The Best Teen and Preteen Fantasy Novels
Top Fantasy Books To Read
There are so many amazing books written for preteens today from Rick Riordan's Lightning Thief to Brandon Mull's Fablehaven. Despite being geared for such a young audience these books contain great depth in plot, development of character, and humor of the age that is sometimes immature in nature, but adults can appreciate. Although they are innocent, these books are deep, complex, and very thoughtful. Not only good for the young minds but the young at heart.
Brandon Mull author of Fablehaven
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Fablehaven is a well-written, humorous, adventure-filled book. It's about a sister and brother who have never been allowed to spend much time at their grandparents, although the reason why is not revealed until mid-way through the first book. Unexpectedly, they are forced to stay with them, only to discover that there is a world they never knew about. This world contains many common mythical creatures like fairies and naiads and lesser-known creatures. This story goes much deeper than just mystical fantasy. It deals with complex emotions, understanding oneself, and learning from mistakes. The characters are so well thought out, that one writer actually lists Seth Sorenson, the brother, as one of his favorite characters of 2010. The best part about this book is that the journey does not end there. There are five books in the series and once you start you won't want to stop!
Image of Cornelia Funke at a Book Signing
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Inkheart is well-written and thought out. Although some spots may drag for more novice readers, the story-line picks up with greater adventure the further you read into the book. The characters are very real and captivating, leaving the reader wondering what is going to happen next. The book is geared for book lovers, pulling in the knowledge of other tales into this book. Meggie, the main character, learns that her father can bring characters from books to life, not just figuratively, but actually. This may sound neat, but there is a catch to this awesome gift. A catch that causes her to understand why her mother disappeared many years before.
Percy Jackson: The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan
This book is a very quick read, well-researched in Greek mythology, and has a character many people can relate to. He is somewhat of a misfit and seems to not have much luck with anything until he discovers that he has an exceptional talent that he inherited from his father.
Throughout the book, he does not have very much confidence in himself but proves himself over and over. The storyline is complex enough for an adult to become fascinated by its twists and turns. Early on, he is given a prophecy that causes you to question many of the characters' motives throughout the book. Fortunately, Riordan has a knack for developing character and each of the characters has their endearing and not so endearing side, causing the characters to seem that much more real.
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
This is another quick read. It contains characters that you feel great compassion for. You will be rooting for them and feeling pain for them. This story follows a group of children who have no mom or dad and are trying to make it in the world. They find the only way they can make ends meet is by stealing. These kids don't just steal food, they plan to steal some of the most valuable things in the world.
Their leader, the Thief Lord, helps them through many tough jams, where he is able to steal very valuable items. It isn't until they discover the truth about their leader that they realize they need to change their life.
Cornelia Funke is really good at writing a wonderfully imaginative setting as well as very deep characters with a lot of emotion.
The Artemis Fowl series, by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl is a very clever amusing series about a very clever not so easily amused boy. It is perfect for preteens because it has potty humor and clever dialogue. Despite some of its crude humor, the plot is complex enough for adults to enjoy with its very surprising and unusual characters. Artemis is a preteen who is a criminal mastermind. He gets in over his head when he decides to kidnap a fairy to get its gold. As the series progresses he learns there is more to life than crime, fame, or fortune. Though he never quite leaves his peculiar oddities, he does develop as a person, learning friendship is sometimes more important than intellect and winning.
And of Course: The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowlings
Does Harry Potter need to be described?
The series follows Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, or Ron Weasley through seven years. Early on in JK Rowling's career, news reports spread of people of all ages reading her books and allowed children's fiction to be enjoyed by everyone.
There are so many awesome preteen books that are not only appropriate for the young reader but enjoyable for the adult. Please share your own favorites in the comments below!
© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz