Readers Advisory: Series for Advanced Young Readers

My cousin once asked me if I had any recommendations for her advanced young reader. She tended towards fantasy, and needed a few series to keep her busy. She had just finished Harry Potter, and my cousin wanted some things for her to read that were still hard, but had less intense themes.

In the list below, I give the title of each series, the series name, and the author name. I also found the recommended age range for each book, but all of them are definitely more on target than the later Harry Potter books.

The Young Wizard series is one of my favorites, but the characters age in the books the same way as Harry Potter, albeit with less increase in romantic relationships and violence. I put them in order of… appropriateness? Mixed with interest level?

dealingwithdragonsDealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1) by Patricia Wrede

(Recommended for Age Range: 10 and up, Grade Level: 4 – 8)

My impression: Silly, fun and a strong female lead.

Cimorene is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomboyish, smart – and bored. So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon – and finds the family and excitement she’s been looking for.

spiderwickThe Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #1) by Holly Black

(Recommended for Age Range: 6 – 10 years, Grade Level: 1 – 5)

My Impression: Short, with 8 or so books in the series. A fast reader will speed right through these!

When the three Grace children — Mallory, Jared, and Simon — and their mom move into Aunt Lucinda’s old house, readers know there’s magic afoot. The kids uncover a nest of assembled junk, and on a visit to the secret library via the dumbwaiter, Jared finds a note describing “my secret to all mankind.” After a few mysterious pranks that get blamed on Jared, the boy finally digs up the real prize: Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You.”

wingsoffireThe Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire, #1) by Tui T. Sutherland

(Recommended for Age Range: 10 and up, Grade Level: 4 – 8)

My Impression: Hugely popular dragon series right now. Recently had a little girl (2nd grade) come up to the desk asking for the next one, although she tells me she’s reading at an eight grade level… 🙂

The seven dragon tribes have been at war for generations, locked in an endless battle over an ancient, lost treasure. A secret movement called the Talons of Peace is determined to bring an end to the fighting, with the help of a prophecy — a foretelling that calls for great sacrifice.

Five dragonets are collected to fulfill the prophecy, raised in a hidden cave and enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war.

But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when the select five escape their underground captors to look for their original homes, what has been unleashed on the dragon world may be far more than the revolutionary planners intended.”

warriorsInto the Wild (Warriors #1) by Erin Hunter

(Recommended for Age Range: 10 and up)

Part of the Warriors Universe.
Also known as Warriors: The Prophecy Begins
Followed by Warriors: The New Prophecy.

My Impression: Another hugely popular series right now! It can be a little tough to track them all, I recommend a Goodreads account.

For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their warrior ancestors. But the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger, and the sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying– and some deaths are more mysterious than others. In the midst of this turmoil appears an ordinary house cat named Rusty . . . who may turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

so you want to be a wizardSo You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1) by Diane Duane.

(Recommended for Age Range: 10 – 14 years, Grade Level: 5 – 9)

Like I said, a favorite of mine but some younger kids find it a little scary. Some dark themes (fighting a great evil, being challenged by death) but a really cool world view with a good message in each book.

Nita Callahan is at the end of her rope because of the bullies who’ve been hounding her at school… until she discovers a mysterious library book that promises her the chance to become a wizard. But she has no idea of the difference that taking the Wizard’s Oath is going to make in her life. Shortly, in company with fellow beginner-wizard Kit Rodriguez, Nita’s catapulted into what will be the adventure of a lifetime — if she and Kit can both live through it. For every wizard’s career starts with an Ordeal in which he or she must challenge the one power in the universe that hates wizardry more than anything else: the Lone Power that invented death and turned it loose in the worlds. Plunged into a dark and deadly alternate New York full of the Lone One’s creatures, Kit and Nita must venture into the very heart of darkness to find the stolen, legendary Book of Night with Moon. Only with the dangerous power of the wizardly Book do they have a chance to save not just their own lives, but their world…

school of wizardrySchool of Wizardry (Circle of Magic # 1) by Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald

(Recommended for Age Range: 8 and up, Grade Level: 3 and up)

My Impression: These are a throwback to when I ordered books out of the scholastic catalog, and I started obsessively collecting any of them that I could find at used book stores. I loved these at that age… but I can’t remember why?

In this first book of a six-title fantasy series, readers will meet a young squire named Randal, who leaves the security of his life at home to become a student at the School of Wizardry. In his spellbinding journey from sorcerer’s apprentice to journeyman wizard, Randal will encounter endless perils and deadly enemies…and young readers won’t want to miss one bit of the intrigue or excitement!

Some other books that are good reads near that age: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carlson Levine, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, and My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.

bridgetoterabithia  ella enchanted  hatchet  my side of the mountain

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