Read-at-Home Mom's Recommended Fantasy & Science Fiction

The titles on this list involve fantastical elements. Some are set in imaginary worlds; others bring magical elements into the real world. All are suggested for readers in the 8-14 age range, but many can be appreciated by younger audiences as read-alouds. These were selected with Catholic audiences in mind, but families often differ in their comfort level with magical elements, so I still recommend reading a few reviews of the books in the "Magic" section to be sure they align with your family's needs. 


  • The Wonderful Farm by Marcel Ayme
  • The Good Friends by Margery Williams Bianco
  • Escape from Baxters Barn by Rebecca Bond 
  • The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  • Bunnicula by James Howe (and sequels)
  • The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell 
  • Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith
  • The Fledgling by Jane Langton 
  • Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson (and sequel)
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien
  • The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
  • The Rescuers by Margery Sharp

Christian Themes

  • Skellig by David Almond
  • The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
  • The Rose Round by Meriol Trevor
  • Sun Slower, Sun Faster by Meriol Trevor

Dolls and Toys 

  • Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey 
  • The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks 
  • Return of the Twelves by Pauline Clarke (also published as The Twelve and the Genii)
  • Knight's Castle by Edward Eager 
  • Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field 
  • The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin (and sequels)


  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • The Haunting by Margaret Mahy
  • Greenglass House by Kate Milford (and sequels)


  • The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs
  • Half Magic by Edward Eager 
  • Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George 
  • Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones 
  • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • The Light Princess by George MacDonald
  • The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
  • The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit
  • The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope
  • King Oberon's Forest by Hilda van Stockum 
  • The Prairie Thief by Melissa Wiley


  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper 
  • Momo by Michael Ende
  • The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster 
  • The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall
  • The Squire's Tale by Gerald Morris 
  • The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner 
  • Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu 

Time Travel

  • The Autumn People by Ruth Arthur  
  • A Year without Autumn by Liz Kessler
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle 
  • Time at the Top by Edward Ormondroyd
  • Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce 
  • The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
  • When Marnie Was There by Joan G. Robinson
  • Fog Magic by Julia Sauer 
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead 
  • Building Blocks by Cynthia Voigt 

Science Fiction 

  • The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
  • The Trouble with Jenny's Ear by Oliver Butterworth 
  • Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones
  • (George) by E.L. Konigsburg 
  • A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle 
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry

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