No book has influenced the fantasy genre like Harry Potter. Kids and adults alike continue to pay homage to a genre that was once reserved for the die-hards. Now it’s mainstream and people want more fantasy. Modern. Relatable. Fun. My personal favorite from this list is The Uncommoners about a secret society under London. It has key elements in common with Harry Potter. But don’t stop there. Check out these other books about magical worlds.
The Uncommoners by Jennifer Bell (2016)
Beneath London there’s an underworld called Lundinor. Three times a year the Uncommoners come to the under market to trade their magical uncommon objects; lemon squeezer lights, talking bells, instant transport suitcases, invisibility candles. Ivy and her brother enter Lundinor through the suitcase portal, and soon learn that an old evil is trying to resurface and they must stop it before it’s too late.
The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko (2018)
Claire and Sophie have just moved into their deceased great aunt’s house and strangely there’s a ladder in the fireplace. When Claire climbs the ladder in search of Sophie, she finds herself in a magical world called Arden. But things aren’t right. Sophie has vanished. A unicorn harp has been stolen. And the four territories aren’t getting along. If they can bring back the unicorns, there may be a chance of restoring peace.
Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly (2015)
An evil wizard is making the girls of Bryre sick. Kymera is a Frankenstein-like monster created by her “father” to rescue the girls. Kymera isn’t supposed to speak to humans when she visits Bryre, but inevitably she forms a friendship with a boy named Ren. Once she learns the truth about her father, her kind-hearted nature forces her to take action to help Bryre overcome the evil.
Magyk by Angie Sage (2005)
When the Heap family realize that their adopted daughter is actually the daughter of the murdered queen, they escape to the swamps to hide out with Aunt Zelda, where magic and adventure are a daily occurrence. Marcia, the Extraordinary wizard, takes it upon herself to protect the Queenling from the usurpers who want her dead in order to claim the throne.
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull (2006)
Tinkerbell this book is not. Who knew that fairies can turn into imps? Or that water fairies harbor a secret desire to drown you? This is not your sweet, cute, wish-granting fairy story. While visiting their grandfather, Seth and Kendra begin to find weird things going on. Highly curious, Seth disregards every warning his grandfather tells him and consequently havoc breaks loose on the property known as Fablehaven.
Story Thieves by James Riley (2015)
Bethany has an extraordinary talent. She can hop in and out of stories since her father was a fictional character who managed to exit a book and meet her mother. Her classmate, Owen, has figured out her ability and convinced her to take him into his favorite book. She agrees, but quickly regrets it when Owen starts changing the story.
Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley (2015)
Beautifully written book about a boy, his beloved grandfather, his cranky great-aunt, and the magical circus his grandfather visited as a boy. According to his grandfather, a magician, he calls Lightbender, promised to fulfill a wish when he was a boy. Now his grandfather is ready to cash in, but the Lightbender refuses. Micah believes the Lightbender can save his grandfather’s life so he sets out to find the circus.
The Iron Trial by Holly Black (2014)
It’s time for the annual Iron Trial and Callum Hunt is ordered to attend. If he passes, he will gain entrance to the Magisterium, a magician training school. Callum’s dad is dead set against it and advises him to fail the test. Callum fails everything, but he’s still chosen.
He becomes an apprentice under Master Rufus, along with Tamara and Aaron. Callum’s dad is trying to protect him from something and Callum is determined to find out what.
The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta (2018)
Kiranmala’s parents have been telling her for years that she’s an Indian princess. She’s never believed it, but when she returns home on Halloween to find her parents gone, two Indian princes at her door, and a rakkhosh attacking her house, she has a change of heart. Adventure awaits as she follows the princes into another dimension to find her parents.