The fantasy genre fascinates children and holds their imaginations. All children love the idea of a secret, amazing world where the impossible is true. One of the best ways to capture a child's imagination is to allow him or her to read fantasy books for kids. While there are thousands of fantasy books available, only a few rate among the very best.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Everyone knows about Harry Potter, thanks to the enormous movie franchise. However, there is a reason that the franchise is so successful. The epic battle between good and evil appeals to children and adults of all ages. In this series, Harry Potter is a boy who resisted and nearly destroyed the most powerful wizard in the world when he was only one year old. Throughout the series he and his friends encounter this dark wizard on multiple occasions on a quest to defeat him for the last time. Harry starts out as an 11 year old boy, and grows one year older each book until the series ends when he is 17 years old. The books grow progressively darker as the series progresses, which makes this series best for children 10 years of age or older.
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Howl’s Moving Castle is a fantasy story about a young girl named Sophie. She is the oldest of three sisters and believes this means she will have an uneventful life. However, as she soon finds out, the opposite is true. This story follows Sophie as she finds herself wrapped up in an epic battle between a witch and wizard, all while discovering who she really is and finding the love of her life. Since this story has a lot of romance and is about teen girls, this story is best suited for girls over age 11.
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
The Spiderwick Chronicles is a series of short books designed for readers between the ages of 8 and 12. The children in this story find themselves in a house belonging to a mysterious aunt who had an even more mysterious uncle. The children find an old book filled with information about fairies and other impossible creatures. Eventually, the children learn they too can see the creatures and become involved in a battle of good vs. evil.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
This classic children’s fantasy series follows the adventures of four siblings and their cousin as they discover a magical world hidden in the back of a wardrobe. The children have many adventures fighting a witch, challenging corrupt nations, freeing a prince and many others. Each book has a slightly different adventure and theme. This book will delight children of all ages from about age 7 to age 15.
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Gregor the Overlander is a normal boy growing up in New York. However, his father disappears mysteriously, leaving the family struggling for money. One day, while cleaning the laundry, Gregor’s sister accidentally finds a hole leading deep under the ground. Under New York is a completely different land, full of strange people, giant cockroaches and scheming rats. Gregor arrives just in time to fulfill a mysterious prophecy. This book is ideal for children between 7 and 13 years of age.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit is a classic fantasy story that started the modern fantasy genre. In this story, a small hobbit named Bilbo travels on an adventure with a wizard and 13 dwarves to discover a far-away treasure hoarded by a dragon. In the story, Bilbo runs into all kinds of adventures and discovers he is much braver than he thought. This prequel to the famous Lord of the Rings, has a much lighter tone and is suitable for children ages 7 and up.