The Harry Potter series, originally written as children’s fiction, is adored by millions of children, teens and adults around the world. Long-time fans are constantly searching for other fantasy books that can provide them with similar adventures and characters to love. Following the Harry Potter precedent, other children’s and teens’ books have recently become popular with adult audiences as well. If you’re among the millions who enjoy these, you may notice that the market has been inundated with so many similar books that it’s hard to decide what to read next. To solve this problem, here’s a list of book recommendations grouped by the popular books they most resemble in genre, style, and themes. If you’ve been asking yourself “I wonder, what should I read next?” try some of these well-written, highly recommended books.
What to read after the Harry Potter books:
Rowling’s perennially popular books can be a hard act to follow, but these book suggestions make a valiant effort. They all incorporate similar themes, such as likable protagonists and magical situations. Try them all to solve your “what book should I read next” dilemma.
- Howl’s Moving Castle: The first book in one of Diana Wynne Jones’s most famous series is sure to delight with its mix of adventure, magic, whimsy, and mixed-up romance. Written for ages 12 and up.
- Sabriel: A tough-as-nails heroine wields magical bells that can wake the dead. With the help of a powerfully evil magical being bound to the shape of a sarcastic white cat, she must use her unfamiliar magic to save her father and the world from the threatening forces of darkness. This first book in Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series is suitable for teens and adults.
- The Last Dragonslayer: Starting with an alternate universe in which magic is a force field that’s running out, Jasper Fforde (one of Britain’s funniest authors) creates a masterful story suitable for children, teens, and adults. He delivers not only adventure, excitement, magical shenanigans, and interesting characters, but also preposterous situations and laugh-out-loud satire. Don’t miss the rest of the series, which so far includes The Song of the Quarkbeast and The Eye of Zoltar.
What to read after the Hunger Games books:
It’s hard to find books that compare to The Hunger Games because its basic premise is such a cleverly unique one that it’s hard to find something with a similar setup. Some of these book suggestions match it as closely as possible, while others are more general suggestions in the realm of Teen Dystopian Fiction.
- Fire & Flood: This story has several similar elements. The main character is a girl who’s trying to save her brother’s life by competing in an epic survival “game” of seemingly no purpose, the reward for which is a cure-all treatment. It’s a compelling tale, and while Victoria Scott may have been inspired by The Hunger Games, she does manage to create her own distinct world for this book.
- Delirium: A dystopian novel with similar themes including teens struggling to survive despite the efforts of seemingly all-powerful enemies, Lauren Oliver’s novel has one intriguingly unique premise: in this world, love is considered a disease. The protagonist’s journey to a more accurate understanding of love is an enlightening but risky one.
- The Thin Executioner: You’ve never read a book quite like this. Wilderness survival and a fair bit of violence are themes it has in common with Hunger Games… but tomb robbing, crazy cults, brushes with the god of Death, and a self-sacrificing slave are thrown in for free! Darren Shan’s exciting novel is suitable for teens and adults.
What to read after the Series of Unfortunate Events books:
If you’ve just finished The End, you may be asking yourself “What should I read next that’s just as funny but not quite so depressing?” Lemony Snicket’s dark humor, while gaining scores of millions of fans worldwide, ushered in a wave of dark Victorian humor and mock-Gothic books for children. These book recommendations are selected from the best available.
- The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (series): A sixteen-year-old governess and her three charges (who were, unfortunately, raised by wolves and tend to end words with “Awooooooo!”) try to solve the mysteries involving their origins and end up having a lot of quirky shenanigans. Maryrose Wood’s popular series for children and teens contains five books so far (the fifth comes out this year) and has no end in sight.
- Deadweather and Sunrise: Egbert lives on Deadweather Island, where an ancient treasure may or may not be hidden. Millicent, the beautiful and over-cocky girl whose father runs Sunrise Island, may or may not like him. He may or may not get captured by pirates two or three times. His violent family may or may not be dead now (but we really hope they are). The first in Geoff Rodkey’s series, this book is suitable for ages 10 and up.
- The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place: What do you do when your headmistress unexpectedly drops dead one Sunday afternoon? In order to escape being sent home from their now-unsupervised boarding school, the students of Saint Etheldra’s School for Girls come up with a preposterous plan to impersonate their late governess and try to carry on with life as usual. With droll wit and snappy dialogue, author Julie Berry skillfully builds tension throughout the book all the way to the climactic denouement.
What to read after the Twilight books:
The phenomenon of Twilight (so widespread that big name brands were inspired to seek exposure in the movies), is an inexplicable mix of blatant romance, an overdose of the paranormal, and a swirl of teenage emotions. The books below all have something in common; they have similar story themes, and each offers its own individual perspective on the paranormal.
- Hemlock: Part paranormal and part dystopian, this book’s premise is that Werewolfism is a disease. And the futuristic government will do anything to keep it in check. Kathleen Peacock’s engaging first novel promises to become a worthy YA series.
- Cruel Beauty: This book by first-time author Rosamund Hodge keeps you guessing all the way to the end. A tightly drawn plot, an improbable romance (or maybe two depending on how you count), high stakes, and soul-sucking demons all make this YA book very hard to put down.
- Companions of the Night: Another perspective on vampire romance, this children’s book by Vivian Vande Velde features young love and believably portrays the struggle of learning to trust a vampire.
- The Golem and the Jinni: Part fantasy and part paranormal, this book showcases an unusual protagonist: a golem, constructed of nonliving materials and brought to life solely by a spell. Misused magic, rakish behavior, mind reading, and a fearsome villain all play their parts in Helene Wecker’s 512-page novel. (Adult situations present.)
What to read after Ender’s Game:
The Ender’s Game series, one of Orson Scott Card’s first successes, has been followed more recently by his new Pathfinder series. Pathfinder will appeal to many of the same readers who enjoyed Ender’s Game; but if you’re looking for similar works by different authors, try one of these suggestions.
- Only You Can Save Mankind: One of Terry Pratchett’s relatively few books for children and teens, this engaging and hilarious novel presents a dilemma: What do you do when the aliens you’re shooting at in the video game won’t shoot back? Are aliens allowed to surrender?
- Insignia: In this futuristic story by S. J. Kincaid, a teenager, chosen for his video gaming skills, is offered a position flying remotely controlled spaceships in the cosmic battle of World War III. He joins a band of other teens in a top-secret government facility.
As with Orson Scott Card, many of your favorite authors may have written multiple series you’ll enjoy; some may even have written books you haven’t found yet because they’re in different genres. Make sure you do your research, though, because some authors who write in multiple genres are much more talented in one area than in another, so you might not enjoy everything they write. For more help with book recommendations you may want to take a “What should I read next” quiz or do a search, such as this British one, that will recommend a book to read based on the last one you read. And if your friends ask you “what should I read next?” make sure to refer them to this list.
You could also know more about some books which might be helpful for your kids on Books for kids.
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