Fantasy

Neverwhere book cover

Neverwhere

Neil Gaiman

eAUDIO
Fantasy

"Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks. Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere."

Becky's picture

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors of ALL time. He is descriptive and funny, and has a talent to cleverly weave fantastical elements into a realistic setting. Neverwhere was the first book of his that I listened to in audio form. The added bonus of the audio book is that it is read by Neil Gaiman! His voice and pacing make this great book even better. Neverwhere is a tale that follows Richard Mayhew, an ordinary man who once helped a girl he had found bleeding on the sidewalk. That one kind act lands him in Neverwhere, a place that exists in the cracks and shadows of London. -Becky

Ella enchanted book cover

Ella enchanted

Gail Carson Levine

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Levine, Gail Carson
Kids, Fantasy, Classics

In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.

Casey's picture

This is the book that made me a reader at the age of nine. I recently shared this one on a road trip with my family and loved it just as much as I did in 1997. The first fairytale retelling I ever read, and a fantastic story to boot, if you've never met Ella, it might be time to do so. -Casey

Stardust book cover

Stardust

Neil Gaiman

SCIENCE FICTION Gaiman, Neil
Fiction, Classics, Fantasy, Romance

Casey's picture

Hard to believe that Stardust has been around for just over 20 years! One of, if not the, first book by modern magician, Neil Gaiman, that I read many years ago. Although written with simplistic prose reminiscent of Grimm, and Andersen fairytales, this is a work that is definitely NOT for children. I can hardly wait to cross the wall and seek a fallen star in Faerie again. -Casey

Lalani of the distant sea book cover

Lalani of the distant sea

Erin Entrada Kelly

jFICTION Kelly Erin
Kids, Fantasy

"Twelve-year-old Lalani Sarita takes on the impossible task of traveling to the legendary Mount Isa, towering on an island to the north. Generations of men and boys have died on the same quest--how can a timid young girl in a tiny boat survive the epic tests of the archipelago?"--

Becky's picture

What an amazing story inspired by Filipino folklore! “Lalani of the Distant Sea” is an engrossing story that weaves in superstition, gender roles, friendship and choice in a way that is thought-provoking and inspiring. I loved this story and would highly recommend it! -Becky

Breadcrumbs book cover

Breadcrumbs

Anne Ursu

jFICTION Ursu, Anne
Kids, Fantasy

"Hazel and Jack are best friends until an accident with a magical mirror and a run-in with a villainous queen find Hazel on her own, entering an enchanted wood in the hopes of saving Jack's life " -- Provided by publisher.

Becky's picture

I think that this story offers many themes that upper-elementary kids would relate to: friendship, family, change, and belonging. Hazel and Jack are best friends and neighbors, but their friendship changes drastically when a piece of glass from a magical mirror gets caught in Jack’s eye. From that moment, we enter into the story of the Snow Queen and Hazel’s quest to get Jack back. -Becky

Ella enchanted book cover

Ella enchanted

Gail Carson Levine

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Levine, Gail Carson
Kids, Fantasy, Young Adult

In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.

Becky's picture

This is such a wonderful adaptation of the story of Cinderella. What I especially love about “Ella Enchanted” is that Ella is such a positive role model for girls. She is strong, bright, funny and self-aware. As a baby, Ella was given the ‘gift’ of obedience by a fairy named Lucinda, but we quickly see that the gift is truly a curse and could have many implications on the life of Ella and those connected with her. Beautifully written! -Becky

House of salt and sorrows book cover

House of salt and sorrows

Erin A. Craig

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Craig Erin
Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Suspense

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed. Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last -- the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge -- and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sisters' deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who -- or what -- are they really dancing with? When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family -- before it claims her next.

Callie's picture

This retelling of the 12 dancing princesses was an intense read from start to finish. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I read this twisted, lovely book! -Callie

The girl who drank the moon book cover

The girl who drank the moon

Kelly Regan Barnhill

jFICTION Barnhill Kelly
Kids, Fantasy

"An epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep inside her. 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 kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned 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 enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule--but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her--even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she's always known. The acclaimed author of The Witch's Boy has created another epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to become a modern classic"--

Becky's picture

Kelly Barnhill is one of my favorite children’s fantasy authors. “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” is an adventurous and magical story with an intriguing plot and well-developed characters throughout. It has magic, dragons, enchantment, evil, and twists—what’s not to love!? -Becky

Snow & Rose book cover

Snow & Rose

Emily Winfield Martin

jFICTION Martin, Emily
Kids, Fantasy

Snow and Rose search the forest for their missing father and discover there is a sinister magic at work in the woods. A reimagining of the classic but little-known fairy tale Snow White and Rose Red.

Becky's picture

This is a descriptive and lyrical retelling of Snow and Rose that features beautiful artwork from the author. Snow and Rose are sisters who are navigating the mysterious loss of their father and subsequent move from a large estate to a small cottage in the woods. While the plot may be a bit choppy at points, I did enjoy the fully distinct personalities between the two sisters and the magic of the woods. -Becky

Rump : the true story of Rumpelstiltskin book cover

Rump : the true story of Rumpelstiltskin

Liesl Shurtliff

jFICTION Shurtlif Liesl
Kids, Fantasy

Retells the tale of Rumpelstiltskin's childhood and youth, explaining why his name is so important, how he is able to spin straw into gold, and why a first-born child is his reward for helping the miller's daughter-turned-queen.

Becky's picture

Liesl Shurtlif does a great job developing a backstory for Rumpelstiltskin. Typically the antihero in fairy tales, Rump is shown here as a misunderstood and thoughtful hero. His power develops during a time of hunger and loss, and we watch as he learns more about himself, his powers, and the consequences of magic. Plot driven, surprising, and a fun read! -Becky