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Books TitleRECOMMENDED NOVELS WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN

B) EPIC FANTASY

ALEXANDER, LLOYD
“The Book of Three” (1964)
And the other four books in the chronicles of Prydain. While these stories have their origins in Welsh myth, the characters seem new and fresh thanks to the author's fine character development. Taran, the hero, begins as Assistant Pig-Keeper, and through quest and battle, magic and friendship, rises to high places in his kingdom.

CHABON, MICHAEL
"Summerland" (2002)
An unusual fantasy that seems at first to take place in a contemporary northwestern United States, but gradually expands to reveal a much different world. The first fantasy I can think of to use baseball as a theme, good characters and a story with some surprising turns.

COOPER, SUSAN
“Over Sea, Under Stone” (1965)
And the other five books in “The Dark is Rising” series. A battle between good and evil in contemporary Britain using Celtic and Arthurian myth.

DICKINSON, PETER
"The Ropemaker" (2001)
A finely crafted fantasy world is the setting for this complex and exciting story, with lots of magic, and lots of consequences for using it. Good characters and an engaging plot. Sequel "Angel Isle" is also excellent. Look also for his "Tears of the Salamander".

FUNKE, CORNELIA
"Inkheart" (2003)
Another richly detailed and thought-through fantasy based on the idea that certain books and writers can create whole worlds that really exist, and may prove quite dangerous even to their authors. Sequel "Inkspell" is equally good, but points toward a third volume of what will probably be a trilogy.

GARNER, ALAN
“The Weirdstone of Brisingamen” (1960)
“The Moon of Gomrath” (1963)
Garner’s first two books about dangerous ancient magic surfacing in the modern world are highly influenced by Tolkien, but well worth reading.

JONES, DIANA WYNNE
“Cart and Cwidder” (1975)
And the three other books in the Dalemark Quartet. An unusual approach, these books tell personal stories, each in a different time, that build an epic picture. All the threads meet in the last long book, “Crown of Dalemark”.

LEGUIN, URSULA K.
“A Wizard of Earthsea” (1967)
And the other three Earthsea books. Taking place in a fantasy world of many islands, where magicians hold power, this tells of one powerfully talented mage, Ged, his struggles to master his own abilities, and those people his magic touches.  Deeply thoughtful, well written.

McCAFFREY, ANNE
"Dragondrums" (1979)
Along with sequels "Dragonsong" and "Dragonsinger", these three are part of a larger "Dragonrider" epic by the author with some science fiction elements. In these three, written for children, the focus is on young people and dragons that they are bonded with, all finding their way in a dangerous world.

McKILLIP, PATRICIA
“The Riddle-Master of Hed” (1976)
And the two later volumes in this trilogy of quest and sorcery with a Celtic feel. Good characters and an exciting plot.

MURPHY, SHIRLEY ROSSEAU
“The Ring of Fire” (1977)
First of several books about the Seers of Ere, a fantasy world where good and evil grapple using magic and other means.

PAOLINI, CHRISTOPHER
"Eragon" (2003)
Written when the author was still a teenager, this epic battle fantasy in the spirit of Tolkien gets points from me for audacity and good character development, though at times the age of the author shows. Sequel "Eldest" is also good, and a bit deeper. A third volume is planned.

PIERCE, TAMORA
“Wild Magic” (1992)
And three other books in the “Immortals” quartet. In a world where magic is practiced by trained wizards, heroine Daine has a strange affinity with animals that doesn’t fit in with that magic. It takes her to the highest levels of power, intrigue, and danger.

PULLMAN, PHILLIP
“The Golden Compass”  British title: “Northern Lights” (1995)
And two sequels in this trilogy. In a world where every person has a daemon familiar in the form of an animal, heroine Lyra must find out who is stealing children and killing daemons. Well-written, lots to think about, though I found the first book the most satisfying.

ROWLING, J.K.
"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (1997)
 British title "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"
And six others in this series. There can't be many readers who haven't heard of these. While I wasn't terribly impressed with the first book, the series has grown on me as it has gone along, getting longer, deeper, and more serious. Takes elements from classic British school stories and classic British fantasy and puts them together in a very entertaining way. Rowling also gets kudos for sparking a renewed interest in fantasy novels for children that adults can also enjoy, some examples of which are in this section.

STROUD, JONATHAN
"The Amulet of Samarkand" (2003)
First of a rather dark trilogy steeped in the black side of the occult, with battling sorcerers and their familiars in an alternate London, and elsewhere. The dark edge is tempered by humor, though, especially in the narrative voice of the lead character, a captive demon. Sort of magic from the demon's point of view.

WRIGHTSON, PATRICIA
“The Ice is Coming” (1977)
And two other titles in this trilogy. An Australian author’s remarkable tale of Wirrun, an aborigine, on a quest that brings him face to face with all the gods and spirits of his land and people. Powerful, unusual setting and imagery.

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RECOMMENDED NOVELS WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN TOPICS

A) Classic Fantasy

B) Epic Fantasy

C) Animal Fantasy

D) Historical and Time Travel Fantasy

E) Other Fantasy

F) Science Fiction

G) Mystery

H) Historical

I) Classic Adventure

J) Vacation/Holiday Adventure

K) Wilderness Adventure

L) Other Adventure

M) Classic Family and Friends

N) Family and Friends

O) Real Life

P) Humor

Q) Classic Animals

R) Dogs and Cats

S) Horses

T) Other Animals and Nature

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