You probably read Harry Potter or perhaps another equally famous not-for-adults book, figured teen and children novels can be just as entertaining and well written as those meant for adults yet are stuck and don't know where to go next. Fear not my dear friend for I am here to guide you in the right direction. Whether is high fantasy, more wizards, faeries or even a vampire pirate or two I will tell you just which books and series are a treat for everyone in the family regardless of age.

The first thing you should know is that children and Young Adult books can be just as well written and descriptive as any book geared towards an older audience. You won't find simple dialogue or two sentence descriptions here. They can also be as chock full of dangers, murder, death and mayhem as their adult counterparts. Indeed a lot of younger audience books don't shy away from killing, mayming or otherwise harming even the protagonists. These means you don't have to suffer from sugary sweet worlds filled with nice, fluffy beings that never get into anything dangerous. No siree-bob, these books have a bit of everything!

With that said, let's get to the books themselves!

NOTE: I've put descriptions by each of the titles so you have an idea of what to expect. Please note that GORE means just that. Some of the books easilly get into creepy character death/murder and/or other somewhat disturbing themes.

Books of Pellinor by Allison Croggon - High Fantasy, Magic, Quests, Adventures

These books are beautifully written. They are, in fact, my favorite in the children, young adult category as far as the writing is concerned. The books deal with the adventures of Maerad in the world of Edil-Amarandh. Books 3 & 4 deal with Hem, Maerad's brother.

They are:
The Naming
The Riddle
The Crow
The Singing


The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
- High Fantasy, Necromancers, Quests

Second best children/YA writing. Garth Nix has such a way with words and this trilogy shows just how incredible his writing can be. Get swept away to a magical world where necromancers are good and they are all that stands between the forces of good and evil.

The books are:


Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan - High Fantasy, Faeries, Magic, Some Gore

Amazing. Absolutely amazing! From book one these books are one rollercoaster ride after another. There is always something going on from the first time we are brought into this magical kingdom and the ride doesn't stop until the very end.

Books are:
Faerie Wars
The Purple Emperor
Ruler of the Realm


Tithe by Holly Black
- Urban Fantasy, Faeries, Minor Gore

Holly Black shows us faeries as they were meant to be: mean, selfish, and cruel. You won't be finding cute little Tinkerbell pixies in this book. No way. These faries just as soon eat you or torture you for entertainment than look at you.

Tithe and Ironside tell the story of Kaye and Roiben.
Valiant is set in the same world but has different characters.


The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley
- Urban Fantasy, Fairy Tale Characters, Some Gore

Unbeknownst to humans, there is a town where faerie tale characters live and mingle with the rest of us mortals. However these immortal characters are not as you remember from your children fairy tales. Snow White is the most beautiful teacher in school. Prince Charming is the town mayor and a mayour sleaze of a politician. Little Red Riding Hood is a deranged lunatic. The Big Bad Wolf works for the good guys alongside the Three Little Pigs. This is one strange town where you never know what to expect except a lot of murder, mysterious kidnappings, and more. Nothing is what it seems and, as the town's detectives, it's up to the Sisters Grimm and their Granny to sort out just what the hell is going on.

Books so far:
The Fairy-Tale Detectives
The Unusual Suspects
The Problem Child
Once Upon a Crime


Fablehaven by Brandon Mull - Urban Fantasy, Magical Creatures, Faeries, Magic

If you like Sisters Grimm then you'll surely love Fablehaven. Brother and sister Kendra and Seth are faced with a similar dilema of being in a preserve where magical cratures exist. Humans, of course, are not aware and it's their job to keep it that way while at the same time dealing with the not so nice and often evil creatures.

So far:
Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star


The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart
- High Fantasy, Adventure, Quest, Pirates, Some Gore

You NEVER know which way is up in this highly entertaining and exciting series. Unlike most series, the main protagonist in these books is the land of The Edge. That's all that is constant throughout the series as main characters in one book become mince meat in another. From one book to the next the story jumps forwards and backwards in time to tell the history of The Edge and some of its most famous and interesting inhabitants. These books don't shy away of killing anyone as some of the creatures that inhabit these worlds can be downright cruel and you just never know who will make it to the end....of the series!

Books so far:
Beyond the Deepwoods
Midnight over Sanctaphrax
The Curse of the Gloamglozer
The Last of the Sky Pirates
The Winter Knights


Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan - High Fantasy

This series is set in a world much like ours in medieval times but where evil creatures exist and are threatening to take over the world led by an evil human. Not much magic but lots of adventures as we follow William in his quest to become a knight and then a Ranger, the secret service that works for the king.

Books are:
The Ruins of Gorlan
The Burning Bridge
The Icebound Land


Septimus Heap by Angie Sage
- High Fantasy, Magic

These books arte just plain fun. Also reminds me of a magical medieval times where we follow the adventures of Septimus Heap, the seventh son of the seventh son and thus endowed with magical powers.

Books so far:


Leven Thumps by Obert Skye
- Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy

Just think of him as a down=on-his-luck Harry Potter. OK, so Leven isn't a wizard but he did have one hell of an upbringing with his adopted family. The poor guy is stuck living outside in a trailer park when suddenly things start going bump in the night...and they want to bump him off!

Books so far:
Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo
Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret


The Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix
- Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy

The books gets better as the series progresses simply because one of the most entertaining characters, Suzy Blue, has a quick wit and dry humor that grates on Arthur's nerve and makes for some really funny dialogue and observations at the worse possible moments. At first I was skeptic of the series but by book 3 I was completely hooked.

So far:
Mister Monday
Grim Tuesday
Drowned Wednesday
Sir Thursday
Lady Friday


Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

You'll laugh yourself silly with this witty series as the poor yet resorceful Baudelaire orphans go form one caretaker to another. Highly recommended reading.

13 books in this series which has now come to an end.


Vampirates by Justin Somper
- Quest, Adventure, Vampires, Pirates

If vampires are bad and pirates are too, well, what do you expect from pirate vampires?! Highly entertaining book about the adventures of twin brothers Connor and Grace as they are faced with the truth about the Vampirates.

Books are:

Demons of the Ocean
Tides of Terror
Dead Deep
Blood Captain


8 comments: just made my Amazon wishlist grow tremendously.

I absolutely loved the Abhorsen trilogy. I really wish Nix would do a spin off series. He has a collection of short stories called Across the Wall that has a couple of Abhorsen stories in it. I own it, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

Fablehaven is another favorite of mine. Brandon Mull is such a nice guy. He read a blog post of mine about Fablehaven and emailed me back and forth for a couple of days. What a great series.

Great post...this is a genre I've come to love.

That was a great post Mailyn! and there's so few of them that I've read!!! I do have Magyk tho and I'm planning to read it soon!

I have read quite a few off your list and enjoyed them all! The Darren Shan books are really good as well all about vampires. Will have a look at the ones you recommend that I haven't read yet, cheers!

Great suggestions, Mailyn! Some I'm familiar with, some not. Love the Edge Chronicles.

Some others:

Dealing with Dragons series by Patricia Wrede--high fantasy

Ella Enchanted and Fairest by Gail Carson Levine--fractured fairy tales

and of course Stephenie Meyer...

Glad I could help guys! Oh and I can't believe I forgot Stephenie Meyer's! I'm such a dork. LOL.

Great post. I love children's and young adult literature.

The Lemony Snicket books are excellent - I'm still working my way through them.

Garth Nix is an author I've been wanting to try for a while.

Sisters Grimm sounds very interesting to me. Another series for the list!

Thanks for dropping by quixotic! Glad to be of help.

your reviews suck

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Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with books. Early photos show me with a book in hand, even if it was not exactly my reading level... My first word was a made-up word meaning 'book', actually. I suppose I had my priorities at an early age... Over the years my interest in books has become one of the defining features of who I am as a person. You can probably call me a bookworm. While I have other interests, reading will always be the one I talk about the most, even if I am not focusing on it as much as I used to.



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