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Post-Harry Potter Blues? 11 Book Series to Check Out

Post-Harry Potter Blues? 11 Book Series to Check Out
Barb Szyszkiewicz

Post-Harry Potter blues got you down? We understand. When you've read all the Harry Potter books there are to read but are still hungry for more, there's no need to pester J.K. Rowling to add more books to the series. Instead, fans of the young wizard and his magically-gifted schoolmates will find plenty of novels and series that will enchant them. We've compiled a list of these novels and series that will satisfy even the most loyal Harry Potter fans!

J.K. Rowling of Germany

Cornelia Funke has been nicknamed the "J.K. Rowling of Germany."  Her novels will appeal to students in grades 5 through 8, and feature dragon clans, people who can bring fictional characters to life, and a magical merry-go-round.  Reckless, her newest novel, is best for ages 12 and up; this tale pits two brothers against a dark fairy and other mythical creatures.

Eragon's teenage author, Christopher Paolini, has also been compared to Rowling.  The fourth and final novel in the Inheritance Cycle will be published in November 2011.  The adventure begins when a 15-year-old boy finds a stone that turns out to be a dragon egg and learns that he will play a part in an upcoming war involving dwarves, elves and magical creatures.

Pig-Keeper Turned Grand Hero

Epic adventures abound in Lloyd Alexander's tales, written for readers age 12 and up.  Start with his 5-novel Chronicles of Prydain series, detailing the adventures of a humble Assistant Pig-Keeper who dreams of becoming a grand hero.  Inspired by Welsh mythology, the series is set in the ancient magical land of Prydain, which is engaged in battle with the neighboring Land of Death.  To read the series in order, begin with The Book of Three.

The seven-book Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan begins with The Lightning Thief.   The twelve-year-old main character encounters mythical creatures and learns of his own unusual powers as he begins a quest to retrieve Zeus' lightning bolt.  Readers in grades 5 and up will be captivated by these stories.

Not Even Children Are Safe

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins combines ideas from Greek mythology, reality-TV shows and news coverage of war.   In these books, the Hunger Games are an annual televised event where the powerful government, known as the Capitol, chooses one boy and one girl from each district to fight to the death. The games exist to demonstrate not even children are beyond the reach of the Capitol's power.  These books are best for teens.

Talking Photographs

Younger readers (ages 10 to 14) will enjoy the story of Charlie Bone, who lives an ordinary life until, at age 10, he starts hearing the people in photographs speaking.  Jenny Nimmo's Children of the Red King series includes six books to date, beginning with Midnight for Charlie Bone.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis can be enjoyed by readers over age 9.  The fictional world of Narnia is discovered by a young child who finds its secret entrance in the closet of a home she's visiting.  This series, set in World War II-era England, begins with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Got a Dark Side? Read on

In Artemis Fowl by Irish author Eoin Colfer,  a 12-year-old criminal mastermind captures a fairy and demands a ransom in gold. Yes, there are fairies, but these novels aren't designed just for girls.  The eighth and final novel in the series will be released in 2012.

Older teens will enjoy The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.  Four of the six books in this series are already in print; the final one will be released in 2013.  In these novels, the teenage protagonists, the Shadowhunters, fight to drive demons out of the world.

Spin a Tale

Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black's Spiderwick Chronicles series will enthrall readers in grades 3 through 6.  Set in Maine, the series opens when nine-year-old twins discover a secret library hidden in the house.  One of the books is a faery guidebook that leads them into the sinister world where one of their ancestors disappeared nearly a century ago.

Brandon Mull's Fablehaven series is better for older tweens and teens, as the action gets more intense with each book.  Fablehaven is a secret nature preserve that is inhabited by both mortal and magical creatures.  The protagonists' challenges include defeating a demon and fighting an evil witch.

Read it on the Cheap

As not all of these books are newly-published, you may find them discounted in used bookstores, or boxed sets at low prices.  Remainder hardback editions of books that are now in paperback are often found in the bargain bin of bookstores and online booksellers.  For even better savings, visit our Book Coupons page to find great deals on your favorite summertime reads.

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