The best books to introduce readers to magical realism

Who am I?

As a queer teen, Magical Realism was the tool I used to escape a life that was often difficult. Reading this genre helped me cope with life. Writing my first magical realism novel as a teen helped me escape it. Before adulthood, I had consumed so many Magical Realism novels I could no longer keep track. Though fantastical by its very nature, Magical Realism roots fantasy in real life. Often lyrical in nature, these kinds of books are allegorical, helping readers explore serious and often difficult themes while telling an engaging story. Readers of Magical Realism will find themselves swept away by magic and fantasy, yet learn something about themselves along the way.


I wrote...

Possibly Texas

By Chase Connor,

Book cover of Possibly Texas

What is my book about?

When his free-spirited mother decides he’s getting too old for a life on the road with her, sixteen-year-old Jordan Burke is sent back to live with his stepfather in the quirky town of Possibly, Texas. Jordan hasn’t seen his stepfather in several years, and they don’t exactly hit it off. 

He has nothing to do but familiarize himself with his new home. Almost immediately, Jordan begins to wonder why everyone in the town is so weird, if the graveyard is really haunted, if the lady in the tent on the square can really contact the dead, why the radio station only plays one song all day long, and if the church is actually a cult. After a while, Jordan begins to wonder if he’ll ever have all of the answers. 

The books I picked & why

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Practical Magic

By Alice Hoffman,

Book cover of Practical Magic

Why this book?

In my opinion, Alice Hoffman is the undisputed queen of Magical Realism. Anyone who has both read this book and seen the movie will tell you that they diverge greatly. However, both are excellent, and the themes remain virtually the same between the two mediums. Practical Magic tells the tale of a family whose women are cursed in love. Exploring themes of being shunned by one’s community for being different, female empowerment, sisterhood, family, aunts and nieces, mothers and daughters, and love conquering all, Practical Magic will leave you starry-eyed with wonder, warmth, and hope.

Practical Magic

By Alice Hoffman,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Practical Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*25th Anniversary Edition*-with an Introduction by the Author!

The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Rules of Magic, Magic Lessons, and The Book of Magic.

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and…

A Monster Calls

By Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd, Jim Kay (illustrator)

Book cover of A Monster Calls

Why this book?

Conor’s mother is sick, and for three nights, a monster comes to tell Conor a new story. On the fourth night, the monster demands that Conor tells his story. A true story. In this way, the monster helps Conor to grieve and come to terms with the fact his mother is dying. A Monster Calls is a beautiful novel, hauntingly illustrated, for anyone—young or old—who has struggled to grieve and accept that death is a part of life.

A Monster Calls

By Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd, Jim Kay (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked A Monster Calls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling novel and major film about love, loss and hope from the twice Carnegie Medal-winning Patrick Ness.

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don't quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there's a visitor at his window. It's ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking…


Akata Witch

By Nnedi Okorafor,

Book cover of Akata Witch

Why this book?

Sunny Nwazue is Black and albino, born in the U.S., but living in Nigeria. While she loves soccer and excels at it, her condition makes it impossible to go out in the sun. When she learns about the Leopard People, a magical community in West Africa, and forms a coven with three other magical children, her path unfurls before her, just as her coven is sent to capture a magical serial killer. Exploring themes of ethnicity, identity, and accepting the curses or gifts we are born with, Akata Witch is a book in which anyone can find themselves. 

Akata Witch

By Nnedi Okorafor,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Akata Witch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Affectionately dubbed "the Nigerian Harry Potter," Akata Witch weaves together a heart-pounding tale of magic, mystery, and finding one's place in the world.

Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing-she is a "free agent" with latent magical power. Soon she's part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be…


The Hazel Wood

By Melissa Albert,

Book cover of The Hazel Wood

Why this book?

What would happen if a fairy tale world spilled over into the real world? Seventeen-year-old Alice gets the answer when she discovers that a book of fairytales her grandmother wrote decades ago might be more than just a book of stories. When her mother is kidnapped by agents of the mysterious Hinterland, Alice must travel with a school friend to The Hazel Wood (her grandmother’s mysterious estate) to rescue her. Exploring themes of family and breaking free of the constraints of one’s lineage, The Hazel Wood is the type of modern fable lovers of fairytales will love to sink their teeth into.

The Hazel Wood

By Melissa Albert,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Hazel Wood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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One of The Observer's Best Children's Books of 2018!

Fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and The Children of Blood and Bone have been getting lost in The Hazel Wood...

"The Hazel Wood kept me up all night. I had every light burning and the covers pulled tight around me as I fell completely into the dark and beautiful world within its pages. Terrifying, magical, and surprisingly funny, it's one of the very best books I've read in years". -Jennifer Niven, author of All The Bright Places

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Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of…


If I Stay

By Gayle Forman,

Book cover of If I Stay

Why this book?

Mia, a teenage virtuoso on the cello, is in a coma following a car accident that has killed her parents and younger brother. Her spirit, separate from her physical body, explores the world around her, watches her family and friends grieve, and must decide if she will die or stay. And, if she chooses to stay…what would be the purpose if her family is gone? Another beautiful novel about grief and loss, If I Stay also explores themes of family, love, and self-reliance.

If I Stay

By Gayle Forman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked If I Stay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She Went, Just One Day, Just One Year, and I Was Here.

Now a major motion picture, starring Chloe Grace Moretz! Includes exclusive interviews with Chloe Grace Moretz and her co-star Jamie Blackley.

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Nigeria, witches, and magic-supernatural?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Nigeria, witches, and magic-supernatural.

Nigeria Explore 34 books about Nigeria
Witches Explore 88 books about witches
Magic-Supernatural Explore 392 books about magic-supernatural

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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