Fantasy books for a nine-year old boy

Here are some great fantasy books that a nine year old boy might well enjoy!

For those in need of books for their own nine year old who's burned through Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, and needs more, here are some sure-fire winners.  I've organized them roughly in reading level, from Dragonbreath, which is fine for seven year olds, to Runemarks, labeled 12 and up on Amazon.  As an added bonus, many of them have heroines--it's my experience that boys don't need, want, or expect to read about boys!

The Dragonbreath books, by Ursula Vernon.  The easy to read adventures of a young dragon and his reptilian pals, with lots of illustrations that verge on graphic novel-ness, funny as all get out, and in general just utterly top-notch.

The Nathaniel Flood, Beastologist series, by R. L. LaFevers, beginning with book 1, The Flight of the Phoenix.  This is the story of a plucky lad and his gremlin friend travelling the world to come to the aid of mythical creatures. Easy, but substantial, reading, full of humor and mystery.

Odd and the Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman, is the best Norse mythology fantasy for young readers that I know of.  A magical wintery tale, in which a young boy must save transformed Norse gods from a giant who's conquered Valhalla.

Wings of Fire: the Dragonet Prophecy, by Tui T. Sutherland, exudes kid appeal--it's one of the most popular books in my son's fourth grade. Five young dragons must find their destiny and survive the dangers in their path.

Keeper of the Lost Cities, by Shannon Messenger, isn't one for the adult reader (I found it somewhat derivative, and full of rather unsubstantial description).  But for the kid who desperatly wants to be an elf with tremendous magical powers, this is utterly satisfying wish-fulfillment.  My own son read it cover to cover, and appreciated the fact that there was no big bad guy involved in the plot.  He also liked the magical pet very much.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin.  A Chinese fairy tale-filled story, with gorgeous illustrations, about a girl and a dragon and a talking fish on a mission to bring happiness to her family.   It might not seem like one "for boys," but both of mine love it.

Tuesdays at the Castle, by Jessica Day George.  Best Fantasy Castle Ever.  Brave girl who saves the day.  Fun for all ages.  (This was the book my son did his first 4th grade report on--he spent ages drawing the transformation of the stuffed animal into a griffin in four steps, only to be told by his teacher he needed to use color, which then ruined everything.  Sigh.)

Runemarks, by Joanne Harris, is another with Norse Mythology.  Full of tremendously interesting magic, with an appealing heroine who has a Destiny, this is one that I've always thought deserved more attention.

And here are the books I'll be offering my own nine-year old son in the coming year, all books I've read that I think he'll enjoy:  Raider's Ransom, by Emily Diamand, Mistress of the Storm, by M. L. Welsh,  The Shadows, by Jacqueline West, Troll Fell, by Katherine Langrish, and Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor...and so many others, as well whatever else takes his fancy from my review pile!  It's so nice to have another inveterate reader of middle grade fantasy around to share the pleasure of book opening with!


  1. Thanks for emphasizing that boys don't need, want, or expect only male heroes. My son and daughter, ten-years old now, have both enjoyed reading books with boys, girls, and combos as lead characters. It's a point that bears frequent repeating because there's still this pervasive myth among publishers, librarians, teachers, and parents, that boys can or will read only "boy books." That attitude isn't doing children any service.
    Some other suggestions for your 9-year-old:
    The Strictest School in the World (Howard Whitehouse)
    The Facttracker (Jason Carter Eaton)
    The Robe of Skulls (Vivian French)

    1. I've never heard of the first two--thanks for those! And yest, the Vivian French series is a good one too! I must try those on him!

  2. Love, love, love this list! The boy I babysit is turning 10 in Feb. and he also devours fantasy. He loved Percy Jackson, he's reading the first Dragonbreath right now (added bonus, he's kinda a reptile nut, so perfect!), and I'm getting him Wings of Fire for Christmas. I will definitely check out the other books on this list when he needs more to read.
    He also LOVES the Beast Quest books. They're a little easy for him, but he enjoys them. Also, he just finished The Hobbit (been working on that one for awhile now) and just started in on LoTR. :)

    1. We are awfully excited for the Hobbit movie in these parts...

      And I hope he enjoys Wings of Fire!

  3. This is a great list! So far my 8 1/2 year old and I have started the Dragonbreath series and have read Flight of the Phoenix together. We have Odd and the Frost Giants too so I guess that should be next! I can't wait to read with him through the years.

    1. I myself love Odd to pieces...I hope it works for you two!

  4. Great list! Also, thank you for your suggestions on my Top Ten Tuesday post a while back about books for a 7-year-old. The Dragonsbreath books were already on his favorite list!

    Speaking of Runemarks, I should really reread that one and do a Retro Friday post. LOVE that book.

    1. Did you know there's a sequel? I might have to quickly add it to my son's Christmas list....

  5. Yay! Thank you! Ironically, my son is familiar with the more advanced books from this list (we liked Runemarks, and loved Odd and the Frost Giants and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), but from audio. Soon, soon, I hope, he'll be reading independently and ready for something like Dragonbreath.


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