Recommended Children’s SF and Fantasy

This list started as my own personal favorites, but others have kindly contributed and so it has grown. In the last few years, there’s been an explosion in wonderful YA SF/F, and I don’t think there’s any way I could possibly keep up. But here’s a starting point for some older, much beloved works.

 This is not meant to be an exhaustive list — merely a sampling of some of the best available. Thank you!  You may also want to check out Jed Hartman’s list— while it’s not sf/f focused, it’s an excellent annotated list of children’s books, with a fair number of sf/f pieces in there.

This work is copyright M.A. Mohanraj 2000, all rights reserved. Please don’t repost this or make it publically accessible via FTP, mail server, or archive site without my explicit permission. Permissions are generally cheerfully granted upon request. Permission is granted for one hard copy for personal use. This work was last updated on May 14, 2002.

Adams, Richard (F) (teen)

  • Watership Down (although the protagonists are intelligent animals, this is really a book for older readers, dealing with fairly serious themes; recommended and much beloved)

Aiken, Joan (F) (4th grade and up?)
(mostly realistic novels set in an alternate late 19th century England; strong female characters; generally rather revolutionary/political)

  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (made into a film) (plucky children reduced to unfair poverty)
  • Black Hearts in Battersea (made into a TV series) (same kids undoing a plot against nobility)
  • Night Birds on Nantucket (Dido out on the ocean, more plots)
  • The Cuckoo Tree
  • The Stolen Lake
  • Dido and Pa
  • Is Underground (Is, Dido’s sister, about a secret midnight train to Playland, a place of fun and frolic and dancing every night…or so they say)
  • Cold Shoulder Road (Is and her cousin Arun are looking for Arun’s mother, who has disappeared, and the members of the Silent Sect she belonged to aren’t talking…)
  • Midnight is a Place (probably the most revolutionary/political)
  • The Faithless Lollybird (short stories)
  • Up the Chimney Down (ditto)
  • The Harp of Fishbones (ditto)
  • Mice and Mendelsson (two mice and a pony)
  • Arabel and Mortimer (girl and talking raven)

Alcock, Vivien (F)

  • The Dancing Bush (2nd – 4th grade)
  • The Mysterious Mr. Ross (5th up)
  • The Stonewalkers (5th up)

Alexander, Lloyd (F) (3rd grade and up?)

  • The Foundling and Other Tales (prequel to Taran’s birth, includes “Coll and His White Pig” and “The Truthful Harp”)
  • * The Chronicles of Prydain (I adore this series. Taran is Assistant Pig-Keeper, a very likeable boy who learns quite a lot and grows up to be an impressive man — all the while battling the forces of evil (who are more complex than at first suspected. His love, Eilonwy, is spunky and charming.)
    • The Book of Three
    • The Black Cauldron
    • The Castle of Llyr
    • Taran Wanderer
    • The High King (Newbery Medal winner)
  • The Westmark Series (Older children involved in political turmoil; must cope with killing people, people trying to kill them, people trying to crown them, trying to run an underground newspaper, etc. and so on, recommended)
    • Westmark
    • The Kestrel
    • The Beggar Queen
  • The Wizard in the Tree (a “good” orphan and wizard battle against evil)
  • The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen (Prince Jen takes six gifts to court — a saddle, a sword, a paint box, a bowl, a kite and a flute, and stumbles into a series of misfortunes, aided only by Mafoo and Voyaging Moon…)
  • The First Two Lives of Lukas-Kasha (a village boy is plunged into a tub of water by a visiting magician and is washed ashore in a new land where he is hailed as king)
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian (a young fiddler loses his job, rescues a cat, is rescued, meets a princess and comes into possession of a magical violin…)
  • The Cat Who Wished to Be a Man
  • The Town Cats and Other Tales
  • The Vesper Holly Adventures (adventures of a Philadelphia girl, set some decades ago)
  • The Illyrian Adventure
  • The El Dorado Adventure (Vesper defends a tribe of Indians in Central America against earthquakes, volcanoes, and a profit-minded businessman…)
  • The Drackenberg Adventure
  • The Jedera Adventure
  • The Philadelphia Adventure (in Lloyd Alexander’s home town)

Anthony, Piers (SF/F) (7th – 8th grade)

  • The Apprentice Adept (great puzzles in this series)
    • Split Infinity (a split world and the young serf, Stile, who travels back and forth between them. One is a world of wealth and games; the other a world of magic — both worlds are trying to kill him.)
  • Blue Adept (Stile continues his journey to win the great games and master his magical skills as the Blue Adept.)
  • Juxtaposition (Stile masters the games and the magic– and now his problems really start.)

Appleton, Victor; Howard Garis; James D. Lawrence; (SF)

  • The Tom Swift books (delightfully improbable adventures of a brave boy with an inventor for a friend)

Avi (SF)

  • Something Upstairs (Kenny Huldorf moved into a house that was a historical landmark. Something upstairs took him on an amazing time travel adventure. He told his story to Avi. Avi wrote it and believes it is true.)

Banks, Lynne Reid (F)

  • The Fairy Rebel (a fairy who wants to wear jeans and make some of her own rules about how to live her life)
  • An Indian in the Cupboard (Omri gets a used plastic Indian and a discarded cupboard for his birthday. With the magic of an old key, his cupboard can make plastic things real. Omri deals with the responsibility for a
    living being from another culture. The Indian in the
    book is a stereotyped 50’s Indian. If you can get
    past that, the story and character development is

Barron, T.A. (F)

  • Heartlight (girl travels around the universe and saves all of mankind and the sun)
  • The Ancient One (sequel to Heartlight; girl travels back in time)
  • The Merlin Effect (girl gets sucked into a whirlpool, discovers a magical world and meets and saves the legendary Merlin)
  • The Lost Years of Merlin Trilogy (tells the story of the legendary Merlin when he was young and has no memory, which he eventually gains back)
    • The Lost Years of Merlin
    • The Seven Songs of Merlin
    • The Fires of Merlin (upcoming Fall 1998)

Baum, L. Frank (F)

  • The Oz books
  • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

Beagle, Peter S. (F)

  • The Last Unicorn (also a lovely animated movie – hard to describe — a unicorn is the protagonist, but the story is about many things — passing away of beauty, despair, regret…)
  • A Fine and Private Place (more of an adult book)

Bellairs, John (F)

  • The House with a Clock in Its Walls (followed by 2 sequels)
  • The Face in the Frost (his adult book, more serious)

Boston, L.M.
(child lives with his grandmother in her old house, Green Knowe. The books are a mixture of stories she tells, everyday life, and direct and indirect contacts with the people in her stories, mostly children who lived there a hundred or so years ago. In later books a witch moves into the neighborhood.)

  • The Children of Green Knowe (one in a set of five)
  • Treasure of Green Knowe
  • The River at Green Knowe
  • An Enemy at Green Knowe
  • A Stranger at Green Knowe (the strange adventure of a boy and gorilla – very touching)
  • The Castle of Yew
  • The Sea Egg
  • Nothing Said

Brooks, Terry (F) (7th – 8th grade)

  • First King of Shannara (prequel to Sword; the need for a magical sword has arisen; this is the story of the perilous journey undertaken to create the Sword of Shannara and to battle the evil Warlock Lord.)
  • The Sword of Shannara (A seemingly hopeless quest of a simple man against the greatest power of evil the world had ever known.)

Cameron, Eleanor (SF) (3rd grade)

  • The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet
  • …other Mushroom Planet books
  • The Green and Burning Tree (nonfiction re: kids lit)
  • The Seed and the Vision (ditto)
  • The Court of the Stone Children (a very tightly constructed time fantasy, written after the Mushroom Planet books)

Carmody, Isobelle

  • Chronicles of Obernewtyn
    • Obernewtyn
    • The Farseekers
    • Ashling
  • The Gathering (Australian Children’s Book of the Year winner)

Chant, Joy (F)

  • Red Moon, Black Mountain (3rd and up)
  • Grey Mane of Morning (around 5th to 6th grade and up, “romance” figures in plot to some degree)

Christopher, John (SF)

  • The Prince in Waiting (Tale of thirteen-year-old Luke, destined to become “The Prince of Princes”, a boy who has no reason to suspect that his role is about to change…)
  • Tripods series (This series always disturbed me. Rather bleak, boy against the aliens if I remember correctly, yet powerful)
  • When the Tripods Came (prequel telling of original invasion)
    • The White Mountains (Will, a young hero escapes a mechanical tyranny of the future)
    • The City of Gold and Lead (boys who escaped are now training to compete in an athletic event that will screen candidates to serve the tyrants in the City of the Tripods)
    • The Pool of Fire (Will and the small group of free people attempt to destroy the Masters’ three great cities before a space ship destined to doom the planet arrives)

Clement, Hal (SF)

  • Needle
  • Mission of Gravity
  • Ice World
  • Still River

Cooper, Susan (F)

  • * The Dark is Rising series (Brilliant brilliant brilliant.
    Set mostly in Cornwall and Wales, Arthurian-based adventures of a family of children and their friends in the epic battle between Light and Dark which spans time and worlds. My only quarrel is with the ending.)

    • Over Sea, Under Stone
    • The Dark Is Rising (Newbery Honor Book)
    • Greenwitch
    • The Grey King (Newbery Award winner)
    • Silver on the Tree
  • * Seaward (His name is West. Her name is Cally. They have each lost their parents, and were then wrenched into a strange and perilous world where they know only that they are searching for the sea. A book about survival, love, and the virtues of both life and death…beautiful.)
  • Jethro and the Jumbie (these three are for younger children)
  • The Silver Cow
  • The Selkie Girl
  • The Boggart (Emily and Jess Volnik’s family inherits a Scottish castle where lives the Boggart, a mischievous spirit who’s been playing practical jokes for centuries. The Boggart gets trapped in a roll-top desk and gets shipped to the Volnik’s home in Canada and turns their world upside down.)

Dahl, Roald

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (more of a novella) (3rd – 4th)
  • The Magic Finger
  • Matilda (girl develops telekinesis) (slightly older)
  • James and the Giant Peach (classic)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (slightly older again)
  • Danny, Champion of the World
  • The Witches (kid and bizarre grandmother-modifying potions)

Davies, L.P. (SF)

  • Dimension A (very engaging alternate dimension story)

Dawson, Carley (F)

  • Mr. Wicker’s Window

Dawson, Mitchell (F)

  • The Magic Firecrackers

del Rey, Lester (SF)
(I loved these as a kid and recently found them again! Junior
spacemen stories, but with a good dose of humanity)

  • The Mysterious Planet
  • Outpost of Jupiter
  • Attack from Atlantis
  • Moon of Mutiny (will Fred obey orders or attempt to save two lives, on the moon, where the one unforgivable crime is mutiny?)
  • Rocket Jockey

Dillon, Barbara (F)

  • The Teddy Bear Tree (A magical teddy bear bought at a rummage
    sale is stolen by a dog. An eye is found and buried;
    a tree grows from the eye bearing an amazing treasure.)

Doherty, Berlie

  • The Children of Winter (4th – 5th)

Doyle, Debra, and MacDonald, James D.

  • The Circle of Magic series (6 books)

Duane, Diane (F) (4th grade and up?)

  • * Wizard series: (This book starts with a young girl barely escaping being beat up– she takes refuge in a library, and finds a book titled ‘So You Want to Be a Wizard’, which turns out to have actual practical instructions. It only gets better from there — some seriously sad things happen in later books, and the children have to make difficult choices).
    • So You Want to Be a Wizard
    • Deep Wizardry (adventures deep undersea)
    • High Wizardry (adventures in far space)
    • A Wizard Abroad (adventures in the British Isles)

Duncan, Lois (F)

  • Gallows Hills (Sarah Zoltane is hired to be a fortune teller at the senior carnival. She starts to see visions and discovers that almost all of the seniors were witnesses at the Salem Witch Trials in past lives)

Eager, Edward (F) (3rd grade and up)

  • Half Magic (three children find a charm which gives them half of what they wish for)
  • The Knight’s Castle
  • Magic or Not?
  • Magic By the Lake
  • Seven Day Magic
  • The Time Garden (the thyme in a garden takes the children travelling through time…)
  • The Well Wishers

Ende, Michael (F) (6th and up)

  • The Neverending Story (a wonderful story (the movie only covers the first half of the book and doesn’t do a very good job of even that) translated from German)

Engdahl, Silvia Louise (SF)
(Girl from advanced civilization is part of contact team observing natives undercover on less advanced worlds. Deals with growing up, responsibility vs love, the pain of watching tragedy that you can’t do anything to fix — the second book is extremely moving — all out of print, but well worth searching for – check her web page,, for details on how to find them)

  • Enchantress from the Stars
  • * The Far Side of Evil (sequel to Enchantress)
  • Trilogy: (same universe, different characters, same sorts of stresses on protagonists)
    • This Star Shall Abide (winner of the Christopher Award) (published as Heritage of the Star in U.K.)
    • Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains
    • The Doors of the Universe

Farjeon, Eleanor (4th grade-ish)

  • The Glass Slipper (a novelisation of Cinderella)
  • The Silver Curlew (a novelisation of Rumplestiltskin)

Farmer, Nancy (SF)

  • The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm (striking; very original SF story set in a future Africa)

Farmer, Penelope (F)

  • A Castle of Bone

Fisk, Nicholas (SF)

  • Space Hostages (these three are for 9-12 year olds)
  • Grinny
  • Trillions
  • A Rag, a Bone, and a Hank of Hair (for older children)

Fletcher, Susan (F) (a series about some girls who save a race of quickly diminishing dragons)

  • Flight of the Dragon Kyn
  • Dragon’s Milk
  • Sign of the Dove

Fortschen, William R. (SF)

  • Star Voyager Academy (revolves around a group of teenagers entering a military academy located in outer space. It tells of the usual problems facing teenagers like: getting to know one another, dealing with finals and learning in class, how to deal with bullies, and, in the adult issue, a seccessionist movement involving several colonies that are trying to leave the authority of Earth)
  • Article 23 (picks up where the first book left off. This time the cadets are going on their first official space trip in a military ship. They continue to try to solve how to
    deal with the seccessionist movement since a couple of cadets are from the colonies seeking independence, how to handle a couple of bigoted cadets from Earth who do
    not like these so-called rebels, and a ship’s captain who is slowly going mad.)

Furlong, Monica (F)

  • Juniper (how protagonist became a witch)
  • Wise Child (neglected child fostered by village herbal healer woman in (12th?) century. Healer woman (Juniper) follows the old religion and, along with teaching the child herbs, healing, and kindly living, also initiates her into the old ways. A struggle between Wise Child’s birth mother, who is a woman of bad magick (and abusive to her daughter), and Juniper ensues. To call it “good witch vs bad witch” would come nowhere near giving this book sufficient credit.

Garner, Alan (F)
(Weirdstone is wonderfully scary, especially if you don’t like confined spaces)

  • The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (3rd and up) (this and following set in Cheshire, Alderley Edge)
  • The Moon of Gomrath (3rd and up)
  • The Owl Service (slightly older, perhaps–5th and up?) (set in Wales and based on the Mabinogion)
  • Elidor
  • Red Shift (older children) (set in different times, all connected by an ancient flint arrowhead; economical, poetic language)

Goldman, William (F)
The Princess Bride (even better than the movie. Really. Hard as
that is to believe…)

Gripe, Maria (F)
The Glassblower’s Children (translated from Swedish, half
realistic and half fairy tale)

Heinlein, Robert A. (SF) (5th and up?)
(Somewhat militaristic, but a classic delight. Highly individualistic
smart kids carving a path through the universe)
Citizen of the Galaxy (Thorby encounters space battles, alien
cultures, powerful and mysterious enemies — an in the
process encounters the values of a free society, weighing
the worth of the individual)
* Have Space Suit — Will Travel
Podkayne of Mars (female protagonist!)
Rocket Ship Galileo
* The Rolling Stones
Space Cadet
Starship Troopers
Tunnel in the Sky (Rod Walker and his classmates, completing a
survival course, are transported to an uninhabited planet
for their final exam…only their pick-up fails to come…)
…and many more

Hoover, H.M. (SF) (6th grade and up)
The Lost Star
Return to Earth
The Children of Morrow
This Time of Darkness
The Bell Tree

Hughes, Monica (SF) (5th grade and up)
The Isis trilogy
Keep of the Isis Light
The Guardian of Isis
The Isis Pedlar
The Tomorrow City

Hunter, Mollie (6th grade and up)
A Stranger Came Ashore
The Third Eye
The Wicked One

Ibbotson, Eva (F)
The Secret of Platform 13
Which Witch?

Ipcar, Dahlov (F) (4th grade and up)
The Warlock of Night

Jacques, Brian (F)
— in the tradition of Watership Down, epic adventure among animals

Jansson, Tove (1st grade and up)
A Comet in Moominland
Finn Family Moomintroll
Moominsummer Madness
Tales of Moominvalley
Moominpappa at Sea
Moominvalley in November
Moominland Midwinter

Jones, Diana Wynne (F)
Archer’s Goon
Aunt Maria
Cart & Cwidder (Dalemark)
Castle in the Air (sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle)
Changeover (adult)
Charmed Life (Chrestomanci)
Crown of Dalemark (Dalemark)
Drowned Ammet (Dalemark)
Eight Days of Luke
Everard’s Ride (collection, limited edition)
Fantasy Stories (editor, with 1 contributed story)
Fire and Hemlock
The Four Grannies
Hidden Turnings (editor, with 1 contirubted story)
Homeward Bounders
Howl’s Moving Castle
The Lives of Christopher Chant (Chrestomanci)
Thung adult/adult)
A Tale of Time City
The Time of the Ghost
Warlock at the Wheel (collection)
Who Got Rid of Angus Flint (3rd – 5th)
Wild Robert (3rd – 5th)
Wilkin’s Tooth (aka Witch’s Business in America)
Witch Week (Chrestomanci) (sequel to Charmed Life in which the
theme consists of attempts to gain supernatural powers)
(note: Dalemark is a country, Chrestomanci a recurring character)

Jones, Terry (of Monty Python fame) (F) (3rd-4th gr)
Nicobobinus (…the boy who could do anything, and Rosie, and
how they set off together to discover the Land of the Dragons.
They meet the Golden Man, some kidnapping pirates, murderous
monks, mountains that move, and a ship that can cook…)
The Saga of Erik the Viking (apparently much better than the movie)
Fairy Tales (supposedly dull)

Juster, Norton (F) (5th grade and up)
The Phantom Tollbooth (Bored Milo comes home one day and finds a
package containing a pedal powered car, a map, some
unrecognizable change and a tollbooth…the gateway to
another land)

Kay, Guy Gavriel (F) (for adolescents and adults)
* The Fionavar Tapestry (My favorite fantasy series of all
time. College students from our world go to another to fight
in the battle against the Dark. They go through hell.
(Seriously disturbing non-explicit rape scene.) They are
changed as a result. I think this series is amazingly beautiful)
The Summer Tree
The Wandering Fire
The Darkest Road
A Song for Arbonne
The Lions of Al’Rassan

Kelleher, Victor
Master of the Grove (Australian Children’s Book of the Year winner)
The Hunting of Shadroth
Forbidden Paths of Thual
The Makers
Brother Night

Key, Alexander (SF) (4th-5th)
(esper powers, primarily, and utopian societies contrasted against ours)
Escape to Witch Mountain
Return from Witch Mountain
The Forgotten Door

King-Smith, Dick (F)
The Invisible Dog (Janie’s imaginary Great Dane becomes real)
Magnus Powermouse
Pigs Might Fly (Runt of the litter learns how to swim; saves
the farm and all the animals from a flood and becomes a hero)
Sophie is Seven

Kipling, Rudyard
The Jungle Book
Just-So Stories

Langston, Jane (F)
The Fledgling (a girl takes flying lessons from a Canada goose)

Lee, Tanith
The Winter Players
Shon the Taken
East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Prince on a White Horse
Companions on the Road

LeGuin, Ursula K. (F) (5th grade and up?)
* The Earthsea trilogy: (Young Ged discovers wizardly powers
in himself — confronts the darkness within him. Very much
novels of growing up and taking responsibility, in a lovely
magical setting. LeGuin is one of the foremost sf/f writers
— her ‘Left Hand of Darkness’ is highly recommended for adults)
A Wizard of Earthsea
The Tombs of Atuan
The Farthest Shore
Tehanu (I hesitate to class this with the trilogy, since it
seems to be for an older audience)

L’Engle, Madeleine (F and mainstream)
* Time tetralogy: (Do these need a description? 🙂 Bright
children battle against the Dark (do we sense a theme?) in
varying ways. Must risk everything and come to great self-
knowledge to survive. I love Mrs. Whatsit.)
A Wrinkle in Time
A Wind in the Door
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
Many Waters (the story of the twins)
(The following books are set mostly in the Real World, similar themes)
Meet the Austins
Dragons in the Waters
The Young Unicorns
The Arm of the Starfish
…and many more

Levine, Gail Carson (F) (6th grade and up)
Ella Enchanted (Cinderella retelling)

Lewis, C.S. (F) (2nd grade and up?)
The Chronicles of Narnia (Four young British children step
through a wardrobe into Narnia, land of Talking Beasts, in
the grip of a terrible winter and under the rule of an evil
Ice Queen. Thinly veiled Christian allegory, but a rollicking
good story nonetheless.)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Prince Caspian
The Silver Chair
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Magician’s Nephew
The Horse and His Boy
The Last Battle

Lindgren, Astrid (F)
(The following three are wonderfully written and deal with the demands
of becoming an adult)
Mio my Son (7 or 8 years and up)
The Brothers Lionheart (10 years and up) (dark book; death and suicide)
Ronja the Robber’s Daughter (8 years and up)
The books of Emil
Pippi Longstocking

MacDonald, George (F)
The Princess and the Goblin (classic fairy tales)
The Princess and Curdie

Mahy, Margaret (F)
The Changeover
The Haunting
The Tricksters
Catalogue of the Universe (not sf/f)

McCaffrey, Anne (F/SF) (4th grade and up?)
Harper Hall trilogy: (Young Menolly is an outsider, a girl
with an amazing talent for music in a subculture where girls
don’t do that…McCaffrey is one of the grande dames of
fantasy, and this trilogy can still move me to tears.)
The Rowan (child protagonist)
Damia’s Children
…and many more

McKillip, Patricia (F) (6th grade and up (somewhat complex, but readable))
* Riddle Trilogy: (Can be read on multiple levels, the story
of a young Prince who must ultimately learn to confront
himself rather than run from his fears. His fiance, Raederle,
is the protagonist of the second book and is one of the most
wonderful female characters in fantasy. Strong, loving, sure
of herself and what she wants…)
The Riddlemaster of Hed
Heir of Sea and Fire
Harpist in the Wind
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (exquisite and haunting)

McKinley, Robin (F) (7th grade and up)
The Hero and the Crown (Misfit princess learns to slay dragons
in order to impress people — things quickly spiral upward in
seriousness and soon fate of her kingdom lies in her none-too-
steady hands. The wizard’s love for her is astonishingly
touching – off-stage sex)
The Blue Sword (sequel to above)
Beauty (fairy tale retelling)
A Door in the Hedge (short stories)
A Knot in the Grain (ditto)
Deerskin (explicit incest, fairy tale retelling)

Nesbit, E. (3rd grade and up)
The Book of Dragons
Five Children and It (they find a Psammead (sand-fairy)
who grants wishes — as usual, not nearly as
nice as you might think)
The Phoenix and the Carpet
The Story of the Amulet
The Last of the Dragons, and Some Others (has all the stories in
The Book of Dragons, plus one that’s not in the later volume)
The Enchanted Castle
The Magic City
The Railway Children (Not fantasy, but very good)

Nix, Garth (F)
The Ragwitch (protagonists are children)
Sabriel (protagonist is 18)

Norton, Andre (F)
The Crystal Gryphon
Gryphon’s Eyrie
Moon Called
Wheel of Stars
Fur Magic
Steel Magic
Octagon Magic
Star Ka’at’s and the Plant People

Norton, Mary (F)
The Borrowers series (far better than film)
Bedknob and Broomstick (ditto)
Are All the Giants Dead

O’Brian, Robert C. (SF)
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Mrs. Frisby, a widowed field
mouse, is trying to move her family to their summer house.
The only problem is that her youngest son, Timothy, has
pneumonia and is too weak to move. She contemplates
asking the brilliant rats of NIMH what to do. (I haven’t
read the book, but the animated movie (more F-oriented) was
beautiful) (someone writes in that “the book is superb and
incredibly thought-provoking; almost philosophical) — his
son apparently wrote a good sequel, Rasco and the Rats of NIMH
The Silver Crown (age 10 or so) (young girl’s family is killed,
she goes to hunt out Aunt and ends up battling the forces
of darkness)
Z for Zachariah (older readers) (post-nuclear war, teenaged girl
thinks she’s the only survivor until a strange man turns
up; a bit disturbing)

Pangborn, Edgar (SF)
A Mirror for Observers (one of the best SF books about growing up,
by a now neglected but very distinctive writer. Some
interesting gender issues, rather subtly coded, from a
probably gay author)

Panshin, Alexei (SF) (young adult)
(This book moved me deeply as a child, and made me think about what it
means to be adult, what happens when an adolescent finds herself
disagreeing with a wise father, a whole bunch of political/ethical stuff…)
* Rite of Passage (adult scene)

Pierce, Meredith Ann (SF)
The Dark Angel
A Gathering of Gargoyles
The Pearl of the Soul of the World

Pierce, Tamora (F) (7th-8th grade)
(the first two series have tough and able female protagonists, though not
without self-doubts and problems, emotional and otherwise)
Song of the Lioness Series (this is a series about a girl named
Alanna who is disguised as a boy for eight years in her quest to
become a knight. It is also about her enemies, her lovers, and
all of her adventures in the land of Tortall)
Alanna, the First Adventure
In the Hand of the Goddess
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Lioness Rampant
The Immortals Series (this is about a girl named Daine who
discovers her special bond with animals is actually the very rare
“wild magic”. She restores the very balance of the land of
Tortall, along with the help of a very good friend mage named
Numair. Alanna makes brief appearances in these books.)
The Emperor Mage
The Realm of the Gods
Circle of Magic series
Sandry’s Book
Tris’s Book
Daya’s Book
Briar’s Book
Protector of the Small
First Test

Pike, Christopher (SF)
The Eternal Enemy
The Starlight Crystal

Pinkwater, Daniel
Lizard Music (Victor, home alone for two weeks, sees a lizard
band on T.V. after the late show is over. Soon he is
seeing lizards all around town. He meets the Chicken
Man and his real adventures begin, including a trip to
an invisible island. A captivating story that weaves
fantasy and reality. ALA Notable Children’s Book.
Alan Mendelssohn, The Boy from Mars

Pratchett, Terry (SF)
Only You Can Save Mankind
Johnny and the Dead
John and the Bomb
The Carpet People

Pullman, Philip (F)
His Dark Materials
The Subtle Knife
The Golden Compass
The Amber Spyglass

Robinson, Joan G.
When Marnie Was There (4th up)

Rockwell, Carey (SF)
The Tom Corbet Books (plucky young lad and his companions
blazing a path through interplanetary space as members of some
solar patrol squad)

Rowling, J.K. (F)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Rubinstein, Gillian (SF)
Space Demons

Rushdie, Salman (F) (age 6+)
Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Selden, George (sometiems classified as George Selden Thompson) (F)
A Cricket in Times Square (I remember enjoying this one immensely)
numerous sequels to the Cricket
Genie of Sutton Place
Oscar Lobster’s Fair Exchange

Sendak, Maurice (F) (kindergarten – 2nd)
Where the Wild Things Are (Max becomes rebellious and disobedient
and his mother calls him a ‘wild thing’ and sends him to
his room without dinner. His room gradually turns into a
forest and he sails across an ocean to the land of the
wild things where he becomes king of the wild things — I
don’t want to give the rest away.)

Service, Pamela F. (SF/F)
Stinker From Space (An alien crashlands on Earth and its body
is dying. The only creature around with enough brain
capacity is a skunk. He must return to his planet
with secret information…)
Stinker’s Return (Upon returning to his planet Stinker finds
he is in trouble. He had landed in another planet’s
area of authority, and war is looming…)

Sharp, Margery (the whole Miss Bianca/Bernard series) (F)
Miss Bianca
Miss Bianca in the Salt Mines
The Rescuers
The Turret

Shura, Mary Francis (F)
Simple Spigott
A Shoeful of Shamrocks
The Nearsighted Knight

Sleator, William (SF/F)
Interstellar Pig (boy discovers people next door are aliens)
The Boy Who Reversed Himself (multi-dimension)
The Duplicator (boy can duplicate himself)
House of Stairs (locked house full of teenagers; psychological exper.)
The Spirit House (Thai boy visits US; brings sinister spirit with him)

Sleigh, Barbara (F)
Carbonel, the King of the Cats
The Kingdom of Carbonel
Carbonel and Calidor

Smith, Sherwood (F) (5th-8th gr)
(the story of Wren, who was raised in an orphanage and discovers in the
first book that her friend Tess is really Princess Teressa, who’s being
kept hidden from a rotten sorceror king. She then has to rescue Tess. In
the second book, she goes to discover her true heritage while there’s
trouble back in Cantirmoor. And in the third book, Tess’s parents (the
good King and Queen) are slain, making Tess reigning queen, but only if
shee can keep hold of the throne. See for more details)
Wren to the Rescue
Wren’s Quest
Wren’s War

Snyder, Zilpha Keatley (F)
Green-Sky trilogy (about the descendants of children taken
from Earth to another planet to start a society free of violence)
Below the Root (in a society that has survived
near-total destruction, a teenage boy explores an
underground civilization)
And All Between
Until the Celebration
The Egypt Game
Black-and-Blue Magic

Stewart, Mary (F)
The Little Broomstick (girl discovers a broomstick that takes
her to a college for witches)

Storr, Catherine
Marianne Dreams (4th up)

Tepper, Sheri S. (F) (all set in the world of the True Game)
(The first book starts with young shapechanger Mavin in a very
difficult situation — about to reach puberty and basically be turned
into a captive breeder. She escapes, and the adventures start there.
The following series deal with her son Peter and his love Jinian and
their quest to save their dying world (and not get killed in the process))
Mavin series
The Song of Mavin Manyshaped
The Flight of Mavin Manyshaped
The Search of Mavin Manyshaped
Peter series (Mavin’s son)
King’s Blood Four
Necromancer Nine
Wizard’s Eleven
Jinian series
Jinian Footseer
Dervish Daughter
Jinian Star-eye

Tolkein, J.R.R. (F) (3rd grade and up?)
The Hobbit (A classic, the tale of Bilbo Baggins, a quiet
hobbit who goes on some exciting adventures)
The Lord of the Rings: (Bilbo’s nephew, Frodo, gets caught up
in much more serious adventures. Epic fantasy, with heroes
and princesses (Tolkien is not known for his strong women),
dark battles and magical creatures…)
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
The Return of the King
Farmer Giles of Ham (3rd up)
Smith of Wootton Major (3rd up)

Turner, Gerry (F)
Stranger from the Depths (couple of young kids who discover a
statuette of a creature that predates mankind and appears
to have thrived under the ocean cover)

Wersba, Barbara (F)
The Crystal Child (A young girl’s mother died in a fire. The
girl didn’t cry for a long time, and when she did the
tears were crystal The girl turned into a crystal
statue and was placed in the garden. The love of a
little boy brings her back…)

Westal, Robert (SF) (older teens)
Futuretrack Five (bit disturbing)
The Cats Of Seroster

White, E.B. (F)
Charlotte’s Web (a classic animal tale; one reader says of it,
“It is one of those books that can be read to chidren,
by children and by adults, and will be enjoyed by all.”)

White, T.H. (F) (6th grade and up? – language is slightly difficult)
The Sword in the Stone (also a Disney movie – (Arthurian
retelling — delightful — taken from his brilliant adult
novel, “The Once and Future King”)
The Book of Merlyn
Mistress Masham’s Repose (A ten-year-old orphan named Maria
discovers some descendants of the Lilliputians from
Gulliver’s Travels. She must protect them from her evil
guardians, who hope to capture them and sell them. Some
adult themes and vocabulary, long descriptive passages.
Better for adults or children who are excellent readers.)
The Master (features two children stranded on Rockall, where a
mysterious sage is building a machine to take over the world.)

Wrede, Patricia (F) (5th grade and up?)
(Cimorene, an unconventional princess, is being pushed into a
conventional marriage. She escapes by hiring herself out to be a
dragon’s princess…)
* Dealing with Dragons – female protag.
Searching for Dragons
Calling on Dragons
Talking to Dragons

Wright, Betty Ren (F)
The Dollhouse Murders (Amy needs a break from constantly
looking after her developmentally disabled sister.
Amy stays with her aunt in the house that her father
grew up in and in which her grandparents were
murdered. The dollhouse people come to life to help
her solve the mystery of their death. Deals well
with the feelings of siblings of disabled people.)

Yep, Lawrence (F)
The Rainbow People (collection of Chinese-American fables with
life lessons for all ages)

Yolen, Jane (F)
Dragon’s Blood (A young boy who works with dragons trained to
fight in the arena learns about love and freedom)
Heart’s Blood (seqeul)
A Sending of Dragons (sequel)
The Books of Great Alta
Sister Light, Sister Dark
White Jenna
Briar Rose (lovely retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story, set
in Nazi Germany)
The Devil’s Arithmetic (SF) (5-6th grade)

Zambreno, Mary (F)
A Plague of Sorcerers
Journeyman Wizard (involves the adventures of a young sorcerer
in training who goes to a remote village to receive training
from one of the last of the spellmakers. While there his
teacher dies in a mysterious “accident” involving magic.
Suspicion falls on the apprentice. One of the great
characters in this book is Dahlia, a opinionated, rat killing
skunk who serves the journeyman as a familiar, allowing him to
make the link to the world of magic. Good mystery,
good fantasy.)

Zelazny, Roger (F)
A Dark Travelling