82 books like The Girl Who Drank the Moon

By Kelly Barnhill,

Here are 82 books that The Girl Who Drank the Moon fans have personally recommended if you like The Girl Who Drank the Moon. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Gregor the Overlander

Summer Rachel Short Author Of The Legend of Greyhallow

From my list on children’s books that let you step into another world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a daydreamer on the lookout for my entry into another world. I spent a good chunk of my early elementary years imagining I was a flying pony who could travel to distant lands and perform dazzling deeds. I never got my wings—but I did discover a way to reach those distant lands. Today, I have the pleasure of creating worlds of my own as the author of three published middle-grade novels: The Mutant Mushroom Takeover, Attack of the Killer Komodos, and The Legend of Greyhallow

Summer's book list on children’s books that let you step into another world

Summer Rachel Short Why did Summer love this book?

I have recommended this book to so many people over the years! I loved the unique setting—deep beneath the sewers of New York City—and the way Gregor travels to this world—through a chute in his apartment’s laundromat. 

My ten-year-old son and I both read this one and loved all the talking creatures and subterranean adventure—giant anthropomorphic rats, cockroaches, and bats you can ride! All those creepy crawlies might sound a little icky to some, but I loved how inventive and unexpected it all was. One of my favorite characters is a smart-mouthed, grumpy warrior rat named Ripred, who, deep down, has a soft side (plus a powerful love for stinky food).  

This was a hard book to put down. Nearly every chapter ends with a high-stakes, dangerous development. I just had to keep turning the pages to find out what would happen next. 

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Gregor the Overlander 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 first in a gripping young fantasy series from the
author of THE HUNGER GAMES.

When eleven-year-old Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry
room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland,
where spiders, rats and giant cockroaches coexist uneasily
with humans.

This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival
is no accident.

But Gregor wants no part of it - until he realizes it's
the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance.
Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure
that will change both him and the Underland forever.



Engrossing,…


Book cover of The Phantom Tollbooth

Tom Mitchell Author Of How to Stop the End of the World

From my list on classic kids’ adventure stories that may or may not feature a sword.

Why am I passionate about this?

Full disclosure: I don’t know much about swords. But as a children’s author and English teacher, I’ve learnt what makes kids want to pick up a book. In short, make it fun! My teenage membership in the Young Archaeologists Club sparked my love of history and archeology. It wasn’t quite as glamorous as Indiana Jones would have you believe, but the idea that hidden treasures might be lurking under our gardens has fascinated me ever since.

Tom's book list on classic kids’ adventure stories that may or may not feature a sword

Tom Mitchell Why did Tom love this book?

As much a book about language as anything else, its central message may be the need for a love of education, but don’t let that put you off. It’s full of wordplay, puns, and wonderful whimsy.

Take, for instance the ‘watchdog’ called ‘Tock’ who’s large, can speak, and has alarm clocks on each side of his body. You might call it ‘picaresque,’ you might call it ‘bonkers,’ but never ‘predictable’!

I don’t remember that it contains a sword.

By Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Phantom Tollbooth 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?

With almost 5 million copies sold 60 years after its original publication, generations of readers have now journeyed with Milo to the Lands Beyond in this beloved classic. Enriched by Jules Feiffer’s splendid illustrations, the wit, wisdom, and wordplay of Norton Juster’s offbeat fantasy are as beguiling as ever. 

“Comes up bright and new every time I read it . . . it will continue to charm and delight for a very long time yet. And teach us some wisdom, too.” --Phillip Pullman

For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only…


Book cover of The Bear and the Nightingale

Jelena Dunato Author Of Dark Woods, Deep Water

From my list on folklore and fairy-tale inspired fantasy for dark winter nights.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an art historian, curator, and speculative fiction writer from Croatia, and I’ve always been in love with folklore, mythology, and all things ancient. In my work, I always try to blend real historical details with magic, and I adore secondary worlds that are immersive and solid enough to walk into yet different from our own.

Jelena's book list on folklore and fairy-tale inspired fantasy for dark winter nights

Jelena Dunato Why did Jelena love this book?

This is a perfect wintry read for me: a book set in the dark, snow-laden forests filled with dangerous creatures who stepped right out of the Russian folk tales.

I love the main protagonist, Vasya, a brave, stubborn girl who fights to protect her family. I found the story immersive and unputdownable, filled with darkness and enchanting beauty, and I wholeheartedly recommend it, as well as its two sequels in the Winternight Trilogy.

By Katherine Arden,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Bear and the Nightingale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_____________________________
Beware the evil in the woods...

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.

But for the young, wild Vasya these are far more than just stories. She alone can see the house spirits that guard her home, and sense the growing forces of dark magic in the woods. . .

Atmospheric and enchanting,…


Brigitta of the White Forest

By Danika Dinsmore,

Book cover of Brigitta of the White Forest

Danika Dinsmore Author Of Brigitta of the White Forest

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Teacher Poet Tree whisperer Bird lover World builder

Danika's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

For those who enjoy fantasy adventure, the Faerie Tales from the White Forest series offers a new twist on the traditional faerie tales so loved by young readers.

From devastating curses to death-defying quests, Brigitta and her growing collective of misfit friends face greater and greater challenges when destiny calls upon them to “make the balance right again” after the Great World Cry has left their world in elemental chaos.

Brigitta of the White Forest

By Danika Dinsmore,

What is this book about?

Briggy, what happens when the Hourglass runs out?

Brigitta wished she had paid more attention to her Auntie Ferna's lessons. Being able to string a thunder-bug symphony wasn't going to help them now. She didn't know exactly what would happen when the Hourglass ran out, since no living faerie knew a time when the Hourglass didn't protect the forest . . . But even though she couldn't remember the details, she did know that without the Hourglass there would be no White Forest . . . A charming middle-grade fantasy series, "Faerie Tales from the White Forest" watches the journey…


Book cover of The Goose Girl

Bruce Coville Author Of Into the Land of the Unicorns

From my list on middle grade and YA fantasy series.

Why am I passionate about this?

Both as a writer and reader, I adore stories of fantasy and magic. The thing is, these stories have what I call a “price of admission,” which is the time and effort it takes to learn the world of the story in order to immerse yourself in it. That's one reason I am passionate about reading series books: they welcome me back to a world I already love and understand. Speaking as a writer, multiple volumes allow me to make the world I've created richer and deeper with each new book. A new book in a beloved series feels like catching up with an old friend, whether you're reading or writing.

Bruce's book list on middle grade and YA fantasy series

Bruce Coville Why did Bruce love this book?

There is a special kind of joy in seeing a new talent burst onto the scene with a brilliant debut, and that was what I felt when I found Shannon Hale's gorgeous take on this old tale, one first collected by the Brothers Grimm.

Though I knew the bones of the story, I was completely drawn into the complex world that Shannon created from such sparse material and awash with admiration for how she made it all her own. There are three more entries in The Books of Bayern, and each is an absolute gem.

By Shannon Hale,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Goose Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

In this beloved first book in the Books of Bayern, from New York Times bestselling author Shannon Hale, Princess Ani must become a goose girl before she can become queen.

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life listening to her aunt's stories and learning the language of the birds, especially the swans. As she grows up, Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but she never feels quite comfortable speaking with people.

So when Ani's mother sends her away to be married in a foreign land, she finds herself at the mercy of…


Book cover of The Ruins of Gorlan

Jaysyn NyCole Author Of A Traitor’s Heart: The Lands of Ala’Mar Saga

From my list on epic fantasy with medieval tones and magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed the idea of knights and dragons, kings and queens, marvelous creatures and magicks. After reading blossomed within me, I read book after book and found that the fantasy world was more than just a fancy—it was home. For over 30 years, I’ve enjoyed the good with the bad and everything in between. My imagination flourishes every time I open the pages and a new journey begins. For this reason, I delved into the realm of writing in hopes that I, too, might share an adventure that readers will find themselves lost in.

Jaysyn's book list on epic fantasy with medieval tones and magic

Jaysyn NyCole Why did Jaysyn love this book?

The Ruins of Gorlan for me was a reminder that you never let anyone tell you, “you can’t”.

Will was a misfit, an orphan. He was too small for battle school and becoming a knight, not adept at being a diplomat, a scholar, nor even a cook. He had no idea what would become of him. It was a fear that permeates down deep. I remember how I felt when I couldn’t go into the army, was unable to go to Devry, and I didn’t want the ordinary.

For Will, it all changes and his fantastic journey begins as he’s chosen to be the ranger’s apprentice. And I cheered inside. I knew it. He didn’t give up. We didn’t give up. And found what our skills were best suited for.

By John Flanagan,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Ruins of Gorlan 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?

The Ruins of Gorlan is the first thrilling book in John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series - over eight million sold worldwide.

They have always scared him in the past - the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practise magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice.

What he doesn't yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles…


Book cover of The Graveyard Book

Bryan L. Young Author Of A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination

From my list on morbidly curious kids and their adults.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a nerd for the morbid for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I tore through all the books on the shelves in my house, whether they were appropriate for my age group or not. I started tearing into Stephen King books at 8 or so. I remember vividly copying language out of Christine when I was about 10 on the playground and getting in a lot of trouble for it. But I turned out okay. I really do believe that kids have a fascination for things above their age range, and adults enjoy it, too, and I still love all of these.

Bryan's book list on morbidly curious kids and their adults

Bryan L. Young Why did Bryan love this book?

This book opened in a graveyard and never let me go from there.

It’s not the sort of book I expected to like, let alone be wowed by or to be pleasing to a kid, but it works so well. Neil Gaiman’s writing is almost never stronger than it is here and every page kept me hooked to the point where I just wanted to keep reading, page after page.

By Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked The Graveyard Book 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?

When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing his entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?


Book cover of The Golden Compass

Johnny B. Truant Author Of The Dream Engine

From my list on YA books that do not insult our intelligence.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a healthy dose of skepticism, having been a scientist before I was an author. I look for the con when something’s too good to be true, even in fiction…so don’t insult me by saying, “a magic amulet that makes everyone nice all the time.” If you want me to believe in pixie dust, tell me what’s in place to keep pixie dust smugglers from rigging the system. I raised smart, critical-minded kids, so I always pointed them to my own favorite young-audience books: those that felt real, even if they were fantastical, instead of ones with the more common “just trust me” attitude. 

Johnny's book list on YA books that do not insult our intelligence

Johnny B. Truant Why did Johnny love this book?

I love how Lyra’s world is so different from ours, yet doesn’t require a huge leap of faith to believe. The science-like attention to detail somehow makes it sensible. Are there talking polar bears who shape metal with their paws and claws? Yes. Are my objections to that bizarre idea addressed so well that I accept it as normal? Also yes. 

The amount of thought put into the world makes the unreal feel very real, in other words. Yes, there are subtle magical forces, witches, and humans tethered to literal spirit animals…but scientists have studied and invented machines to work with all of it the same way we work with forces in our own world that we don’t understand. This series respects its readers' intelligence, regardless of age.

By Philip Pullman,

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked The Golden Compass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The first volume in Philip Pullman's groundbreaking
HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy, now a thrilling, critically
acclaimed BBC/HBO television series. First published
in 1995, and acclaimed as a modern masterpiece, this first
book in the series won the UK's top awards for children's literature.

"Without this child, we shall all
die."

Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live
half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford.

The destiny that awaits her will take her to the frozen lands
of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight.

Her extraordinary journey will have immeasurable consequences
far beyond her own world...



This…


Book cover of Edgeland

Mark Cheverton Author Of Gameknight999 in Adopt Me meets Jailbreak

From my list on exciting middle-grade adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing middle-grade action/adventure novels since 2007. My first four books were fairly terrible, but I continued to write and learn the craft until I saw success in 2014 with my Minecraft-inspired novels. Throughout my entire writing career, I have read other middle-grade novels, many of them I loved and some of them I hated. I probably read 10 novels a year since I started writing (my bookcase in the basement is getting kinda full), and I’ve come to realize that there are some books that stand out far above the rest. I’m still writing, and of course, still reading, but I continue to read this genre that I love so much.

Mark's book list on exciting middle-grade adventures

Mark Cheverton Why did Mark love this book?

I found Edgeland after hearing an interview with the authors. Their book sounded so incredibly creative that I had to pick up a copy. The story is about an orphan, Wren, banished from the House of Aron and left to live on the streets. Wren struggles to find safety and security while her friend, Alec, both age 12, has risen from apprentice to a high-ranking position within House Aron. The comparison of their lives are in stark contrast from Alec living with safety and security, to Wren seeking to find her place with the banished and forgotten. But the really interesting thing about Edgeland is the Drain.

It is a large, circular waterfall where the dead are sent in hopes of an afterlife. The story starts to accelerate at a fever pitch when Wren and Alec end up going over the edge of the Drain. They will uncover secrets about…

By Jake Halpern, Peter Kujawinski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Edgeland 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?

The companion novel to the New York Times bestselling NIGHTFALL

Thousands of miles due south from the Polar North is is the island of Edgeland. Here, day and night last for 72 hours. And here is one of the natural wonders of this world: a whirlpool thirty miles wide and a hundred miles around. This is the Drain. Anything sucked into its frothing, turbulent waters is never seen again.

Wren has spent most of her life on Edgeland, watching people bring their dead to the island's famous bone houses to be blessed and prepared for the afterlife. There the dead…


Book cover of The Hobbit

JMD Reid Author Of A Spark in the Night

From my list on fall in love with fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been a reader. In my childhood, I read Hardy Boys novels by the bucketload. I loved scholastic book fairs, pouring over the lists to find new books to read. Then my uncle gave me The Hobbit followed by giving me a hardback set of Lord of the Rings for Christmas of the 6th Grade. After that, my mother gave me Pawn of Prophecy, which cemented my love of the genre. I write fantasy because of all the books I listed. Each one led me down a path that ended with me publishing my first novel.

JMD's book list on fall in love with fantasy

JMD Reid Why did JMD love this book?

This is the first pure fantasy book I had ever read. In the summer break between my 4th and 5th Grade, while my Mom, little brother, and I were visiting my grandparents in California, I was at the pool. I loved going to the pool and swimming, but this day, my Uncle Dave lent me a battered paperback of his favorite book. Instead of swimming, I was reading this amazing story. And while it was a few more years before I was able to tackle The Lord of the Rings, this was the beginning of my love for fantasy.

The Hobbit is a fun adventure. Some danger. Some whimsy. Tragic death. I could not put this book down.

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

45 authors picked The Hobbit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Special collector's film tie-in hardback of the best-selling classic, featuring the complete story with a sumptuous cover design inspired by THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and brand new reproductions of all the drawings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End.

But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey 'there and back again'. They have a plot to raid…


Book cover of Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch

Kayla E. Green Author Of Aivan: The One Truth

From my list on clean fantasy books featuring animal companions.

Why am I passionate about this?

Throughout my childhood, my mother repeated the mantra, “Love your own, leave others alone.” Her purpose was to prevent me and my siblings from begging to keep every animal we saw. Arguably, the phrase had some impact because we obviously didn’t bring home every animal. (But we also adopted a opossum from the backyard and named him Mr. Jenkins, so you be the judge.) For as long as I can remember, I have loved finding fantasy adventure books that feature the animals I love so much as trusted companions. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I do!

Kayla's book list on clean fantasy books featuring animal companions

Kayla E. Green Why did Kayla love this book?

Another middle grade fantasy, Eva Evergreen: Semi-Magical Witch, follows a young girl trying to prove herself even with a lack of magical ability.

Though away from her parents, Eva’s not alone. Her trusty companion throughout her journey to help the residents of Auteri and earn her title never leaves her side. And, what’s more, is her animal companion is one I hadn’t seen before reading this book—it's a flamefox.

The flamefox, better known as Ember, loves food but loves her person, Eva, more—something that will resonate with people who love pets (and people who just love, well, love)!  

By Julie Abe,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch 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?

Sometimes all you need is a pinch of magic...

Eva Evergreen is determined to earn the rank of Adept Witch before she turns thirteen years old. If she doesn't, she'll lose her magic forever. For most young witches and wizards, it's a simple enough test:

ONE: Help your town, do good all around.
TWO: Live there for one moon, don't leave too soon.
THREE: Fly home by broomstick, the easiest of tricks.

The only problem? Eva only has a pinch of magic. She summons heads of cabbage instead of flowers and gets a sunburn instead of calling down rain. And…


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