Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

44 Best Fantasy Books for Kids

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We’re not big fans of Halloween. But we do enjoy a good fantasy story sans ghoulish ghastliness. (Isn’t that a great word? Mom thought it up.)

Anyway, with Hallo-yuck coming up, Mom and I decided rather than focus on ghoulish tricks, we put together a list of treats instead: 44 Best Fantasy Books for Kids. Because, woof! Nobody does ‘imaginating’ better than kids! (Well, there was that one Labradoodle who…) Wait. That’s another story.

Kindly note that we’re using “fantasy” in its broadest sense. Like: Anything that could not exist within our own world. Make-believe in its purest form. Usually includes something supernatural or magical as primary elements of the plot, theme, or setting. Like talking animals. (One of us is super big on that.)

It’s easy to get Fiction and Fantasy confused. (One of us who shall remain nameless does that, too.) So here’s a basic primer describing the differences between the two genres. There are three main diffs, via Difference Between:

1. Fiction is closely connoted with unbelievable science and advanced technologies, whereas fantasies are linked closer to an archetypal landscape that is culturally influenced, like the concept of dragons.

2. Fiction is intended to be understood, while fantasies are more concepts to be loved and cherished. 

3. Generally, most fiction is placed within a futuristic timeline, whereas most fantasies are usually placed in the past.

Mom’s version of “October.”

Not sure we necessarily agree with all of the above. So we’re gonna flex a bit. But anywho, here’s our 100% unscientific, totally subjective list of 44 Best Fantasy Books for Kids. This is based on our own experience as well as input from the local library.

Ready? Get set! Go!


Picture Books & Little Kids

Early Elementary (K – 3)


Middle Grade-ish (4th – 6th. Could also be middle school.)

Middle School (6th – 8th)

Could also be Middle Grade. Just depends on the individual and what kind of fantasy book they’re looking for. (Sorry, we’re not that big on Harry Potter here.)

These books typically include more expansive vocabulary as well as more complicated and sophisticated plots and/or themes.

What would you add?

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