Monday, July 2, 2012

It's All About Magic

by Susan Berger

I love books with magic in them. Right now I am working on a chapter book about a little girl who steps into a magic world.  I love magic so much I want to share my favorites with you.

The Authors' names link to their Amazon pages. I have linked some books to their free downloads. The rest link to Amazon, but you can find a good many of these books at your library or independent bookstore.  I believe this list represents the most links I ever put in one post.

Magic books where real children find magic:

E Nesbit wrote in the late 1800's. I love her books because she never talks down to children. Her first trilogy begins with Five Children and It. (I'm linking you to the free download from Guttenberg.) She has many others I adore including a time travel book, The House of Arden.

Edward Eager  was a huge fan of E. Nesbit. He followed in her footsteps and write a series of magic books beginning with Half Magic  The seven books in the series are on many people's classics list.

Bruce Coville's Magic Shop series.
I love Bruce Coville. He was just named 2012 recipient of the Empire State Award for Excellence in Literature for Young People. The award comes from the youth services division of the New York Library Association. He writes many things. I started reading Bruce with his Alien series. The Magic Shop Series fits in this category.

Lynne Reid Banks The Indian in the Cupboad series was one of my sons' Favorites. Mine too  I also love The Fairy Rebel.

Magic worlds visited by human children

The Oz Books  For those of you who only know The Wizard of Oz and Gregory Maguire's Wicked, you've missed a whole lot in between.

L Frank Baum wrote 14 Oz books.Most of them are downloadable at project Gutenberg  (including The Royal Book of Oz,written by L. Frank Baum and Ruth Plumley Thompson. It's one of my favorites).

Ruth Plumly Thompson wrote 18 more Oz Books. John R Neill, the illustrator of the Oz Books took over and wrote three. And the list goes on and on.  I own 21 of the books. I hope to add to my collection.

 C.S. Lewis  The Narnia Books

The seven books of this series, written in between 1950 and 1956 are on many fantasy lovers' lists, including mine.

Worlds where Magic is the Norm

J.K. Rowling changed the style of Children's literature with the Harry Potter Books  Many children used to cry when asked to read 100 page chapter books.  The last few Harry Potter books averaged 750 pages each and kids devoured them like candy.

Tamora Pierce, creator of worlds I love to reread. She has several series set in the world of Tortall: The Song of The Lioness Series., The Immortals series, The Circle of Magic Series  and a few others. 
I own every Tamora Pierce book and cannot recommend them highly enough.

Diana Wynne Jones wrote numerous fantasy  books for children.  My favorites are The Dark Lord of Derkholm and  and its sequel, The Year of the Griffin

Kai Strand's debut book, The Weaver  I fell in love with this girl trying to find her story telling talent.

Dragons and Magic
Patricia Wrede The Enchanted Forest series
four books beginning with Dealing with Dragons. She also has adult magic books.

Jessica Day George  Dragon Slippers Series
I found this series when I blogged the first line of Dragon Slippers. I was delighted to find out it was part of a series.

Anne McCaffrey  In her Dragon Riders of Pern series  there exists a trilogy of books for young people called The Harper Hall Trilogy.  I have every book Anne McCaffrey wrote, but I've a special fondness for this trilogy and re-read it once a year.

Teenagers who discover Magic exists in our world.

Kathy McCullough Don't Expect Magic  Lupe interviewed Kathy for our blog and I borrowed the book from him. The voice of this 16 year old Goth from New Jersey, who discovers her dad is actually a Fairy Godfather, was so appealing that I went out and bought my own copy.

Margaret Stohl and Cami Garcia  The Beautiful Creatures series

I met Margaret Stohl at a wonderful Flintridge Bookstore authors event in 2011. Facinated by her story of how she and Cami wrote the books, I bought Beautiful Creatures. I finished it at 2:00AM, walked to my computer, powered up and ordered the second book and pre ordered the third.  I also blogged the first line. The fourth book, Beautiful Redemption, will be available in October.

That's my list. I realize it's only a sampling. Most are books I own.  I skipped all the fairytales retold from Robin McKinleyGail Carson Levine and Jane Yolen. I also skipped Mary Pope Osbornes deservedly popular Magic Treehouse series.    Please tell me about others you think I should discover.


  1. Really nice list of titles. Some are new to me. I'm definitely going to look up McAffrey's series.

  2. Thank. Laurisa. If've you've never read Anne McCaffrey's Dragon world, you're in for a treat.

  3. HI Susan, thanks for these links. (And when my book, Magical Matthew, and Magical Mea, come out, you can add them to you list!) Blessings.

  4. Awesome list! Thanks for sharing these great links. I loved The Weaver by kai Strand.

    Nicole Weaver
    Trilingual Children's Author

  5. Great list. Thanks for posting. I would also include Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising sequence. Don't judge the books by the film, which has to rate as the worst film ever made from a book. I found it unbelievably awful.

  6. You know, I have read those and I don't remember them. I also forgot L.M. Boston's The Children of Green Knowe series.

  7. Great list. I love magic, too. :)

  8. Thanks for this post! Half Magic was one of my favorite books growing up and I've recommended it to so many kids, I've lost count. So, needless to say, I'm very honored to have my book on the same list with it as well as with these many other great, classic books.

    Your book sounds very fun, Susan! I look forward to reading it. I guess you'll keep us all posted about it here on the Pen N. Ink Blog. :)

  9. Susan, I'm so behind on my blog reading. What a wonderful surprise to find The Weaver on a list with all these fabulous titles. Thanks for the affirmation Nicole! I love Coville, Pierce, The Indian in the Cupboard, Beautiful Creatures series. So many great books.

    The Wishing Well: Another Weaver Tale is being released in August. I hope you enjoy my newest adventure in the town of The Tales.


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