Harry Potter readers don’t have to stop reading just because the next Harry Potter book isn’t on the shelves yet. The fantasy fiction genre has become a favorite for the tween set in recent years, peaking with the release of the first Harry Potter book. Since that time, many old favorites have resurfaced, and new, wizard and fantasy series have been written. The top five series of books for kids between about 9 and 13, all have some magic and fantasy to offer.
1. Charlie Bone Series
Who exactly is Charlie Bone? Charlie Bone is a descendant of the Red King, a magician-king of sorts, who left Africa sometime in the 1300’s. As a descendant of the Red King, Charlie is endowed with special powers. Charlie is able to hear the voices talk to him from photographs and paintings. He stands among a group of the endowed who also possess interesting and enchanting powers.
The words flow easily on the pages and most young readers at the middle school level of reading should have little difficulty reading this book. Each chapter averages about 20-25 pages, for a total of 402 pages of reading in all.
Potter fans will like Charlie Bone. He fights on the side of good against those that use their magic for evil and he has super-powered friends that assist him with his adventures at Bloor’s Academy. The reading level is slightly easier than Harry Potter books, so this series is a good substitute for kids who enjoy wizard tales but need slightly easier books to begin with. There are several Charlie Bone books available for tween readers, with a new book due to arrive on the market in June 2007, Charlie Bone and the Beast. Other books in the series include:
Charlie Bone and the Hidden King
Charlie Bone and the Time Twister
Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy
Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors
Midnight for Charlie Bone
Charlie Bone and the Blue Boa
2. The Magician Trilogy
The Magician Trilogy is another series by author, Jenny Nimmo. The stories in this collection are based on Welsh mythology, and combine the same elements of fantasy and magic as Harry Potter and Charlie Bone books. This series brings readers a new set of characters, with a young Welsh boy, Gwyn as the lead. Naturally, Gwyn has some magic powers and adventures filled with mystery and fantasy.
There are three books in the series, beginning with, The Snow Spider. Emlynn’s Moon and Chesnut Soldier complete this interesting series for pre-teen readers.
3. The Pendragon Series
The latest in this fantasy series of books, by D.J. MacHale, the Pilgrims of Rayne, is due to hit stores in May 2007. The Pendragon collection has become a popular reading choice for readers who like following a series of fantasy books. The main character, Bobby Pendragon, is a fourteen-year-old boy who learns that he is a “Traveler.” Bobby has the ability to time-travel, and many of the books in the series take Bobby to some fantastic places in history.
There are several books in the Pendragon collection, and first-time readers of this series will want to read more. Some of the books in the Pendragon collection include; The March of Death, The Reality Bug, Black Water, The Quillan Games, The Rivers of Zadaa, The Lost City of Faar, and The Never War.
4. The Chronicles of Narnia Boxed Set
Many readers will be familiar with this series of adventure/fantasy books by C.S. Lewis. The movie version won over a new set of tween readers, who wanted to read more about the land of Narnia. A group of four siblings star as the lead characters in this collection, but there are many fantasy animal characters and villains to keep readers’ imaginations going full speed ahead.
The Narnia Boxed Collection is a great way to encourage hours of reading time from kids who like the fantasy genre. This series will appeal to older kids, as well as adults who may be able to understand some of the more subtle themes that C.S. Lewis infused in the books. There are seven books in the boxed set including; The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, the Witch, and the wardrobe, The Horse and the Boy, Prince caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Trader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle.
5. The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings Series
J.R.R. Tolkien is the author of this classic fantasy series of books. The Lord of the Rings books rich with details that the movie series could not possibly cover in depth. Kids who have seen the movies will have a second chance to get to know this series of books better through reading the collection. The Hobbit is included in this series. Tolkien uses epic adventure and fantasy magic to lure readers into a world where interesting characters and creatures rule.