It can be hard for a child to wait until he or she is old enough to read the Harry Potter series (or even just to read the later books.) Still, the stories are best enjoyed when a child is old enough to appreciate the subject matter. Luckily, there are plenty of wonderful fantasy series out there which focus on many of the same themes as the Harry Potter books, but which appeal to a slightly younger audience. Twelve of them are listed below and sorted into four main categories: Witches & Wizards, Supernatural Schools, Fantastical Creatures, and Magical Adventures.
Witches & Wizards
- The Familiars
by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
(Book 1: The Familiars)
A supposedly ordinary alley cat is mistaken for a magical creature when a young wizard-in-training chooses him as his familiar.
- The Worst Witch
by Jill Murphy
(Book 1: The Worst Witch)
Mildred Hubble does her best to get by in witch school despite her constant mistakes and disasters.
- Heidi Heckelbeck
by Wanda Coven
(Book 1: Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret)
Heidi Heckelbeck is a lot like other kids her age - except that she is secretly a witch!
- Dragon Slayers' Academy
by Kate McMullan
(Book 1: The New Kid at School)
Eleven-year-old medieval peasant Wiglaf of Pinwick enters school at the Dragonslayers Academy to become a hero, as foretold by a traveling minstrel.
- Scary School
by Derek the Ghost
(Book 1: Scary School)
Though Derek becomes a ghost after he is killed in a science experiment at Scary School, he continues to keep notes on everything strange or spooky that happens there, including events surrounding the arrival of Charles Nukid.
- Vampire School
by Peter Bently
(Book 1: Casketball Capers)
At St. Orlok's kids like Lee learn all the skills required to become successful vampires.
- Beast Quest
by Adam Blade
(Book 1: Ferno the Fire Dragon)
Tom sets off on a journey to help save his village from mysterious bad happenings, but he ends up battling many different beasts all over the kingdom.
- How to Train Your Dragon
by Cressida Cowell
(Book 1: How to Train Your Dragon)
A viking named Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third must catch and train a dragon to complete his viking initiation.
- Spiderwick Chronicles
by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
(Book 1: The Field Guide)
Three kids find an old field guide that teaches them about the magical creatures living all around them.
- Little Wings
by Cecilia Galante
(Book 1: Willa Bean's Cloud Dreams)
A young cupid with wild hair is nervous about starting school because she has not yet learned to fly.
- Magical Mix-Ups
by Lynne Jonell (Book 1: Hamster Magic)
When the kids in the Willow family make wishes, things don't always turn out as planned!
- Secrets of Droon
by Tony Abbott
(Book 1: The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet)
When Eric and his friends discover a portal to the world of Droon in his basement, they have many mysterious adventures.