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Fantastical Reads Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia!

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Turkish Delight, talking mythical beasts and heroic battles, C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series is a fantastical adventure that has been a staple in children’s literature since the publication of the first book in 1950, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Having sold over 100 million copies in 47 languages, the series has greatly influenced modern-day children’s literature and has even resulted in multiple film and TV adaptations. To celebrate C.S. Lewis’ birthday on the 29th of November, we’ve pulled together a list of magical reads inspired by the Narnia series to give you some reading recommendations.

For Readers 0-5 

Super Frozen Magic Forest, by Matty Long, published by Oxford University Press

A super funny fantasy with magical forest creatures and allusions to C. S. Lewis’ enchanting land of Narnia. Join the residents of the Super Happy Magic Forest for epic quests and lots of fun. When the Ice Queen covers the entire forest in snow, can the heroes break her spell before they all freeze?

 

Cleopatra Bones and the Golden Chimpanzee, by Jonathan Emmett, illustrated by Ed Eaves, published by Oxford University Press

A rhyming fantasy adventure set in temple ruins and featuring a heroic explorer: Cleopatra Bones! Follow the dog adventurer Cleopatra Bones into a world of explorers, crazy contraptions, and outlandish vehicles. A fantastically fun adventure from the bestselling team of Jonathan Emmett and Ed Eaves!

For Readers 5-8

Night Zookeeper: The Giraffes of Whispering Wood, by Joshua Davidson and Giles Clare, illustrated by Buzz Burman, published by Oxford University Press

Part of the Night Zookeeper series, an immersive fantasy realm filled with magical animals. It’s late at night when Will Rivers slips into the zoo to add the finishing touches to his mural. As he adds the last lick of paint a portal opens and he’s transported to the world of the Night Zoo, where an incredible adventure awaits.

 

For Readers 8-12

Odd and the Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell, published by Bloomsbury 

A thrilling, wintry Nordic epic from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell, weaving a tale of legend, magic and adventure which will grip and enchant readers from beginning to end.

Odd, a young Viking boy, is left fatherless following a raid and in his icy, ancient world there is no mercy for an unlucky soul with a crushed foot and no one to protect him. Fleeing to the woods, Odd stumbles upon and releases a trapped bear … and then Odd’s destiny begins to change. The eagle, bear and fox Odd encounters are Norse gods, trapped in animal form by the evil frost giants who have conquered Asgard, the city of the gods. Now our hero must reclaim Thor’s hammer, outwit the frost giants and release the gods …

Wundersmith, by Jessica Townsend, published by Hachette Children’s Group 

Imagination, discovery and friendship await Morrigan Crow when she escapes her deadly curse and joins the Wundrous Society. It promises her protection and belonging for life – but then Morrigan doesn’t receive the welcome she hoped for. Morrigan is a much-feared Wundersmith. So, instead of the Society helping Morrigan to embrace her power, she is only taught that all Wundersmiths are evil and she must suppress her mysterious ability at all costs.

To make things worse, Nevermoor is quickly turning from a place of safety into one of danger. Society members are going missing, someone is blackmailing Morrigan’s new friends, turning them against her. And Ezra Squall, the evillest man who ever lived, is determined to lure Morrigan from the Society by promising to reveal the true nature of the Wunder that calls to her, which is becoming ever harder to resist…Has Morrigan’s dream of escaping her cursed life ended before it truly began?

Storm Witch, by Ellen Renner, published by Nosy Crow 

Storm Witch is the start of a gripping fantasy quartet by Ellen Renner set in an epic world of islands and volcanoes, where Elemental spirits rule and sea-dwellers struggle to find a home. Perfect for fans of Ursula Le Guin and Diana Wynne Jones.

Thirteen-year-old Storm’s always been different. She has a boy’s name, a strange fear of water and everyone says her family is cursed. But her arrows fly so straight and true, it’s as if they’re helped by great magic. . . When Storm’s island home comes under attack from the Drowned Ones, will Storm’s magic save them all? Or will it destroy everything?

Click here to watch an interview with Ellen Renner

Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers, by Anna James, published by HarperCollins

A captivating, curl-up-on-the-sofa debut about the magic of books and the power of the imagination.

Since her mother’s disappearance, eleven-year-old Tilly has found comfort in stories at Pages & Co., her grandparents’ bookshop. But when her favourite characters, Anne of Green Gables and Alice from Wonderland, appear in the shop, Tilly’s adventures become very real. Not only can she follow Anne and Alice into their thrilling worlds, she discovers she can bookwander into any story she chooses. Tilly’s new ability could even help her solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago. But danger may be lurking on the very next page.

Read an extract here

Sky Song, by Abi Elphinstone, published by Simon & Schuster 

In the snowy kingdom of Erkenwald, whales glide between icebergs, wolves hunt on the tundra and polar bears roam the glaciers. But the people of this land aren’t so easy to find – because Erkenwald is ruled by an evil Ice Queen and the tribes must stay hidden or risk becoming her prisoners at Winterfang Palace.

Join Eska, a girl who breaks free from a cursed music box, and Flint, a boy whose inventions could change the fate of Erkenwald forever, as they journey to the Never Cliffs and beyond in search of an ancient, almost forgotten, song with the power to force the Ice Queen back.

A Darkness of Dragons, by S.A. Patrick, published by Usborne 

In a world of dragons, song spells, pipers and battles… Patch Brightwater is a boy in disgrace. Thrown in jail for playing a forbidden spell, he is no one’s idea of a hero. But then he discovers a deadly truth – the evil Piper of Hamelyn is on the loose. With the help of Wren, a girl cursed to live as a rat, and Barver, a fire-breathing dracogriff, Patch must stop the Piper sparking the biggest battle of them all. Three accidental heroes versus one legendary villain… an epic adventure is born.

Witch for a Week, by Kaye Umansky, illustrated by Ashley King, published by Simon & Schuster

When Elsie Pickles offers to house-sit the mysterious home of local witch Magenta Sharp, she has no idea what she’s getting herself into. Left with a talking raven and a scruffy dog for company, a magical tower that has a mind of its own and a book of instructions called Everything You Need to Know, what could possibly go wrong?

 

The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic, by Cressida Cowell, published by Hachette Children’s Group 

Witches are creating havoc in the Wildwoods and danger lurks behind every tree trunk. Wish is in possession of a powerful, Magic Spelling Book; Xar has a dangerous Witchstain on his hand. Together they can save the Wildwoods from the curse of the Witches but they are separated by the highest wall imaginable, and time is running out.

It was unlikely that these heroes should meet in the first place. Is it possible they are destined to meet TWICE?

Mold and the Poison Plot, by Lorraine Gregory, published by Oxford University Press

Our courageous hero Mold begins a daring quest to save his guardian in Lorraine Gregory’s debut fantasy tale. Mold is a most unlikely hero, but with courage and heart even bigger than his enormous nose, he sets out to save his beloved guardian, Aggy, who has been wrongly-accused of poisoning the King. As Mold fights to clear Aggy’s name, he meets deadly monsters like the Yurg, but he also finds true friendship in the most unusual – and smelly – of places.

Mythical Beasts, by Andrea Mills published by DK

Help your child improve their reading skills while learning about myths, legends, fantasy, fairytales, and folklore. These fantastic retellings feature great stories from mythology about terrifying dragons and monsters, magical unicorns, and shapeshifting werewolves. Mythical Beasts is a new title in the exciting and engaging four-level DK Readers series. Developing a lifelong love of reading, DK Readers cover a vast range of fascinating subjects featuring DK’s stunning photography, to support children as they learn to read. 


The Black Amulet, by J.R. Wallis, published by Simon & Schuster

Reunited with his parents, Jones is finally living the ‘normal’ life he’s always wanted. But, despite leaving the Badlands behind, there’s still magic inside him…

His two friends, Ruby and Thomas Gabriel, are struggling with their new lives too; Thomas Gabriel’s magical abilities are fading away and Ruby is realising she might never be accepted as a ‘proper’ Badlander in a world of monster-hunting men.

One thing could help them all – the Black Amulet, a magical artefact hidden for centuries by the most powerful Badlander that ever lived. But finding it won’t be easy, and using it even harder, because things are never simple when magic is involved… 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay, published by Bloomsbury 

Jim Kay’s dazzling depiction of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world has won legions of fans since the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in hardback in 2015, becoming a bestseller around the world. This irresistible smaller-format paperback edition of J.K. Rowling’s novel brings the magic of Jim Kay’s illustration to new readers, with full-colour pictures, French flaps and a handsome poster pull-out at the back of the book. This edition has been beautifully redesigned with selected illustration highlights – the fully illustrated edition is still available in hardback.

When a letter arrives for Harry Potter on his eleventh birthday, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

Children’s Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters, published by DK

Discover the infamous beasts and magical monsters that dwell in mythology! The Children’s Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters reveals a world of mythology and magic. Discover the fantastical tales and amazing worlds that these beasts and monsters inhabit, from Grendel’s attack on Beowulf to Aztec legends and the fall of Atlantis.

Classic myths and lesser-known legends are retold through eye-catching images, character exploration and family trees, while also exploring their origins, hidden meanings and similarities. With epic tales of brave heroes and evil deeds, the Children’s Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters unravels the mythical and fantasy world.

Companions: Secret of the Sirens, by Julia Golding, published by Oxford University Press

A fantasy story of mythical creatures surviving in the modern world. When Connie is sent to live with her aunt, she finds herself in a seaside town full of adults and children who have strange links to creatures… It’s the heart of the secret Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures, a group of people sworn to ensure that mythical beasts are kept safe.

 

For Readers 12+

The Light Between Worlds, by Laura Weymouth, published by Chicken House

Six years ago in wartime London, two sisters, Evie and Philippa, were transported to a magical realm where they became woodland queens. Now, returned to the real world after years in the Woodlands, they must come to terms with their more ordinary lives. For Evie, it’s unbearable. A patchwork girl, pieced together from pain and longing, she dreams of the whispering trees and a daisy-chain crown. For Philippa, it’s a relief, especially now she’s met Jack. But all it takes are four words to shatter her new-found peace: Your sister is missing. As the weeks unfold, Philippa must discover if Evie crossed safely between worlds or if the light was too bright – and she fell.

Written in a stunning dual narrative, Laura Weymouth’s mesmerising debut effortlessly blends shades of The Chronicles of Narnia with The Magicians to create a haunting, beautiful and wholly original story of heartache, sisterhood and longing. Inspired by the author’s love of CS Lewis, The Light Between Worlds looks at the aftermath of a fantasy adventure – and how two sisters must readjust to an ordinary world, when they are anything but.

Read a magical extract from the book here

The Dark Artifices: Lady Midnight, by Cassandra Clare, published by Simon & Schuster 

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark-who was captured by the faeries five years ago-has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind-and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognise his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas, published by Bloomsbury

Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness. In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught. Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

The final book in this incredible internationally bestselling series is finally out this year, so you can binge-read the whole series!

The Cruel Prince, by Holly Black, published by Bonnier Zaffre

The start of a thrilling new fantasy series from bestselling author Holly Black about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a dangerous web of royal faerie intrigue.

One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal. As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong. But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan .

Dramatic and thrilling fantasy blends seamlessly with enthralling storytelling to create a fully realised and seductive world, brimful of magic and romance.

Enter the competition to win 1 copy of The Cruel Prince

The Wild Folk, by Sylvia V. Linsteadt, published by Usborne

In the land of Farallone, the City dwellers’ greed for stargold threatens to destroy the mystical Wild Folk. Their only hope rests with two young hares and their human companions – Tin, a City boy with a passion for invention, and curious Country girl Comfrey.

To protect the stargold, Tin and Comfrey face impossible tasks, each stranger than the last. And every creature they meet on their extraordinary journey, from the tiniest ant to the grizzliest witch, has a crucial role to play in saving the land they love. A timeless adventure filled with wonder, this is the first book in the magical Stargold Chronicles.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill, published by Bonnier Zaffre

An enchanting and unforgettable modern fable. Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is in fact a good witch who shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge – with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . 

Enter the competition to win a copy 

Railhead, by Philip Reeve, published by Oxford University Press 

Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, Railhead is the first in Philip Reeve’s epic trilogy, combining fantasy and sci-fi in a thrilling universe. Zen Starling is a petty thief. A nobody. Destined to ride the rails to nowhere special. That is until Raven, a strange and mysterious figure, enlists him for one small job. One small job that might just bring everything in this galaxy, and the next, to the end of the line.

#WorldBookDay