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KCLS Recommends: Children's - Harry Potter Read-Alikes

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone By Rowling, J. K. Book - 1998 J ROWLING Available in some locations Holds: 21 on 163 copies

Annotation:This is the book that started it all! Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has entertained kids for over a decade and sent them hunting for more. This list will lead Harry Potter fans to new and exciting fantasy worlds with regular kids finding their own magic.

The Akhenaten Adventure
The Akhenaten Adventure By Kerr, Philip Book - 2004 J KERR Available in some locations

Annotation:When twelve-year-old twins Philippa and John discover that they are descended from a long line of djinn, their mother sends them away to their Uncle Nimrod, who takes them to Cairo where he starts to teach them about their extraordinary powers. Ages 9-12

Aldwyns Academy
Aldwyns Academy By Meyer, Nathan Book - 2010 J MEYER Available in some locations

Annotation:Dorian, a new and reluctant student of wizardry at Aldwyns Academy, meets his mentor, an elven princess, and helps foil a plot to raise a dragon from the dead. Ages 9-12

The Amulet of Samarkand
The Amulet of Samarkand By Stroud, Jonathan Book - 2003 Y STROUD Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 54 copies

Annotation:Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace. Book 1, Bartimaeus Trilogy. Ages 9-12

Circle of Heroes
Circle of Heroes By Epstein, Adam Jay Book - 2012 J EPSTEIN Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 11 copies

Annotation:With Vastia under attack from Paksahara's zombie army, the familiars Aldwyn the cat, Skylar the blue jay, and Gilbert the tree frog must gather seven descendants from the most ancient and powerful animals in the queendom to bring Paksahara down. Ages 9-12

The Dark Hills Divide
The Dark Hills Divide By Carman, Patrick Book - 2005 J CARMAN Available in some locations Holds: 3 on 22 copies

Annotation:While spending yet another summer inside the walled town of Bridewell, twelve-year-old Alexa Daley decides to research the mysterious rumors of the evil that lurks outside the town in the Dark Hills and, despite her doubts, uncovers something that is worse than she could have ever imagined. Ages 9-12

Dormia By Halpern, Jake Book - 2009 J HALPERN Available in some locations

Annotation:After learning of his ancestral ties to Dormia, a hidden kingdom in the Ural Mountains whose inhabitants possess the ancient power of "wakeful sleeping," twelve-year-old Alfonso sets out on a mission to save the kingdom from destruction, discovering secrets that lurk in his own sleep. Ages 9-12

Dragonborn By Forward, Toby, 1950- Book - 2012 J FORWARD Available in some locations

Annotation:The great wizard Flaxfield's death leaves his twelve-year-old apprentice Sam half-trained, but when other wizards gather and debate his fate Sam, not knowing whom to trust, leaves with only his dragon, Starback, for company, unaware of the perils he must face. Ages 9-12

The Emerald Atlas
The Emerald Atlas By Stephens, John Book - 2011 J STEPHENS Available in some locations

Annotation:Kate, Michael, and Emma have passed from one orphanage to another in the ten years since their parents disappeared to protect them, but now they learn that they have special powers, a prophesied quest to find a magical book, and a fearsome enemy. Ages 9-12

First Test
First Test By Pierce, Tamora Book - 1999 J PIERCE Available in some locations

Annotation:Ten-year-old Keladry of Mindalen, daughter of nobles, serves as a page but must prove herself to the males around her if she is ever to fulfill her dream of becoming a knight.

The Golden Compass
The Golden Compass By Pullman, Philip, 1946- Book - 2002 Y PULLMAN Available in some locations Holds: 4 on 88 copies

Annotation:Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North. Book 1, His Dark Materials series. Ages 9-12

Gregor the Overlander
Gregor the Overlander By Collins, Suzanne Book - 2004 J COLLINS Available in some locations Holds: 3 on 90 copies

Annotation:When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy. Book 1, Underland Chronicles. Ages 9-12

How to Train your Dragon
How to Train your Dragon By Cowell, Cressida Book - 2004 J COWELL Available in some locations Holds: 9 on 68 copies

Annotation:The story chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon. Ages 9-12

Inkheart By Funke, Cornelia Caroline Book - 2003 J FUNKE Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 53 copies

Annotation:Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service. Book 1, Inkheart Trilogy. Ages 9-12

Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher By Coville, Bruce Book - 2007 J COVILLE Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 51 copies

Annotation:Small for his age but artistically talented, twelve-year-old Jeremy Thatcher unknowingly buys a dragon's egg. Ages 9-12

The Lightning Thief
The Lightning Thief By Riordan, Rick Book - 2005 Y RIORDAN Available in some locations Holds: 13 on 107 copies

Annotation:After learning that he is the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea, twelve-year-old Percy is sent to a summer camp for demigods like him, and joins his new friends on a quest to prevent a war between the gods. Book 1, Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Ages 9-12

The Magic Thief
The Magic Thief By Prineas, Sarah Book - 2008 J PRINEAS Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 28 copies

Annotation:A young thief is drawn into a life of magic and adventure after picking the pocket of the powerful wizard Nevery Flinglas, who has returned from exile to attempt to reverse the troubling decline of magic in Wellmet City. Book 1, Magic Thief series. Ages 9-12

Magyk By Sage, Angie Book - 2005 J SAGE Available in some locations Holds: 3 on 70 copies

Annotation:After learning that she is the Princess, Jenna is whisked from her home and carried toward safety by the Extraordinary Wizard, those she always believed were her father and brother, and a young guard known only as Boy 412--pursued by agents of those who killed her mother ten years earlier. Book 1, Septimus Heap series. Ages 9-12

The Merchant of Death
The Merchant of Death By MacHale, D. J. Book - 2002 Y MACHALE Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 18 copies

Annotation:When the seemingly normal fourteen-year-old Bobby Pendragon is swept into an alternate dimension, he finds himself hailed as a savior in a place called Denduron, a territory in the throes of revolution against a magical tyrant. Book 1, Pendragon series. Ages 9-12

Mister Monday
Mister Monday By Nix, Garth Book - 2003 J NIX Available in some locations

Annotation:Seven days. Seven keys. Seven virtues. Seven sins. One mysterious house is the doorway to a very mysterious world -- where one boy is about to venture and unlock a number of fantastical secrets. Book 1, Keys to the Kingdom series. Ages 9-12

Peter and the Starcatchers
Peter and the Starcatchers By Barry, Dave Book - 2006 J BARRY Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 78 copies

Annotation:Soon after Peter, an orphan, sets sail from England on the ship Never Land, he befriends and assists Molly, a young Starcatcher, whose mission is to guard a trunk of magical stardust from a greedy pirate and the native inhabitants of a remote island. Ages 9 – 12

Reckless By Funke, Cornelia Caroline Book - 2010 J FUNKE Available in some locations

Annotation:Jacob and Will Reckless have looked out for each other ever since their father disappeared, but when Jacob discovers a magical mirror that transports him to a warring world populated by witches, giants, and ogres, he keeps it to himself until Will follows him one day, with dire consequences. Ages 9-12

Rowan of Rin
Rowan of Rin By Rodda, Emily Book - 2001 J RODDA Available in some locations

Annotation:Because only he can read the magical map, young, weak, and timid Rowan joins six other villagers to climb a mountain and try to restore their water supply, as fears of a dragon and other horrors threaten to drive them back. Book 1, Rowan series. Ages 9-12

Sabriel By Nix, Garth Book - 1996 Y NIX Available in some locations

Annotation:Sabriel, daughter of the necromancer Abhorsen, must journey into the mysterious and magical Old Kingdom to rescue her father from the Land of the Dead. Book 1, The Old Kingdom Trilogy. Ages 9-12

The Secret of Platform 13
The Secret of Platform 13 By Ibbotson, Eva Book - 1998 J IBBOTSON Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 41 copies

Annotation:Odge Gribble, a young hag, accompanies an old wizard, a gentle fey, and a giant ogre on their mission through a magical tunnel from their Island to London to rescue their King and Queen's son who had been stolen as an infant. Ages 9-12

Skulduggery Pleasant
Skulduggery Pleasant By Landy, Derek Book - 2007 J LANDY Available in some locations

Annotation:When twelve-year-old Stephanie inherits her weird uncle's estate, she must join forces with Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton mage, to save the world from the Faceless Ones. Book 1, Skulduggery Pleasant series. Alternate title: Scepter of the Ancients. Ages 9-12

The Snow Spider
The Snow Spider By Nimmo, Jenny Book - 2006 J NIMMO Available in some locations

Annotation:Gifts from Gwyn's grandmother on his ninth birthday open up a whole new world to him, as he discovers he has magical powers. Book 1, Magician Trilogy. Ages 9-12

So You Want to Be A Wizard
So You Want to Be A Wizard By Duane, Diane Book - 2003 J DUANE Available in some locations

Annotation:Thirteen-year-old Nita, tormented by a gang of bullies because she won't fight back, finds the help she needs in a library book on wizardry which guides her into another dimension. Book 1, Young Wizard’s series. Ages 9-12

Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh
Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh By LaFevers, R. L. Book - 2011 J LAFEVERS Available in some locations

Annotation:When eleven-year-old Theodosia and her cat, Isis, travel to Egypt to return the Orb of Ra and the Emerald Tablet, she hopes to learn more about her origins but finds, instead, the Serpents of Chaos and a precious treasure that suddenly appears and disappears. Ages 9-12

The Thief
The Thief By Turner, Megan Whalen Book - 1996 J TURNER Available in some locations Holds: 2 on 56 copies

Annotation:Magus, the King's Scholar, releases Gen, a skilled thief, from prison so that he may lead him to an ancient treasure, yet once freed, Gen has plans of his own and has no intention of letting Magus walk away with all the goods. A Newbery Honor Book & ALA Notable Children's Book. Ages 9-12

The Wish Stealers
The Wish Stealers By Trivas, Tracy Book - 2010 J TRIVAS Available in some locations

Annotation:Sixth-grader Griffin Penshine has always believed wishes can come true, and so when a strange woman curses her with a box of pennies, Griffin fears her evil desires will come true until she returns each penny to the person who first wished upon it. Ages 9-12

Winterling By Prineas, Sarah Book - 2012 J PRINEAS Available in some locations

Annotation:Spirited young Fer travels through the Way to a magical world in which beings part human and part animal serve an evil ruler known as the Lady, and where she hopes to learn about her long-lost parents and her own identitiy.


Like Harry Potter many of the kids in these books go from ordinary to magically amazing. Some step through doors into magical places to become more than they ever dreamed they could be. If you liked Harry Potter then dive into this list and find another magical book to love.

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