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Books TitleRECOMMENDED NOVELS WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN

E) OTHER FANTASY

BABBITT, NATALIE
“The Search for Delicious” (1969)
“Tuck Everlasting” (1975)
“Search” is a fairy tale told with gentle humor of a boy searching his kingdom for the best description of the word Delicious, and all the trouble it causes. “Tuck” is about a family who finds a spring that makes them immortal, and how difficult long life can be. Babbit’s “Goody Hall" is also recommended.

BANKS, LYNNE REID
“The Indian in the Cupboard” (1980)
And several sequels. Patrick discovers that placing a toy Indian in his magic cupboard brings it to life...but the Indian is a real person from the past with needs and ideas of his own. Thoughtful and well-told series.

BB (Denys Watkins-Pitchford)
“The Little Grey Men” (1942)
This and a sequel tell the pastoral adventures of the last gnomes in Britain. Good nature writing as well as delightful characters.

COOPER, SUSAN
“The Boggart” (1993)
A Canadian family finds they’ve become heirs to a ruined Scottish castle. When they visit it, they become heir to the castle’s mischievous fairy as well, and unwittingly take it back to Canada with them.

CRESSWELL, HELEN
“The Beachcombers” (1972)
An example of the many fantasies of this prolific author, the Beachcombers are an eccentric family who live in an old ship and search the shores for their lost treasure. Cresswell’s books are often humurous and inventive.

CURRY, JANE LOUISE
“Change-Child” (1969)
“Mindy’s Mysterious Miniature” (1970)
The first of these is a Celtic mediaeval story of a girl who believes she may have been changed at birth by the fair folk. The second is a contemporary story involving a shrinking machine. Two aspects of Curry’s fine writing.

DICKINSON, PETER
“Emma Tupper’s Diary” (1971)
“Annerton Pit” (1977)
Two stories that focus on hidden secrets of fantastic origin in today’s world. The first is about a Loch Ness-like hoax which may be more than a hoax: in the second powerful tale, a blind boy finds an escape from danger through an old mine, and makes an unexpected discovery there.

DuBOIS, WILLIAM PENE
“The Twenty-One Balloons” (1947)
“Peter Graves” (1950)
“The Giant” (1954)
A fine realistic illustrator, DuBois makes these wildly improbable tales believable through understated prose and convincing drawings. In the first, a very wealthy man builds an island utopia. In the second, a crackpot inventor creates an anti-gravity substance. In the third, a boy continues to grow until he is as big as houses.

EAGER, EDWARD
“Half Magic” (1954)
And the six other books in his magic series. Eager was highly influenced by Nesbit, but his humor comes a little more to the front, and all his books are entertaining. In this first book, some children find a magic talisman that grants wishes...but only half of them.

GAIMAN, NEIL
"Coraline" (2002)
Chilling story of a girl who finds another whole family in a part of her house that shouldn't be there, and the Other Mother who wants to keep her for ever. I've worked with Neil for many years, so my opinion on this book may be biased, but I think it's one that will become a classic.

GARNER, ALAN
“The Owl Service” (1967)
This complex retelling of a story from the Welsh Mabinogion is a challenging read for older children that can appreciate its subtle, dreamlike prose. Less challenging and worth reading is “Elidor”, where modern children enter a dangerous fantasy world.

HUNTER, MOLLIE
“The Ferlie” (1968)
Hunter’s fantasies take place in the Scottish highlands and usually involve the fair folk, as in this one, where a boy with musical talent must try to escape from the traps of a fairy who wants his soul.

JONES, DIANA WYNNE
“Charmed Life” (1977)
First in the “Chrestomanci” series that takes place in a world where magic exists, and is bound by legal rules. In each of the books, children discover their latent magic abilities, and get into trouble learning to use them. Other fantasies by Jones are always worth reading.

KENDALL, CAROL
“The Gammage Cup” (1959)
This book and two sequels tell of the small-scale fantasy world of the Minnipins and their hidden valley, echoing the middle ages, with accents of magic, humor and good characters.

KONIGSBURG, E. L.
“Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth” (1967)
“Up From Jericho Tel” (1986)
In the first long-titled work, a witch takes an ordinary girl as her apprentice. In the second, two children help the ghost of an actress find out more about her death. Fine writing and characters.

LANG, ANDREW
“Prince Prigio” (1889)
Known for his fairytale collections, Lang also wrote some of his own. The christening gift to the prince from a nasty fairy is that he is entirely too clever, with the habit of saying, “I told you so.” This makes him hated and ignored. With the help of other fairy gifts like seven-league boots, the prince struggles to overcome his curse.

LANGTON, JANE
“The Diamond in the Window” (1962)
And three sequels involving the Hall family of Concord, Mass. Though influenced by Nesbit, these stories have their own American flavor, using ideas from Concord’s Thoreau and Emerson to enhance the magic adventures.

LIVELY, PENELOPE
“The Ghost of Thomas Kempe” (1973)
A Jacobean ghost comes to life in the present, creating all kinds of problems for the family in whose house he once lived. Look also for her fantasies “The Whispering Knights” and “The Wild Hunt of the Ghost Hounds”.

MAHY, MARGARET
“The Changeover” (1984)
Remarkable coming of age fantasy for older children -- Laura feels the witch power of a boy in her class, and must get his help to remove the wasting illness of her brother. That help involves becoming a witch herself. Look also for “The Tricksters” and other books by this fine writer.

MANNING, ROSEMARY
“Green Smoke” (1957)
On a seaside holiday in Wales, Susan finds and befriends a dragon who tells her tales of his long life. Several sequels followed, but this first book is the best.

MAYNE, WILLIAM
“A Swarm in May” (1955)
“The Blue Boat” (1957)
“IT” (1978)
One of the finest and most prolific writers for children of the second half of this century, Mayne’s books cover a wide range from fantasies with a mystery/historical flavor like “Swarm” to those with a menacing unseen force like “IT”, to books that might be fantasy or not, depending on how you look at it, like “Blue Boat”. One element that is almost constant is that his stories are told from the point of view of a child, giving the reader only as much information as those children have. This can make them difficult to follow at times. But his inventive plots and fine characters are worth the effort.

MURPHY, SHIRLEY ROSSEAU
“Silver Woven In My Hair” (1977)
A charming Cinderella story that plays with the heroine’s feeling that she has a certain magic ability. Or does she?

NORTON, ANDRE
“Huon of the Horn” (1951)
“Steel Magic” (1965)
Though better known for her science fiction for children, Norton’s fantasies have often been worth reading. “Huon” is a retelling of a Charlemagne legend with lots of mediaeval swordplay and sorcery. “Steel” takes modern children to unusual encounters with Arthurian legend.

SEVERN, DAVID
“Dream Gold” (1949)
Two boys find they are having an identical dream that takes them to a Pacific island, and a tale of piracy and treasure.

SNYDER, ZILPHA KEATLEY
“Black and Blue Magic” (1966)
A boy who suffers from terrible clumsiness meets an odd salesman who offers him a gift of magic flight...but one that will take a lot of work to master. Snyder’s other fantasies are varied and generally worth reading.

TARN, W.W.
“Treasure of the Isle of Mist” (1934)
A charming, well written fairy tale wherein a modern-day professor and his daughter share their island home with magic folk who have a treasure that everyone wants to find.

TOWNSEND, JOHN ROWE
“The Fortunate Isles” (1989)
Three children from very different backgrounds are each journeying to their island’s capital for their own reasons, and find their journey together brings grudging friendship and understanding.

WREDE, PATRICIA
“Dealing With Dragons” (1990)
And several sequels. What is a princess to do when her parents insist on making her spend time with princes who differ only in degree and style of dullness? Run away to a dragon’s lair! The problem is, princes keep trying to rescue her.

WRIGHTSON, PATRICIA
“An Older Kind of Magic” (1972)
“The Nargun and the Stars” (1973)
First two of many books featuring the lore, legends and mythology of Australia’s aboriginal people. Nargun is particularly original, about a strange rocklike creature that slowly enters the lands of a modern farmer, and that family’s struggle to get rid of it.

OTHER TOPICS

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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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