Tanan were never planning to make friends while performing their tricks, but when Hannah and Ever learn of their connection to Vash, they realize there's much more at stake than a few coins.

If Hannah and Ever want to find out what Vash is hiding and save both Oskars and Alexios before time runs out, they'll have to learn to trust Chifa and Tanan, and most importantly, find a way to work together.


The Last Windwitch By Jennifer Adam Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062981318
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: HarperCollins - May 10th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (9-12 years old). 

Many years ago, in the kingdom of Fenwood Reach, there was a powerful Windwitch who wove the seasons, keeping the land bountiful and the people happy. But then a dark magic drove her from the realm, and the world fell into chaos... 

Brida is content in her small village of Oak Hollow. There, she's plenty occupied trying to convince her fickle magic to actually do what it's meant to in her work as a hedgewitch's apprentice -- until she accidentally catches the attention of the wicked queen.

On the run from the queen's huntsman and her all-seeing Crow spies, Brida discovers the truth about her family, her magic, and who she is destined to be -- and that she may hold the power to defeating the wicked queen and setting the kingdom right again.


Rise of the School for Good and Evil By Soman Chainani Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063161528
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: HarperCollins - May 31st, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (8+ years old). 

The battle between Good and Evil begins.

Two brothers. One Good. One Evil.

Together they watch over the Endless Woods. Together they choose the students for the School for Good and Evil. Together they train them, teach them, prepare them for their fate.

Then, something happens. Something unexpected. Something powerful. Something that will change everything and everyone.

Who will survive? Who will rule the School?

The journey starts here. Every step is filled with magic, surprises, and daring deeds that test courage, loyalty, and who you really are. But they only lead you to the very beginning of the adventures that are THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL.


The Last Mapmaker By Christina Soontornvat Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781536204957
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Candlewick - April 12th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (9-12 years old). 

In a fantasy adventure every bit as compelling and confident in its world building as her Newbery Honor Book A Wish in the Dark, Christina Soontornvat explores a young woman's struggle to unburden herself of the past and chart her own destiny in a world of secrets. As assistant to Mangkon's most celebrated mapmaker, twelve-year-old Sai plays the part of a well-bred young lady with a glittering future. In reality, her father is a conman--and in a kingdom where the status of one's ancestors dictates their social position, the truth could ruin her. Sai seizes the chance to join an expedition to chart the southern seas, but she isn't the only one aboard with secrets. When Sai learns that the ship might be heading for the fabled Sunderlands--a land of dragons, dangers, and riches beyond imagining--she must weigh the cost of her dreams. Vivid, suspenseful, and thought-provoking, this tale of identity and integrity is as beautiful and intricate as the maps of old.


Rick Riordan Presents The Lords of Night (A Shadow Bruja Novel Book 1) (Storm Runner) By J.C. Cervantes Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781368066563
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - October 4th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (10-13 years old). 

Fourteen-year-old Renata Santiago is the most powerful godborn of them all, a bruja with a unique combination of DNA. The Mexica blood from her dad's side gives her the ability to manipulate shadows. Her mom Pacific, a Maya goddess, gifted her a magical rope that controls time, and Ren recently used it to save a few gods from getting stuck forever in 1987. She brought them back to the present, but her BFF Ah Puch, the once fearsome god of death, darkness, and destruction, is now a teenager with no divine powers.

Ren is also a girl with ordinary hopes and dreams. She wishes, for example, that her blog about alien sightings would garner more respect. She's always been absolutely convinced that there's a connection between aliens and the Maya civilization. Plenty of online haters feel differently, and they call her a fake, a liar, and a loser.

When Ren receives an email about an alien sighting in Kansas, she thinks it may support her theory. She also suspects that the cinco--five renegade godborns--are up to no good. Soon she finds herself embroiled in a quest to prevent the troublemakers from awakening the nine Aztec Lords of Night. Problem is, none of Ren's friends are available to help her hunt down the cinco and the dangerous gods they are resurrecting. Ren has no choice but to team up with two strangers recruited by Ah Puch: Edison, a teen hybrid demon, and Montero, an eleven-year-old Aztec hunter. Succeeding in this quest will prove that Ren is no fake, liar, or loser. But it isn't just another challenge. It could well be an impossible one that leaves Ren questioning her very existence.


Mirror Magic (Star Friends #1) By Linda Chapman, Lucy Fleming (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Linda Chapman, Lucy Fleming (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9781680104585
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tiger Tales - March 3rd, 2020

Recommended for elementary readers (6-9 years old). 

Mia and her star animal, a fox named Bracken, must use their special powers to stop the forces of dark magic. Mia's older sister has started acting strangely and the Star Animals sense dark magic at work. Soon Mia discovers that the new compact mirror that her sister, Cleo, has been using must be to blame. Can the girls use their newfound Star Magic to help make things right?
In the Star Friends chapter book series, Mia and her friends Lexi, Sita, and Violet all discover that they are Star Friends -- they can communicate with the animals that have traveled from the Star World. The animals show the girls how to use their unique magic abilities to do good. A whole world of magical adventures awaits!


Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom By Sangu Mandanna Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780593206980
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - May 3rd, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

Kiki Kallira has always been a worrier. Did she lock the front door? Is there a terrible reason her mom is late? Recently her anxiety has been getting out of control, but one thing that has always soothed her is drawing. Kiki's sketchbook is full of fanciful doodles of the rich Indian myths and legends her mother has told her over the years.

One day, her sketchbook's calming effect is broken when her mythological characters begin springing to life right out of its pages. Kiki ends up falling into the mystical world she drew, which includes a lot of wonderful discoveries like the band of rebel kids who protect the kingdom, as well as not-so-great ones like the ancient deity bent on total destruction. As the one responsible for creating the evil god, Kiki must overcome her fear and anxiety to save both worlds--the real and the imagined--from his wrath. But how can a girl armed with only a pencil defeat something so powerful?


Pennyroyal Academy By M. A. Larson Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780142427149
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Puffin Books - March 15th, 2016

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

A girl from the forest arrives in a bustling kingdom with no name and no idea why she is there, only to find herself at the center of a world at war. She enlists at Pennyroyal Academy, where princesses and knights are trained to battle the two great menaces of the day: witches and dragons. There, given the name "Evie," she must endure a harsh training regimen under the steel glare of her Fairy Drillsergeant, while also navigating an entirely new world of friends and enemies. As Evie learns what it truly means to be a princess, she realizes surprising things about herself and her family, about human compassion and inhuman cruelty. And with the witch forces moving nearer, she discovers that the war between princesses and witches is much more personal than she could ever have imagined.

Set in Grimm's fairytale world and ideal for non-princesses and princess fans alike, M.A. Larson's Pennyroyal Academy masterfully combines adventure, humor, and magical mischief.


The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) By Holly Black Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780316310314
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - December 4th, 2018

Recommended for young adult readers (14-17 years old). 

Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him--and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


Rust in the Root By Justina Ireland Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063038226
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Balzer + Bray - September 20th, 2022

Recommended for young adult readers (13-17 years old). 

It is 1937, and Laura Ann Langston lives in an America divided --between those who work the mystical arts and those who do not. Ever since the Great Rust, a catastrophic event that blighted the arcane force called the Dynamism and threw America into disarray, the country has been rebuilding for a better future. And everyone knows the future is industry and technology--otherwise known as Mechomancy--not the traditional mystical arts.

Laura disagrees. A talented young queer mage from Pennsylvania, Laura hopped a portal to New York City on her seventeenth birthday with hopes of earning her mage's license and becoming something more than a rootworker.

But four months later, she's got little to show for it other than an empty pocket and broken dreams. With nowhere else to turn, Laura applies for a job with the Bureau of the Arcane's Conservation Corps, a branch of the US government dedicated to repairing the Dynamism so that Mechomancy can thrive. There she meets the Skylark, a powerful mage with a mysterious past, who reluctantly takes Laura on as an apprentice.

As they're sent off on their first mission together into the heart of the country's oldest and most mysterious Blight, they discover the work of mages not encountered since the darkest period in America's past, when Black mages were killed for their power--work that could threaten Laura's and the Skylark's lives, and everything they've worked for.


Cemetery Boys By Aiden Thomas Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250250469
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Swoon Reads - September 1st, 2020

Recommended for young adult readers (13-18 years old). 

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school's resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He's determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.


Blood Like Magic By Liselle Sambury Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9781534465299
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - July 5th, 2022

Recommended for young adult readers (14-18 years old). 

After years of waiting for her Calling--a trial every witch must pass to come into their powers--the one thing Voya Thomas didn't expect was to fail. When Voya's ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees--and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic.

Voya is determined to save her family's magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she'll first have to find the perfect guy--and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn't count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc--how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her?

With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she'll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything.