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Magic stories

Where magical abilities exist and are used


Artemis Fowl

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Fairly Positive

Artemis Fowl, a 12-year-old criminal mastermind, comes from a long line of rich Irish criminals; however in recent years his father, now missing and presumed dead, managed to squander a substantial amount of the family's fortune and drag the name Fowl into disrepute.

Enjoyably different take on the world of Fairies; the 12-year-old main character's amorality in achieving his ends

Adventure, Friendship, Humorous, Magic

Artemis Fowl - The Arctic Incident

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Artemis Fowl wants to find his father, held hostage in Russia; Holly Short wants to find who's supplying the goblins with human technology; Foaly wants to find out who's disabled all the LEP Technology and pointed the finger at him.

Adventure, Friendship, Humorous, Magic

Artemis Fowl - The Eternity Code

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

The C-Cube, built by Artemis Fowl partly from Fairy technology, and therefore capable of breaching the Underworld's defences, is stolen by a shady American businessman who will do anything to obtain power.

Artemis' growing sense of responsibility to his family and to his employee, Butler. Holly's friendship for Artemis & Butler leading her to risk her job for them.

Adventure, Friendship, Humorous, Magic

Artemis Fowl - The Opal Deception

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Artemis Fowl steals the world's most sought-after painting, but becomes entangled in a revenge bid by Opal Koboi against those who thwarted her previously.

Adventure with a little agonising by Artemis over the direction he should take.

Adventure, Friendship, Humorous, Magic

Arthur - The Seeing Stone

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Fairly Positive

12-year-old Arthur de Caldicot is the younger son of a lesser landowner in the Welsh Marches at the turn of the 13th century.

Firmly-rooted and very human take on 13th century life in England, mixed in with the story of the mythical Arthur. Simple, if sometimes superstitious, faith.

Arthurian, Friendship, Growing-Up, Historical, Magic

Beyond the Deepwoods

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

The Edge is the land that borders on the emptiness beyond.

While most fantasy introduces the unusual, this book borders on strange. The myriad of bizarre characters would be bearable if they actually took the story somewhere, but by the end you feel like you’ve been bounced and splattered and sloshed all over the place only to reach an unsatisfactory conclusion. The only underlying (and over-emphasised) “value” is that the main character does the unthinkable… he strays from the path.

Adventure, Fantasy, Magic

The Boggart and the Monster

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The Boggart of Loch Ness is woken up when the Boggart of Castle Keep comes by.

Friendship, Magic

The Boggart

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

A Boggart is a creature of the Wild Magic, a kind of house-elf, but which delights in mild mischief without a sense of responsibility.

Friendship, Magic

The Box of Delights

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Kay Harker comes home for the Christmas holidays and finds himself helping Cole Hawlings, a slightly unusual Punch and Judy showman, to keep his Box of Delights from falling into the hands of the Wolves, led by Abner Brown.

A magical and exhilarating scramble, full of innocent enjoyment, adventure and friendship.

Classic, Humorous, Magic

The Chamber of Secrets

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

At the start of the school term at Hogwarts, several people are attacked and turned to stone and Harry is suspected of being the heir of Slytherin, responsible for reopening the Chamber of Secrets in which a monster is known to dwell.

Entertaining schoolboy adventure with magic elements and some rulebreaking.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic, School

The Changeover

Style: Weak

Attitude: Take Care

Laura, a 14-year-old New Zealander, turns to prefect Sorenson Carlisle - a witch - when her brother is possessed.

Magic

Charlotte Sometimes

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Charlotte goes to sleep in a boarding school and wakes up to find herself in the same place in 1918, and mistaken for Clare who has taken her place 40 years in the future.

Gentle time-shift story put across thoughtfully in terms of the relations between Emily and Charlotte and the acceptance by Charlotte and Clare of their situation, less disturbing than it might have been, since they are both new to boarding school life.

Classic, Magic, School

The Children of Green Knowe

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Tolly, a shy 8-year-old, goes to visit his great-grandmother at her house, Green Knowe, and discovers that there are other children playing there.

Classic, Magic

The Chimneys of Green Knowe

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Granny Oldknow is making patchwork quilts out of materials from the inhabitants of GK in the 19th century: blind Susan, Jacob her black servant, Sefton, Caxton, Maria, Captain Oldknow and the Grandmother.

Classic, Magic

The Chronicles of Narnia

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Eight children witness the history of the world of Narnia, from its creation out of inchoate blackness to the extinction of its stars and the return of darkness.

Simple adventure stories, with a clear Christian basis. Heroic valour and virtue among straightforward characters who must each face individual challenges, overcome their own shortcomings, and decide where they place their trust.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

The Clockwork Three

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Three youngsters become involved in each others’ affairs by accident and help each other out in their overlapping problems.

Simple adventure story with slight touches of the supernatural: an apparently serious séance; a clockwork man animated by Golem clay. Supportive friendship between three youngsters. Violent behaviour from a cruel Fagin-like character and others. Positive, if generic, representation of a Christian pastor. Genuine respect and affection between an elderly master and his young apprentice. Some theft by young people.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic

The Dark is Rising

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care → Positive

Will Stanton, seventh son of a seventh son, wakes on his 11th birthday to discover that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to aid The Light in protecting the world we live in against The Dark.

A boy coming to terms with new-found powers and responsibilities; family life; love for music

Growing-Up, Magic

The Edge of the World

Style: Poor

Attitude: Positive

A couple of youngsters find that they can step sideways into a parallel world which equates geographically to their own, but is barren.

Magic

An Enemy at Green Knowe

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Ping and Tolly are both staying at Green Knowe when the dislikeable Dr Melanie Powers comes, looking for books of magic left behind by the 16th-century Dr Vogel.

Classic, Magic

The Fire Within

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

David, a student, takes lodgings in the Pennykettle household, looked after by Liz, mother of 10-year-old Lucy.

Lightweight and quirky style. Slightly odd family situation. Easy acceptance of an outsider.

Animal, Humorous, Magic

Five Children and It

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Cyril, Robert, Anthea, Jane and their baby brother find a Psammead (a sand fairy) in a gravel pit and it promises them one wish a day, whose effects will vanish at sunset.

Historical, Magic

The Ghost of Thomas Kempe

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

James Harrison's family have recently moved into a cottage in a village.

Magic

The Goblet of Fire

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Harry Potter enteres his 4th, eventuful, year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic, School

Greenwitch

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

The Trewissick grail, found in [Over Sea, Under Stone] has been stolen.

Adventure, Arthurian, Magic

The Grey King

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Will Stanton has a bout of hepatitis and is sent to Wales to recuperate.

Atmospheric story, merging everyday and magical worlds; everyday friendships amidst mysterious events

Arthurian, Magic

The Half-Blood Prince

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Back at school now the Ministry has acknowledged Voldemort's return, Harry has to cope with Dumbledore's extra lessons for him, Ron's impetuous and public relationship with Lavender and Hermione's response, while preparing himself for the battle he knows must inevitably occur between himself and The Dark Lord.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic, School

A Handful of Magic

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

In a parallel Victorian London, Kit Stixby is the magic-wielding son of the official Witch Doctor to Queen Victoria, while Kit is the best friend of the Queen's son Henry.

Imaginative and engaging children's adventure set in an alternative Victorian London. Mild magical aspects.

Adventure, Fantasy, Magic

The "Harry Potter" Series

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Harry Potter is orphaned at the age of one, his parents killed by the powerful dark wizard Lord Voldemort whose spell unaccountably rebounds off the baby Harry, leaving his attacker helpless and half-dead.

Appealing adventure stories set in a world where evil is gaining the upper hand. Some magical elements. Simple presentation of good and evil. Mostly virtuous leading characters, but some aspects are less praiseworthy. Mostly delicate relationships between the sexes. Established atmosphere of friendship and respect among the nonetheless realistic characters.

Adventure, Friendship, Growing-Up, Magic, School

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

The Prussian bombardment of London at the end of the 19th century left it demoralised and easy prey to demons of various sorts, known as wych-kind, leading certain men and women to become wych-hunters.

Fantasy, Magic

The Haunting

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

8-year-old Barney Palmer is aware that he is being haunted by a small boy, whom he suspects to be the ghost of his great-uncle Cole, supposedly dead these 50 years, and special friend of his great-uncle Barnaby who has just died.

Family, Magic

The Horse and His Boy

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Shasta, a Narnian living among Calormenes, escapes on Bree, a Narnian horse.

Criticised for its black-and-white portrayal of the Narnians and Calormenes. Straightforward adventure journey tale demonstrating overcoming prejudice and pride, pushing oneself to ones limits to help friends, and trusting even when you can't see the outcome.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

Johnny and the Dead

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Johnny Maxwell can see the dead people in the graveyard who are like normal people, but dead.

Humorous, Magic

The Last Battle

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Tirian is king of Narnia in a time of peace when a plot involving the Calormenes and a false Aslan threaten the country.

Night falls on Narnia. Good and bad in creatures are not as obvious to us as might be expected. The need to stand and fight for what you see is right. Different Gods. Life in glory after death.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

The Pevensie children find a mysterious winterbound land when they step through a wardrobe in a forgotten room of the house they're evacuated to.

First-written and most famous of the Narnia stories, whimsical, moving, human and ultimately Christian without that detracting from its readability.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

The Magician's House Quartet

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

This is a series of four books, written intentionally as a series.

Animal, Magic

The Magician's Nephew

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Polly and Digory are tricked into travelling by Uncle Andrew's magic rings to other worlds.

A highly-readable fantasy story relating to Christian beliefs, especially about creation. Faintly avuncular in style. Magical elements.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

The Night-Watchmen

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Henry has been ill and wanders around the town while convalescing until he meets two unusual tramps: Josh and Caleb.

Magic

The Order of the Phoenix

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

As his fifth year at Hogwarts fast approaches, Harry Potter the young wizard is certainly in adolescence, with mood swings and outbursts of rage.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic, School

The Owl Service

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Three teenagers, a visting step-brother and sister and a local lad, find a dinner service decorated with a design which can be seen as owls or as flowers.

Magic, Spooky

The Philosopher's Stone

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Harry Potter is an eleven-year-old orphan living with his uncle and aunt Mr & Mrs Dursley and his cousin Dudley.

A school tale with magical embellishments; the friendship between the main characters.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic, School

Prince Caspian

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

The Pevensies return to Narnia to discover that 1,000 years have passed and that they are the stuff of legends, as are the talking animals of Narnia and Aslan himself.

Conventional adventure story with young heroes and natural forces overcoming adult humans who are clearly in the wrong.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

The Prisoner of Azkaban

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The whole wizard world is on the alert after Sirius Black escapes from Azkaban, the wizard prison.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic, School

Pure Dead Brilliant

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Baci has invited her fellow classmates from the Institute of Advanced Witchcraft to stay, unaware that one of them is a demon from the Hadean Executive, after the legendary Chronostone.

Family, Humorous, Magic

Pure Dead Magic

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Luciano Strega-Borgia has gone missing after storming out of the castle, and his wife has to go on a training course for witches, so she engages a Nanny who sidesteps the younger Strega-Borgia's attempts to repel her and takes on the running of the house, which soon becomes a complicated business.

Family, Humorous, Magic

The "Pure Dead" Series

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

The general plot lines involve various or all of the family members finding themselves in self-imposed scrapes and trying to get out: Titus creates too many mini clones, Damp sends the family's pet rats off by email, the house roof falls in, Luciano is kidnapped by the mafia when he walks out after a row, Ffup finds herself giving birth to the Loch Ness Monster's baby, etc.

Fun; Close family; Some earthy humour

Family, Humorous, Magic

Pure Dead Wicked

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

The roof of Stregaschloss has collapsed, and the Strega-Borgias are forced to live in the local hotel while their house is being repaired.

Family, Humorous, Magic

The Scent of Magic

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Rachel and Eric are just learning to control the powers they discovered on Ithrea when a party of High Witches arrives on Earth to avenge the death of Dragweena.

Fantasy, Magic

Shadowmancer

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Parson Demurral is using the power of the Keruvim to bring him the power he wants; Raphah, helped by Thomas and Kate, has to recover the Keruvim and stop Demurral before he ends the Time of Captivity and lets loose the fallen Seruvim.

Adventure, Fantasy, Historical, Magic

The Ship That Flew

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Peter buys a model ship and discovers it to be magical, having the power to grow and shrink and to travel to distant places and times.

Magic

The Silver Chair

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Eustace returns with Jill to Narnia where they must travel across little-explored areas of the land to find a prince lost for years.

A Quest tale, taking Eustace and Jill through hardships, trials of friendship and faith in their guide, and near-despair as they have to rescue a lost prince from his captor, a witch. Death as a return to life.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

Silver on the Tree

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Will, Bran and the Drews are gathered in Wales for the final part of the quest begun with the finding of the grail in Trewissick.

Awkward storyline; some nice set pieces; Good & Evil as two opposing forces

Arthurian, Magic

Spellfall

Style: Weak

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Natalie, kidnapped by Hawk, a low-class wizard who wants her to be the thirteenth member of his spellclave, escapes with his son Merlin, and finds her way to Earthaven.

Slight family difficulties; Strong friendships; Weak style

Magic

Spindle's End

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Katriona brings home baby Rosie from her trip to see the christening of the new princess.

A modern retelling of an old fairy tale without sacrificing traditional sensibilities. Simple joys of life in a backwater. Uncomplicated friendships and family. Generosity without asking anything in return. Casual reference to divorce.

Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

The Stones of Green Knowe

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

A mediaeval boy living at Green Knowe discovers that by going to the stones behind the house, he can meet the people who have lived and will live in the house.

Classic, Historical, Magic, Spooky

A Stranger at Green Knowe

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Ping, the young refugee who stayed with two friends at Green Knowe in "The River.

The opening section, describing Hanno's childhood in the jungle is descriptive and moving. While the book is clearly aimed at the younger reader, the issues involved are not to be dealt with lightly: the author describes the loneliness of the caged animal, tempering this with the friendship of the zookeeper. Ping is forced into stealing to keep the creature fed.

Classic, Magic

The Time Witches

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The head of the Light Witches, Sir Chadwick Street, is about to marry Hilda Bluebell when she is carried back in time by the evil Wolfbane.

Over simple; emphasis on simple pleasures, loyalty and generosity

Fantasy, Magic

Tom's Midnight Garden

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Tom Long is in quarantine for measles, which his brother Peter has caught.

Classic, Magic

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Lucy & Edmund along with Eustace their spoilt and peevish cousin find themselves on board a Narnian ship with King Caspian, travelling to the outer reaches of Narnia, encountering new creatures and strange places.

A voyage-of-discovery story with interesting people and challenges. Each character has to undergo a trial to grow in themselves.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

Voyage to Valhalla

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Davy was always the submissive one in the gang, always happy to follow the more boisterous Chris and Paula, until the discovery of an old human skeleton in a chilling wood sparked off haunting and hallucinations for Davy.

Not too much character development and too abrupt an ending; Viking paganism and some ghostly and tragic events.

Magic, Spooky

Warriors of Camlann

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Dan & Ursula have just escaped from Roman Britain and find themselves in Arthurian Britain a few centuries later.

Adventure, Arthurian, Historical, Magic, Time-Travel

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Colin and Susan, brother and sister, who have grown up in a city go to visit friends of their mother in a rural part of Cheshire not far from Macclesfield.

Adventure, Fantasy, Magic

Which Witch

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Arriman Canker is the mighty Wizard of the North of England.

Humorous, Magic

The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy

Style: Weak

Attitude: Positive

12-year-old Lucy returns to Hagworthy to stay with her aunt.

Magic, Spooky

The Wild West Witches

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

As the Light Witches prepare for the Pageant of Merlin's Sword, Wolfbane and his family are attack them to steal the Sword, forcing Abby and her friends to flee to the American Wild West a century before.

Simple Good & Bad tale with undemanding and mildly comic style.

Fantasy, Humorous, Magic

The Wind Eye

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Bertrand, a widower Cambridge professor with two daughters, has married Madeleine, a widow with a son.

Family, Magic, Time-Travel

Witch Child

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Mary's grandmother is burnt as a witch in the mid 17th century.

Historical, Magic

The Wizard's Promise

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The Griddas, fighter witches released by the High Witches to fight the Wizards, have turned and destroyed the High Witches themselves; and now they are turning their attention to Earth, and in particular to the child Yemi, and Rachel and Eric have to muster the newly-awakened magic of the children of Earth to defend the planet.

Fantasy, Magic

The Worst Witch

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Mildred Hubble, in her first year at Miss Cackle's Academy, must overcome her tendency to mess things up and not disgrace the school when they put on a public broomstick display.

Classic, Magic