Whether it’s because they’ve already stormed through the series or because you’d rather avoid it altogether, it’s always a good idea to stock up on children’s magical fantasy adventures that aren’t set at Hogwarts. Some of our favourites are below!


The Last Firefox by Lee Newbery

‘A heart (and tail!) warming adventure about family, friendship and one flamin’ cute fox cub’ – Thomas Taylor, author of Malamander


Between bullies at school and changes at home, Charlie Challinor finds life a bit scary. And when he’s made guardian of a furry fox cub called Cadno, things get a whole lot scarier.

Because Cadno isn’t just any fox: he’s a firefox – the only one of his kind – and a sinister hunter from another world is on his trail. Swept up into an unexpected adventure to protect his flammable friend, Charlie’s going to need to find the bravery he never thought he had, if he’s going to save the last firefox…

Suitable for 8+



Pages & Co series by Anna James

This series is a magical bookish dream! Anna James has created an incredible world that dips in and out of classic literature and befriends Anne Shirley of Green Gables & Alice in Wonderland.

Plus, they are all around 400 pages (pretty long for a children’s novel!) so should keep the speedreading bookworms occupied for a little while. There are four in the series, kicking off with Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers.


Eleven year-old Tilly has lived above her grandparents’ bookshop ever since her mother disappeared shortly after she was born.

Like the rest of her family, Tilly loves nothing more than to escape into the pages of her favourite stories. One day Tilly realises that classic children’s characters are appearing in the shop through the magic of ‘book wandering’ – crossing over from the page into real life.

Tilly is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago, so she bravely steps into the unknown, unsure of what adventure lies ahead and what dangers she may face.

Suitable for 8+



Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City by Rob Biddulph

Cultivate their creative side! Rob Biddulph expertly creates books that encourage little artists — and Peanut Jones brings us creativity, courage, and magic in one fab book.


Some legends are born, some are drawn…

Drawing feels like magic to Peanut Jones.

But art can’t fix her problems. Her dad has gone missing, and she’s stuck in a boring new school. Until the day she finds a unique pencil turbo-charged with special powers.

Suddenly she’s pulled into a world packed with more colour, creativity, excitement and danger than she could ever have imagined. And maybe, just maybe, she might find out what happened to her dad.

Suitable for 8+



The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant

The Hatmakers is a joyfully magical story of magical makers, and a fascinating magical upbringing that is begging for adventure.


Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat.

In Cordelia’s world, Making – crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients – is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain. When Cordelia’s father Prospero and his ship, the Jolly Bonnet, are lost at sea during a mission to collect hat ingredients, Cordelia is determined to find him. But Uncle Tiberius and Aunt Ariadne have no time to help the littlest Hatmaker, for an ancient rivalry between the Maker families is threatening to surface.

Worse, someone seems to be using Maker magic to start a war. It’s up to Cordelia to find out who, and why…

Suitable for 8+


The Mapmakers by Tamzin Merchant

Or, if you’ve already read Hatmakers, why not return to the spellbinding world of Cordelia Hatmaker in this soaring magical sequel!


Ever since Cordelia discovered the hidden map in her father’s precious telescope, she’s been searching the streets of London by starlight and trying to uncover its secrets.

She’s sure that her missing father is out there somewhere, and that if she follows his map, she’ll finally discover the truth about his disappearance. She never expects to stumble upon a secret society of Mapmakers – or to learn that magic isn’t limited to the few Maker families, but is instead is all around, if you just know where to look…

But danger is lurking around every corner, and Cordelia must convince the rival Maker families to work together for once – not only to bring her father home, but to save the very essence of magic itself.

Suitable for 8+



Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Earthsea series is a fantasy classic, and a great world for young book adventurers to dive into. Since it is a classic, it should be challenging enough to keep strong readers entertained without being too high-level of a subject.


As a young dragonlord, Ged, whose use-name is Sparrowhawk, is sent to the island of Roke to learn the true way of magic.

A natural magician, Ged becomes an Archmage and helps the High Priestess Tenar escape from the labyrinth of darkness. But as the years pass, true magic and ancient ways are forced to submit to the powers of evil and death.

Four book bind-up includes: A Wizard of Earthsea; The Tombs of Atuan; The Farthest Shore; Tehanu.

Suitable for 9+



Children of the Quicksands


In a remote Nigerian village, thirteen-year-old Simi is desperate to uncover a family secret…

City girl Simi is sent to stay with her long-lost grandmother in a remote Nigerian village.

There’s no TV, internet or phone. Not a single human-made sound can be heard at night, just the noise of birds and animals rustling in the dark forest outside. Her witchlike grandmother dispenses advice and herbal medicine to the village, but she’s tight lipped about their family history.

Something must have happened, but what? Determined to find out, Simi disobeys her grandmother and goes exploring. Caught in the sinking red quicksand of a forbidden lake, her fantastical journey begins.

Suitable for 9+



The Book of Stolen Dreams by David Farr


When Rachel and Robert are passed a stolen book by their librarian father, they have to go on the run and protect it at all costs. With their father captured and everyone hunting for the Book, they must uncover its secrets and track down the final, missing page. But the cruel and calculating Charles Malstain is on their trail.

When the children discover the astonishing, magical truth about the Book, they resolve to do everything in their power to stop it falling into his hands. For if it does, he could rule forever. Step inside the pages of an immortal adventure and discover a truly unforgettable journey of wonder, courage and magic…

Suitable for 9+



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