Fantasy books transport children (and adults) to make believe worlds of imagination and adventure, which makes them quite enjoyable to read or listen to. When kids read or listen to fantasy books, they also learn problem-solving skills, are exposed to a variety of cultures and experiences, and are encouraged to be creative and out-of-the-box thinkers.

Here are a few of the very best fantasy books for children of all ages!

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Early Elementary

1. Julia’s House for Lost Creatures

By Ben Hatke

This story has all the fantasy creatures kids love! Julia and her walking house move into a new neighborhood that’s too quiet. Julia invites goblins, dragons, mermaids, and fairies to her house for some friendly, but noisy, fun.

2. Super Happy Magic Forest

By Matty Long

The Super Happy Magic Forest is an enchanted land of all things fun, but the fun is extinguished when the Mystical Crystals of Life are stolen. This picture book takes readers on a journey with a fairy, a faun, a gnome, a talking mushroom, and a unicorn as they answer the call of Old Oak to find the crystals.

3. The Last Stardog

By E.K. Mosley

Stardog is in charge of protecting the stars, but she’s lonely and wants to find other creatures like her. Along her journey she learns more about herself and why she’s important.

4. Doughnuts for a Dragon

By Adam Guillain

George, the boy in this adventure, travels back in time to find a dragon. He takes his scooter, and some cake and doughnuts, and heads off. Along the way, George will meet princesses, witches, and dragons as the story unfolds in rhyme.

5. Travel Guide for Monsters

By Lori Degman

This is the essential guide for any kid taking their monster on a road trip! It provides tips for a successful trip, including what to do and what not to do.

6. Meanwhile Back on Earth

By Oliver Jeffers

A father takes his two kids on a trip to outer space and gives a brief, kid-friendly history lesson. Along the way, the trio learn what it means to work together.

7. Frindleswylde

By Natalia O’Hara

When the light from their lantern gets stolen, Cora must follow the Frindleswyde underwater in their frozen kingdom. While there, Cora must complete three tasks to get her lantern back.

8. Margaret’s Unicorn

By Briony May Smith

Margaret has just moved to a cottage near the sea, and one morning she rescues a baby unicorn left behind by his family. The book follows their adventures until the unicorns return for their baby.

Middle Grades

9. Poppy

By Avi

Poppy takes a risk and goes to a dance with the handsome Ragweed, but the night turns to tragedy when Ragweed is captured by the ruthless owl Mr. Ocax. When Poppy and her family must move to a part of the forest with more food, Mr. Ocax refuses to let them go. Poppy must rely on her bravery, smarts, and determination to defeat Mr. Ocax and make a better life for her family. (This is the third book in the Tales of Dimwood Forest series.)

10. Fierce Protector

By Brett Humphrey

Mkali, our 10-year-old hero, faces the challenge of starting the year at a new school. Even though Mkali is a shapeshifter and the Hero of the Realm, she will still need all her wits to face down the dangers at her new school and keep her new friends safe.

11. Zoey and Sassafras

By Asia Citro

These is a set of six books, each one focusing on a different magical animal that helps Zoey solve a scientific problem. In addition to the fun of problem solving, readers also learn how to keep a science journal and are introduced to new scientific vocabulary words.

12. Wings of Olympus

By Kallie George

The top of Mount Olympus is where the winged horses of the ancient gods live in this fantastical story that follows parentless Pippa and her chance to ride the horses. Zephyr is smaller than the other horses, but Pippa must win to keep Zephyr by her side. This story traces Pippa and Zephyr’s adventures.

13. The School Between Winter and Fairyland

By Heather Fawcett

The twelve-year-old main character is a servant who takes care of the beasts at Inglenook School. When she’s not busy taming the creatures, she is trying to solve the disappearance of her twin brother. Other people are convinced that her brother was eaten by a dragon, but she’s not so sure.

14. Beyond the Doors

By Clay Kelly

The mansion in the Canadian woods might not look like a magical place, but when Hazel is sent there, she discovers other worlds that she and her friends must navigate. If they are successful, they will keep their evil enemy away.

15. The Splendid Secrets of 66 Lilly Pilly Lane

By Elena Paige

Chia is a blind young girl forced to work in the diamond mines by her mean stepmother. Her greatest wish is to save her twin sister. Instead, Chia finds herself in a magical house where she is no longer blind! With a combination of magic and her fantastical new friends, Chia knows it’s time to attempt a rescue.

16. Somewhere Enchanted

By J.F.T.

This book is one of the award-winning fantasy books on this list. In it, the people of Elnubrium know the rule: do not enter the forest. But things are changing in the community, and it might be necessary, even if their lives are at risk.

17. The Pawnshop of Stolen Dreams

By Victoria Williamson

This magical story takes place in Witchety Hollows and starts as newcomers set up a shop called Daydream Delicatessen, which rents children to childless families. What starts out as a welcome new business venture soon becomes a problem when families can’t make their rent payments.

18. Dragons in a Bag

By Zetta Elliott

Jaxon thinks he’s spending the day with his grandmother, but he soon realizes that his mom sent him to a witch, and she needs his help delivering baby dragons. Problems arise when Jaxon breaks both rules essential for caring for baby dragons.

19. The Gatekeeper of Pericael

By Hayley Reese Chow

Porter’s family guards the gate between Earth and Pericael, a land filled with terrifying monsters. One day, Porter is thrust into Pericael and forced to use all his wits to return to the gate before he’s stuck in Pericael forever.

20. Mulrox and the Malcognitos

By Kerelyn Smith

Mulrox the ogre just wants to be a poet, but his poems are horrible. When the poems start coming to life, Mulrox has to fight back by writing the very best poem he has ever written.

21. The Green Children of Woolpit

By J. Anderson Coats

Agnes is outside helping with the harvest when she comes upon two children – two green children. They aren’t human, and they want Agnes to come to their world with them. When she discovers that things are not as they seem, Agnes must break the curse to return home.

22. Brumbletide and the Daughter of Eve

By J. Reese Bradley

Emily is a large, magical castle situated on an island near the ordinary town of Little Ipswich. On a visit to the castle, Maggie immerses herself in a world of talking objects, thrones, and royal clothes and even has the chance to attend Emily’s academy. But there is a secret at Emily, and Maggie needs to figure out what it is.

High School

23. Woven in the Moonlight

By Isabel Ibañez

This fast-paced story is one of Time Magazine’s top 100 fantasy books! Ximena is a decoy for Condesa, the last remaining Illustrian royal, all of whom were driven from the city by ghosts summoned by the evil Atoc. Ximena is out for revenge, but she also has a secret gift – to spin thread from moonlight. Now Atoc is demanding that Condesa marry him, and Ximena has no choice but to go in her place. If Ximena can find Atoc’s deadly relic, she can restore her kingdom.

24. The Girl from the Other Side

By Nagabe

This book opens in two lands – the dangerous outside and the safe inside. Everything is normal until a beast from the outside meets a girl from the inside and an unlikely friendship forms – but not without challenges.

25. A Skinful of Shadows

By Frances Hardinge

Despite her efforts to outrun the ghosts, Young Makepeace’s body has been invaded by a spirit. The spirit might just be helpful though, as civil war is on the horizon.

26. The Wonderland Trials

By Sara Ella

Alice receives an invitation to play in the Wonderland Trials on Team Heart. She soon discovers that these aren’t just innocent games – players go missing every year. Using imagery and events from Alice in Wonderland, this fantasy book is packed with adventure.

27. Akata Witch

By Nnedi Okorafor

Sunny is albino and cannot be outside in the sun, but when she discovers that she has magical powers, she is asked to help catch a criminal. As she learns how to use her newfound powers, Akata must also learn to eliminate the danger.

28. The Conjurer’s Curse

By Stephanie Cotta

Rowan doesn’t know it, but he is a curse. It explains why he is an outcast and why everyone looks down on him. The book follows Rowan’s quest to break the curse that is his life, but he’ll face many challenges along the way.

Encourage your students to visit other worlds and fantastic places any time they crack open one of these fantasy books!

Fantasy Books from Kindergarten to Senior Year: A Teacher's Guide