Best Fantasy Book Series for Middle Grade Readers

I love the fantasy genre. I think I always have. I can remember being a kid, tucked away with a great book, swept into a story of knights and princesses and magic and castles. As I got older, I held on to my love of fantasy and read about elves and hobbits and wizards and dragons. I also found myself terribly in love with the legends of King Arthur.


As an adult, I held on to that love of fantasy, although my reading tastes have definitely broadened over the years. I've loved introducing my own children to fantasy through great books and book series. Fantasy has a tremendous power. It can enrich out lives in so many ways besides just simple enjoyment. I recently posted about the amazing power of fantasy in shaping and strengthening a Christian worldview.

Fantasy books for middle grade kids


But I would agree that not all fantasy is created equal. As parents we want to introduce our children to good fantasy, fantasy that presents the battle of good versus evil and allows good to win, fantasy that will inspire them to good and not to evil. We also want fantasy that's well-written and not what Charlotte Mason would consider as "twaddle."

The book series here are some of our favorites as well as some I've heard recommended again and again. They are books that most middle grade readers- upper elementary and middle school- can read independently. But I also recommend them as awesome read alouds. Fantasy books make great read alouds because they give so many opportunities for discussion. (And, yes, you should be reading aloud to your older kids!)

Redwall by Brian Jacques


I've loved the Redwall books as much as the kids have. Redwall is the name of the first book as well as the name of the series, written by Brian Jacques. He's also authored other books of the same genre but not part of the series. Redwall features animals from Redwall Abbey as the primary characters. The "good guys" are always the cute critters like mice and bunnies, and the "bad guys" are always weasels, foxes, rats, and the like. 

Fantasy books for middle grade kids Redwall

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan (a five book series)


Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a series featuring a boy from the ordinary world who finds himself caught up in the world of Greek gods and goddesses. The first book of the five book series is The Lightning Thief.

I read the entire series when my son had picked up and was reading the first book, and I loved them. Although they're written for middle grade kids, I was caught up in the story myself. The theme of Greek gods and goddesses made the books especially good for us, as we had been studying ancient Greece.

Fantasy books for middle grade kids Percy Jackson

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling


No list of middle grade fantasy would be complete without the Harry Potter series. The first book is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. There are seven books in the complete series. Although the first three are definitely middle grade kids' reads, the last books get progressively more "grown up" as they go along. By the end I would classify the books as young adult- or even adult. 

I have to admit that, for many reasons, I only read the complete series recently. Never fear, though. I've become a complete Potter fanatic even in my old age. Kids who can begin the series as middle grade readers and continue on as they grow older like Harry are fortunate indeed.


Fantasy books for middle grade kids Harry Potter

The Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle


A Wrinkle in Time is the first of five books in the Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle. I read it as a kid and again many times to my own children. I haven't read the others aloud to the kids, hoping that they might be spurred on to read them for themselves. But A Wrinkle in Time is definitely an awesome one to read aloud because it can spur some great discussions.


Fantasy books for middle grade kids A Wrinkle in Time

The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry


The Giver is the first and most well-known of Lois Lowry's four books in the Giver Quartet series. Until recently I had only ever read this one. But I've now listened to all four as audiobooks. I love this dystopian society/fantasy book. It's another one that gives some great discussion points.


Fantasy books for middle grade kids The Giver

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis


The Chronicles of Narnia are long-time favorites of mine. I've read them myself and read them aloud to the kids many, many times. Every time I read them I find more and more within the pages- truths about life, about myself, and about God. The first book in the series is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I've created a post of unit study resources that go along with the book here.


Fantasy books for middle grade kids Chronicles of Narnia


These are a few of our favorites. Do  you have any favorite fantasy series for this age group?

Fantasy books for middle grade kids




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10 comments:

  1. How have I never heard of Redwall and all the others are on our favorites list? It's going on our reading list!

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    1. Redwall is definitely one of my favorites. My older kids can still remember me making the voices of the animals when I read the Redwall books aloud. :-)

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  2. Great book recommendations! I haven't heard of redwall before so we'll check that one out! My 8 year old loves adventure stories and we are always looking for new books :)

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  3. Ooh! My boys love Redwall, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Narnia but we have yet to try the other two. Pinned.

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  4. Thanks for sharing! I'm also a big fantasy fan, but as a parent I'm much more discerning about what's appropriate and when they are ready for it than my parents were for me. (They were not big readers, so could barely keep up with what I was reading.) This is a solid list.

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  5. This is great! I hadn't heard of Redwall. We just finished the Wrinkle in Time series and not we're on Narnia (again), we can never read them enough, but I was wondering where to go next. Thanks for the great book suggestions. ~Natural Parent Guide

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    1. And there are quite a few Redwall books, so they'll keep you busy. :-)

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