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Recommended Children's Fantasy Books

Children's fantasy has always been a strength of the genre and today it is fortunate to play host to the world's most gifted storytellers. Classics include The Wind in the Willows, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And in recent times Harry Potter, The Edge Chronicles, The Bartimaeus Trilogy and the Spook's series have ensured that children have some wonderful books to fire their imagination.

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling
Harry Potter: Book 1
Score: 337
Our rating: 8.5 | 131 positive reader reviews
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed for ever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enr [...]

2. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Score: 329
Our rating: 9.7 | 137 positive reader reviews
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpe [...]

3. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
His Dark Materials: Book 1
Score: 219
Our rating: 9.0 | 35 positive reader reviews
Lyra Belacqua lives half-wild and carefree among the scholars of Jordan College, with her daemon, Pantalaimon, always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle – a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans [...]

4. The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula Le Guin
Earthsea Saga: Book 1 - 4
Score: 217
Our rating: 10.0 | 15 positive reader reviews
The island of Gont is a land famous for wizards. Of these, some say the greatest - and surely the greatest voyager - is the man called Sparrowhawk. As a reckless, awkward boy, he discovered the great power that was in him - with terrifying consequences. Tempted by pride to try spells beyond his m [...]

5. The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe by CS Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia: Book 2
Score: 214
Our rating: 9.8 | 13 positive reader reviews
Four adventurous siblings―Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie― step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great cha [...]

6. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Score: 199
Our rating: 9.2 | 17 positive reader reviews
A hot summer’s day on the riverbank, and young Alice is bored. Bored, that is, until a white rabbit in a checked jacket scurries past in a great hurry, examining a pocket watch. Burning with curiosity, Alice can’t help but follow the rabbit down the hole which leads to a long passagew [...]

7. The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat OShea
Score: 194
Our rating: 9.8 | 0 positive reader reviews
A wonderfully written fantasy set in the west of Ireland which tells of the coming of the Great Queen, the Morrigan, who is bent on bringing destruction to the world. Only Pidge and Bridget can stop her and their task seems impossible as they're constantly trailed by the queen's hounds. B [...]

8. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Score: 178
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her [...]

9. The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle
Score: 168
Our rating: 8.3 | 4 positive reader reviews
This is the story of the last unicorn on earth. She has lived contentedly alone for hundreds of years, and would have continued to do so, believing that there were others of her kind somewhere in the world, had she not heard a huntsman say that she was the last of her kind. Afterwards she could h [...]

10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Score: 121
Our rating: 9.0 | 33 positive reader reviews
For the first time in a decade, Willy Wonka, the reclusive and eccentric chocolate maker, is opening his doors to the public--well, five members of the public, actually. The lucky five who find a Golden Ticket in their Wonka bars will receive a private tour of the factory, given by Mr Wonka himse [...]

11. The Magician's Nephew by CS Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia: Book 1
Score: 109
Our rating: 8.5 | 17 positive reader reviews
On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan’s song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible. [...]

12. The Immortals by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
The Edge Chronicles: Book 10
Score: 102
Our rating: 10.0 | 2 positive reader reviews
Five hundred years into the third age of flight and mighty phraxships steam across the immensity of the Deepwoods, plying their lucrative trade between the three great cities. Nate Quarter, a young Lamplighter from the mines of the eastern woods is propelled on an epic journey of self-discovery t [...]

13. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
His Dark Materials: Book 3
Score: 101
Our rating: 9.5 | 2 positive reader reviews
Will is the knife-bearer and his instructions from his father are clear: find Lord Asriel. But Will and Lyra have been separated and Lyra is the sleeping prisoner of Mrs Coulter and her vicious golden monkey daemon. They must find each other, for their fates are bound together by powers beyond th [...]

14. The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Book 1
Score: 101
Our rating: 9.5 | 7 positive reader reviews
When the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus is summoned by Nathaniel, a young magician's apprentice, he expects to have to do nothing more taxing than a little levitation or a few simple illusions. But Nathaniel is a precocious talent and has something rather more dangerous in mind: revenge. Ag [...]

15. The Sorcerer's Glen by Lucinda Hare
The Dragonsdome Chronicles: Book 5
Score: 101
Our rating: 10.0 | 1 positive reader reviews
The Grand Master sat back in his chair with his blue eyes closed and sent a small prayer earthwards. The White Sorcerer had returned a little after the hour of the sabre-toothed rabbit, having encountered difficulties no greater than an ageing broom; but the news he brought was the worst possible [...]

16. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Score: 100
Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Maurice Sendak’s children’s picture book has become an acknowledged classic. A winner of the Caldecott Medal for the Most Distinguished Picture Book of the Year in 1964, Where the Wild Things Are is a timeless masterpiece that can be enjoyed equally by children and grown-ups. [...]

17. The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
His Dark Materials: Book 2
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.0 | 3 positive reader reviews
Lyra finds herself in a shimmering, haunted otherworld – Cittàgazze, where soul-eating Spectres stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies: twelve-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another's, has als [...]

18. Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud
Score: 97
Our rating: 9.4 | 5 positive reader reviews
Listen then, and I'll tell you again of the Battle of the Rock. But none of your usual wriggling, or I'll stop before I've begun... Halli loves the old stories from when the valley was a wild and dangerous place - when the twelve legendary heroes stood together to defeat the ancient e [...]

19. The Beauty Contest at the Zoo by Kevin Price
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.6 | 0 positive reader reviews
What can the animals play before the zoo opens? Maisie knows - they'll have a beauty contest. But how will each animal persuade her that they should win? And which one will she choose? [...]

20. The Silly Solar System by Kevin Price
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.6 | 0 positive reader reviews
Our Solar System's a wonderful place, A collection of planets rotating through space, With the Sun at its heart, its own glowing star- It's so far away we can't reach it by car. If we want to visit, then here's what we'll need.  [...]

21. Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud
The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Book 3
Score: 96
Our rating: 9.7 | 0 positive reader reviews
Three years on from the events in The Golem's Eye, the magicians' rule in London is teetering on a knife-edge, with strikes, riots and general unrest. The Prime Minister is largely controlled by two advisers, one of whom is 17-year-old Nathaniel. Meanwhile, living under a false identity, [...]

22. Stormchaser by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
The Twig Trilogy: Book 2
Score: 95
Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
On board the Stormchaser, Twig, a young crewmember drawn by destiny to join the sky pirates, is filled with excitement at the adventure ahead. Their quest is to collect stormphrax – a valuable substance created inside the heart of the storm. [...]

23. The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud
The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Prequel
Score: 95
Our rating: 9.5 | 1 positive reader reviews
The year is 950 BC and the self-proclaimed master djinni Bartimaeus is to be found causing chaos whilst serving at the court of King Solomon in Jerusalem. But with the arrival of Asmira, an assassin girl sent by the Queen of Sheba, things begin to get even more interesting and Bartimaeus must use [...]

24. Prince Caspian by CS Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia: Book 4
Score: 93
Our rating: 9.0 | 3 positive reader reviews
Narnia's freedom is under threat from the evil King Miraz and in desperation Prince Caspian, the rightful heir to the throne, blows the Great Horn to summon Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy back to Narnia. [...]

25. Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
Score: 93
Our rating: 8.8 | 5 positive reader reviews
Dangerous games in a topsy-turvy world. A winter’s day, and Alice is feeling thoughtful. Gazing into a huge mirror above the drawing room mantelpiece, she wonders what the world would look like if everything in it was turned around, like a reflection. Suddenly the glass turns to mist &ndash [...]

26. The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson
Score: 92
Our rating: 9.2 | 0 positive reader reviews
One tiny snail longs to see the world and hitches a lift on the tail of a whale. Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, and the little snail feels so small in the vastness of the world. But when disaster strikes and the whale is beached in a bay, [...]

27. The Dragon Whisperer by Lucinda Hare
The Dragonsdome Chronicles: Book 1
Score: 92
Our rating: 9.0 | 2 positive reader reviews
Quenelda has always had a magical bond with dragons, and her greatest wish is to fly one and fight alongside her father in the war against the hobgoblins.Root, on the other hand, wishes only to avoid the fearsome creatures, so the role of Quenelda's esquire is the last thing he needs. [...]

28. The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud
The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Book 2
Score: 92
Our rating: 9.3 | 0 positive reader reviews
Two years have passed and the young magician Nathaniel is rising fast through the government ranks. But his career is suddenly threatened by a series of terrifying crises. A dangerous golem makes random attacks on London and other raids, even more threatening, are perpetrated by the Resistance. N [...]

29. The Horse And His Boy by CS Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia: Book 3
Score: 91
Our rating: 8.5 | 6 positive reader reviews
Bree, the horse, has been kidnapped from Narnia and longs to return there. Shasta, on the verge of being sold into slavery, decides to run away with him in search of the home he's always dreamed of. But the journey is full of surprises and fraught with dangers, and when the companions uncover [...]

30. Midnight over Sanctaphrax by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
The Twig Trilogy: Book 3
Score: 91
Our rating: 9.0 | 1 positive reader reviews
A ferocious storm threatens the magnificent city of Sanctaphrax. Only Twig knows of the approaching danger. But his perilous voyage destroys his sky ship, hurling his crew beyond the Deepwoods, and robbing Twig of all memory... [...]

31. Flight to Dragon Isle by Lucinda Hare
The Dragonsdome Chronicles: Book 2
Score: 91
Our rating: 9.0 | 1 positive reader reviews
A brutal war against the united hobgoblin tribes rages, and Quenelda longs to accompany her hero Dragon Lord father into battle. But when the elite Stealth Dragon Services is ambushed and defeated - due to the dark treachery of the Grand Master - and her father is presumed dead, the Seven Sea Kin [...]

32. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator‏ by Roald Dahl
Score: 91
Our rating: 9.0 | 1 positive reader reviews
Charlie Bucket has won Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and is on his way to take possession of it - in none other than a great glass elevator! But when the elevator makes a fearful whooshing noise, Charlie and his family find themselves in splendid orbit around the Earth. A daring adventure h [...]

33. The Last of the Sky Pirates by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
The Rook Sequence: Book 1
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Rook Barkwater lives in the network of sewer-chambers beneath Undertown, the bustling main city of the Edgeworld. He dreams of becoming a librarian knight and, breaking all the rules, grabs his chance when it comes, setting out on a perilous journey to the Free Glades and beyond. Then, buried in [...]

34. The World of Poo by Terry Pratchett
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
From Snuff: 'Vimes' prompt arrival got a nod of approval from Sybil, who gingerly handed him a new book to read to Young Sam. Vimes looked at the cover. The title was The World of Poo. When his wife was out of eyeshot he carefully leafed through it. Well, okay, you had to accept [...]

35. Dragon Lords Rising by Lucinda Hare
The Dragonsdome Chronicles: Book 3
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
A wave of panic washed over Quenelda as they failed to spy the mainland before darkness fell; freezing her to the marrow more than any sea wave could do. What had she been thinking of, hauling her friends and Storm out over the freezing ocean? What made her think that she could do the impossible? [...]

36. Shadows over Sylvania by Jonathan Green
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
In Shadows over Sylvania you take on the role of a Vampire thrall of one of the bloodthirsty rulers of the accursed county of Sylvania. Your adventure takes place in the years following Count Vlad von Carstein’s failed attempt to become the first vampire Emperor. There are no Colleges of Ma [...]

37. Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus
Score: 90
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
The rumours are true – Christopher Robin is back in the Hundred Acre Wood. From the excitement of Christopher Robin’s return to the curious business of learning to play cricket, Return to the Hundred Acre Wood allows readers to spend a few more treasured hours with the Best Bear in Al [...]

38. Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
The Twig Trilogy: Book 1
Score: 89
Our rating: 8.5 | 4 positive reader reviews
Abandoned at birth in the Deepwoods, Twig is brought up by a family of woodtrolls. One cold night, Twig does what no woodtroll has ever done before – he strays from the path. So begins an adventure that will take Twig through a nightmare world of goblins and trogs, bloodthirsty beasts and f [...]

39. The Curse of the Gloamglozer by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
The Quint Sequence: Book 1
Score: 89
Our rating: 9.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Quint, son of sky pirate captain, and new apprentice to Linius Pallitax, the Most High Academe, has been set some highly important tasks. Just how important, Quint is about to find out as he and Linius’s only daughter, Maris, are plunged into a terrifying adventure that takes them deep with [...]

40. Return To Allapatria by Shelley E Parker
Score: 89
Our rating: 8.7 | 2 positive reader reviews
Daniel's school holidays are interrupted when, via a ley-line that passes through the goldfish tank in his bedroom, he is transported to a parallel world - in which he has been chosen to fight a battle on behalf of Good against the forces of Evil! Reluctant isn't the word... [...]

41. Crime Team: Skull Island by Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore
Score: 88
Our rating: 8.8 | 0 positive reader reviews
In Skull Island a millionaire is found at his luxury island home - dead! But no one can work out how he died. You must get to Skull Island and solve the mystery before his killer escapes. [...]

42. Dirty Beasts by Roald Dahl
Score: 87
Our rating: 8.5 | 2 positive reader reviews
Roald Dahl's inimitable style and humor shine in this collection of poems about mischievous and mysterious animals. From Stingaling the scorpion to Crocky-Wock the crocodile, Dahl's animals are nothing short of ridiculous. A clever pig with an unmentionable plan to save his own bacon and [...]

43. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia: Book 5
Score: 86
Our rating: 8.5 | 1 positive reader reviews
A king and some unexpected companions embark on a voyage that will take them beyond all known lands. As they sail farther and farther from charted waters, they discover that their quest is more than they imagined and that the world's end is only the beginning. [...]

44. The Silver Chair by CS Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia: Book 6
Score: 86
Our rating: 8.4 | 2 positive reader reviews
Eustace and Jill are whisked to the land of Narnia where Aslan, the great Lion, needs their help to find the missing Prince Rilian, Caspian’s beloved son. The search takes them through some of the most dangerous underland of Narnia, and into the path of an evil enchantress who has dire plan [...]

45. The Twits by Roald Dahl
Score: 86
Our rating: 8.5 | 1 positive reader reviews
The Twits are a couple that nobody would like to know. They are hairy, dirty, smelly and generally unpleasant. Roald Dahl's characters are possibly the most horrid people you will ever read about. Mr and Mrs Twit spend their days inventing new ways to be be nasty to each other. Each time Mrs [...]

46. The Lost Barkscrolls by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
The Edge Chronicles: Book 11
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
Four dramatic stories – set in all the ages of the fascinating, terrifying Edgeworld – a delight for any reader, new or old. Cloud Wolf – the story of young sky pirate Quint’s first extraordinary battle in the sky, above the perilous Deepwoods. The Stone Pilot – the [...]

47. iHero: Tomb Runner by Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
You are a treasure hunter. You are hired to find the hidden tomb of Genghis Khan. Will you travel to Mongolia and help to discover the tomb and its riches? Or will you choose another path? You are the hero of this book. Only you can decide your own destiny... [...]

48. Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Score: 85
Our rating: 8.5 | 0 positive reader reviews
Do you think Cinderella married the prince and lived happily ever after, and that the three little pigs outsmarted the wolf? Think again! Premier storyteller Roald Dahl twists the fate of six favorite fairy tales, in this picture book edition with vibrant new cover art by Quentin Blake. Fairy tal [...]

49. The Last Battle by CS Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia: Book 7
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Narnia... where lies breed fear... where loyalty is tested... where all hope seems lost. During the last days of Narnia, the land faces its fiercest challenge—not an invader from without but an enemy from within. Lies and treachery have taken root, and only the king and a small band of loya [...]

50. The Obelisk Of Ashmar by Colin R Parsons
Wizards' Kingdom: Book 2
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Since the defeat of Evilan, Wizards’ Kingdom has lived in peace under the benevolent rule of Zendal. Until now… Zendal’s beloved stallion, Shim, has been stolen and an evil foreboding once again fills the wizard’s heart. Along with his fellow wizards, Crasmont and Mydar, [...]

51. The Avatar's Return by Irene Kilpatrick
The Last Airbender
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
A hundred years has passed and the Avatar has not been sighted. The Fire Nation has made a fierce onslaught against the other villages around them they want to conquer, and as the people thought they would never prevent the evil spreading further, the Avatar returns as Aang, a young boy known as [...]

52. The Map To Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
To master thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it’s her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the [...]

53. Free Lance and the Lake of Skulls by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Free Lance Trilogy #1
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
Free Lance has no master - he journeys from village to village and castle to castle, competing in tournaments and working for his keep. When his horse throws a shoe and he must seek shelter overnight in Lord Big Nose's village, he accepts his most dangerous mission yet - retrieving an enchant [...]

54. The Knights and the Best Quest by Kaye Umansky
Score: 80
Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews
What's the point of a daring quest without a little competition? The Knights of the Drop- Leaf Table don't think there is one, so it's time to draw up the rules, find a suitable prize, hit the road on their less-than-trusty steeds and prove who's best! Can they return laden with m [...]

55. Prince On A White Horse by Tanith Lee
Score: 76
Our rating: 7.6 | 0 positive reader reviews
He was a prince, he knew. And he was riding a white horse. But who he was, and how he had got there, he had no idea. The horse didn't know either - it was good at protecting him from the many monsters that came to attack him, and it could turn into a lion, for difficult jobs like climbing mou [...]