I would love to know what juvenile fantasy DC2 is really liking as my E. (10) is exactly the same. He prefers full world-building rather than ‘our world with a twist’ and he’s burned through so much that I’m finding myself wondering at what stage it would be ok to move on to what I see as entry-level ‘adult’ fantasy (Dragonlance, Shannara, David Eddings). Or if there are good YA fantasy recommendations I’d take those too (although I find sometimes the YA stuff is darker than some adult books).
I can’t really predict what DC2 will like, so what I’ve been doing in the absence of letting hir loose at the library is going to the library webpage and searching “juvenile fiction” and then just getting the first in series and standalones. Then if DC2 likes it, zie tells me and we get more books in that series/by that author.
The stuff from Rick Riordin presents (this is him highlighting books written by POC about their mythologies) is a great place to start.
Here’s a snapshot of what DC2 had checked out from the library when Turia asked her question:
Brandon Mull Five Kingdoms, Erin Hunter Warriors (there are approximately one million of these), Mark Siegel’s 5 worlds series, various Cornelia Funke series (but not all of them), various Jen Calonita series, everything Jim Benton has ever written, various Kathryn Lasky series, the Okay witch, various Katherine Langrish series.
Let’s go through what DC2 liked enough to request to buy that hasn’t already been taken off hir wishlist:
Witches of Orkney by Alane Adams
Storm Runner by J. C. Cervantes
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke (DC1 really liked this one too, so I’m not sure why we didn’t have our own copy already)
BlackBringer by Laini Taylor (but zie didn’t like the second book very much)
Assorted books about Dragons by Laurence Yep, especially A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans
A number of books by Laura Amy Schlitz including Splendors and Glooms
Foxcraft by Inbali Iserles
The Star trilogy by Donald Samson
Kiranmala and the kingdom beyond by Sayantani DasGupta
Addison Cooke by Jonathan W. Stokes
I cannot recommend David Eddings or Terry Brooks books as the misogynist suck fairy visited most of them (I know, I know, when I was much younger I wanted to name a daughter Damsen Rhee, and I still have a very dusty shelf of Shannara in my bookcase) though in my defense Eddings was *always* creepy about women… There’s SO much better stuff out there! I never read Dragonlance, it may or may not be fine (probably depends on the author and I am so afraid to reread my other Weis and Hickman series in case they also got visited by the suck fairy… nobody ever TALKs about them anymore except the occasional reference to Simkin).
Terry Pratchett and Robert Aspirin (which plays with the misogynist tropes rather than giving into them in his Another Fine Myth series– not thieves world) are much better entry-level adult fantasy options, I think (at least both my kids love them– DC2 keeps sneaking into my room to take more Myth books). Diana Wynne Jones too though there’s a little bit of sex in her adult books, not explicit, but a bit more obvious than when it happens in Pratchett or Aspirin. My kids like DWJ, but don’t seem to love her to the extent that I did (we own all her fantasy novels, even the ones that suck.)
Grumpy Nation! What juvenile fantasy do you recommend?
Note: all amazon links are affiliate– we might get money if you buy stuff through them.