Since the moment I tried reading Treasure Island to my then-toddler (with very limited success, as you might imagine), I have been stockpiling books for my children to read as they get older. My second grader has proudly worked his way through a few legitimate chapter books, so I am finally ready to introduce him to some of the awesome books I’ve been saving. As a boy after my own heart, he loves all things magical. Here are four fantastic series I can’t wait for my fantasy fan-in-training to discover. I may have to read a few of them to him until he is interested enough to try them on his own (oh, darn), but with any luck, he’ll enjoy them as much as I think he will.
Artemis Fowl by Erin Colfer is the sort of book someone should have given my husband as a child. The first book in the series follows Artemis Fowl, a twelve-year-old millionaire and criminal mastermind, as he hatches a plan to kidnap a fairy for ransom. Considering Josh loves nothing more than a clever heist, I may suggest he be the one to read this to the kids.
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede takes traditional elements and twists them to delightful effect. Princess Cimerone, bored with her gilded life, runs away to be housekeeper to a dragon. In between rebuffing rescue attempts from princes and organizing the dragon’s treasure room, Cimerone uncovers a plot by the Society of Wizards to overthrow the dragons. There is nothing inherently new in this book, but the way Wrede plays with the standard character types is so fun.
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins imagines a world underneath New York City where oversized bats and rats have been battling for generations. When Gregor discovers that his father is being held prisoner by the rats, he reluctantly agrees to join the bats in their war. One of my favorite parts of this series is the sweet relationship between 11-year-old Gregor and his 2-year-old sister who travels to Underland with him.
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson takes place in a world where a small group of rebels attempt to undermine the universal control of the cult of evil Librarians. When Alcatraz joins the fight, he brings an unorthodox gift to the team: an unusually strong talent for breaking things. The concept of this whole series makes me laugh just writing about it.