The best fantasy series to read with your kids

Amanda Hamm Author Of Beyond Wisherton
By Amanda Hamm

Who am I?

My favorite books—to read and to write—have always been funny Christian romances. But all four of my kids prefer fantasy. They want me to read with them, and they’ve been asking me to read nothing but fantasy for years. Now I can say it’s my second favorite genre. In fact, I learned to like it so much I eventually started writing a children’s fantasy series of my own, in between all the mushy stuff. Beyond Wisherton is the first in that series.


I wrote...

Beyond Wisherton

By Amanda Hamm,

Book cover of Beyond Wisherton

What is my book about?

Wisherton is surrounded by a Wasteland filled with terrifying Herders. Sevra Say has lived twelve years grateful for the giant wall that keeps Wisherton safe. But now her life is threatened by something inside Wisherton, something that makes her believe getting past the wall may be the only way to save her family. With the help of her three siblings, Sevra will embark on an impossible quest and come face to face with what lies beyond Wisherton.

The books I picked & why

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

By C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (illustrator),

Book cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Why this book?

This one is a classic for a lot of reasons: talking animals, redemption story, narsicistic villain who unintentionally orchastrates her own demise. But the most significant might be the sheer relatability. All kids climb into a closet or under a porch or some other ordinary space at least once in their lives and imagine it transports them to some magical place. That wasn’t just me, right?


Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians

By Brandon Sanderson, Hayley Lazo (illustrator),

Book cover of Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians

Why this book?

While the kids have taught me to enjoy the action, I still want humor in my stories. This one has a hero who breaks stuff, sometimes at the most inopportune moments. His family members have “talents” that include being late and getting lost. It’s fun, and very clever, to see how these traits end up being helpful.  


Fires of Invention: Volume 1

By J. Scott Savage,

Book cover of Fires of Invention: Volume 1

Why this book?

Dragons are cool. The one on this cover is clearly mechanical, and that got my attention. Cove is a rather dark setting so I would only recommend this for older kids. Readers can tell from the beginning that the oppressive society is rooted in fear. What is behind that fear? The main characters, Trenton and Kallista, aren’t all that concerned with the bigger picture. They’re only trying to solve a puzzle left by Kallista’s father. We get to watch them become good friends in the process.


Sky Raiders: Volume 1

By Brandon Mull,

Book cover of Sky Raiders: Volume 1

Why this book?

Fablehaven is this author’s most popular series, but Sky Raiders begins my favorite. Cole is a somewhat unwilling hero. He is frequently terrified or overwhelmed by the difficult situations he’s in, yet he just can’t help but do the next right thing each time it’s presented. The author has supplied different rules for magic in the different kingdoms in a way that works to keep things interesting. I also applaud Mr. Mull for using real vocabulary in his books for kids. Reading this might improve someone’s SAT score.


The Wishmakers

By Tyler Whitesides,

Book cover of The Wishmakers

Why this book?

There is a fine line between silly and slapstick. This book manages to stay just barely on the good side of that line. Basically, we have two kids with genies being chased by bad guys. The danger motivates the kids to make wishes. The wishes are unlimited, but so are the consequences. Little wishes have little consequences while a big enough wish comes with death. Reading about the kids being forced to hop up and down, clap their hands and make weird noises as a result of the wishes is highly entertaining. But there are also a lot of openings for serious discussion as the kids try to negotiate smaller wishes to achieve similar results.  Which consequences would you accept?  


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