The best books to whisk you away to magical lands you never knew you wanted to visit

Who am I?

I was born in a stable close to the Himalayas in India. The family farm was buzzing with animals and one of the most wonderful was a wild monkey called Oma who adopted our family and insisted on living with us. This is where the magic in my life began. My Grandmother was the storyteller in my family, so even after we emigrated to England when I was only 18 months old, our house was filled with magical stories, many with roots in India. So when I became a children’s author it was this magic that I wanted to bring to my stories and it was this magic that drew me to reading.


I wrote...

Book cover of Asha and the Spirit Bird

What is my book about?

Asha lives on the family farm with her mother in rural India. Her father is away working in the city, and when the money he sends stops suddenly, a wicked debt collector arrives. She’s determined to seize the property – and the treasure rumoured to be hidden on the land. Guided by a majestic bird which Asha believes to be the spirit of her grandmother, she and her best friend Jeevan embark on a journey to the city, across the Himalayas, to find her father and save her home. 

Three words to describe this book: Magical - Indian - Adventure.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Jasbinder Bilan Why did I love this book?

This book was one of my favorites when I was growing up. It was the one I kept under my pillow so I could bring it out in the early hours of the morning and get back to the story. I loved it because it takes something very ordinary – a wardrobe – and through it the children discover a magical land. Who wouldn’t want to be a king or queen instead of a normal boy or girl? And this was what sparked my imagination!

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

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Lucy steps into the Professor's wardrobe - but steps out again into a snowy forest. She's stumbled upon the magical world of Narnia, land of unicorns, centaurs, fauns... and the wicked White Witch, who terrorises all. Lucy soon realises that Narnia, and in particular Aslan, the great Lion, needs her help if the country's creatures are ever going to be free again...


Book cover of Magicborn

Jasbinder Bilan Why did I love this book?

If you’ve ever believed in fairies then this is the book for you. I adored the setting of the Greenwoods where twins Storm Girl and Wild Boy are born and live until they are forced to leave. This is where the adventure begins – and what an adventure. It’s a book full of feisty characters, which is something I admire. They simply won’t give up and keep going until they uncover the secrets about their past. The other adorable character in this book is Coriel who is a robin who can talk to Storm Girl. I’ve always wished I could understand bird language! This is the first of a new series and I simply can’t wait for the next one.

By Peter Bunzl,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Magicborn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

The Curse is changed. You'll never know. The truth is lost. The lie will grow.

The year is 1726 and the Royal Sorcerer of England is on the hunt for those who are Magicborn. When Tempest is captured, she is taken to Kensington Palace alongside a boy like her, Thomas.

Trapped, Tempest and Thomas find their magic flickering to life and, with it, long-buried memories. For they are the lost prince and princess of Fairyland, bound by a deadly curse. But now the fairies are coming to get them, and with the truth revealed...can they both survive?

The first in…


Book cover of The Good Thieves

Jasbinder Bilan Why did I love this book?

This is a book that makes you feel like you’ve been whisked away to another era completely and on top of that it also transports you to a new place. I always love going somewhere exciting and full of adventure and this is exactly what happens. The story also shows us a hero who won’t be limited by her disability – Vita suffered from Polio as a little girl and this has made her more determined. She’s brave and forthright and will do anything to save her family's fortunes.

By Katherine Rundell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Good Thieves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

“A dazzling tale of wild hope, lingering grief, admirable self-sufficiency, and intergenerational adoration.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Vita tests her own limits, and readers will thrill at her cleverness, tenacity, and close escapes.” —Booklist
“A satisfying adventure.” —Kirkus Reviews

From award-winning author Katherine Rundell comes a fast-paced and utterly thrilling adventure driven by the loyalty and love between a grandfather and his granddaughter.

When Vita’s grandfather’s mansion is taken from him by a powerful real estate tycoon, Vita knows it’s up to her to make things right.

With the help of a pickpocket and her new circus friends, Vita creates…


Book cover of The Girl of Ink & Stars

Jasbinder Bilan Why did I love this book?

The magic in this story is all about stars and maps. These are things that are very close to my heart. When I was a little girl growing up on our family farm close to the Himalayan mountains stars were an ever-present backdrop to the nights. We loved sitting beneath them and telling stories. Even though I was too young to remember these times, when my family moved to the UK we kept the magic alive by remembering those times. This is the sort of feeling I get when I read this book. It’s filled with magic and possibility.

By Kiran Millwood Hargrave,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Girl of Ink & Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

The magical bestseller: a classic story to read again
and again.



Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017

Winner of the British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year
2017

Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award

Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize





Beautiful, thrilling and magical, Sunday Times bestselling-author
Kiran Millwood Hargrave's critically-acclaimed first
novel is a modern classic.

'Absolutely loved it from start to finish' TOM
FLETCHER

'I read it, I loved it' MALORIE BLACKMAN

'Kiran Millwood Hargrave creates a spellbinding world of magic,
myth and adventure' EMMA CARROLL

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway…


Book cover of In Darkling Wood

Jasbinder Bilan Why did I love this book?

Imagine if you could meet someone from the past without realising? This is what drew me to this magical book. When you are young there are things you just don’t question and this is what I was like. I saw things that adults would have said weren’t there. But I didn’t believe them. I only believed in the power of my imagination. For me anything could appear; a small creature under a tree in the garden or Santa’s sleigh flying through the sky at Christmas – it was all so real I could reach out and touch it. In Darkling Wood is one of those stories that wrap themselves around you and whisk you away, where you’ll leave believing in magic!

By Emma Carroll,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Darkling Wood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

For fans of Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon and Jack Cheng’s See You in the Cosmos, here is “a haunting and poignant exploration of family, loss, and redemption” (Booklist, Starred Review).
 
   When Alice is suddenly bundled off to her estranged grandmother Nell’s house, there’s nothing good about it, except the beautiful Darkling Wood at the end of the garden—but Nell wants to have it cut down. Alice feels at home there, at peace. She even finds a friend, a girl named Flo. But Flo doesn’t go to the local school, and no one in town has heard…


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Book cover of Sweet Dreams, Boone

Susan Grant Author Of The Bottle House

New book alert!

Who am I?

I am a Bible college graduate whose faith has always been a practical matter. Because I learned to find the “so what” of the Bible, when I became a teacher of the Bible in the public schools of Rowan County, North Carolina, my elective courses had waiting lists for students to get in to. As I now teach in Maine, I found I could continue to share a practical Christian faith through my writing. The books I have listed here do the very thing that I seek in my own writing.

Susan's book list on authentically illustrating genuine Christian faith

What is my book about?

Boone is a sad and lonely little dog. He doesn’t like to be left alone when Mom goes to work.

To help him feel better, Mom buys him a special basket for his bed. When he sleeps, he dreams of a long-ago time and meets a man who is sad and lonely too, until he meets Jesus.

Sweet Dreams, Boone

By Susan Grant, Kelly Artieri (illustrator),

What is this book about?

Boone is a sad and lonely little dog. He doesn’t like to be left alone when Mom goes to work. To help him feel better, Mom buys him a special basket for his bed. When he sleeps, he dreams of a long-ago time and meets a man who is sad and lonely too, until he meets Jesus.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in fairies, lions, and magical realism?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about fairies, lions, and magical realism.

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