If you’re like me and my Geek Schooling family, you may just love to read books in the fantsy genre. My whole family loves to sink our teeth into a good series of books. If you’re looking for more fantasy to read or want to be reminded of some favourites, here are some of ours.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
If you haven’t heard of Tolkien, you may have been hiding under a rock! Tolkien is the king of fantasy. These books have it all – adventure, excitement, fantastical locales and creatures.
The Hobbit is a great read-aloud even for younger children. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is a huge, challenging work, which may be suitable for an advanced 10 or 11 year old, but often students aren’t ready until high school age or beyond. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies were brilliantly done, but do contain graphic violence, so be cautious with younger children. Go to http://www.theonering.net/ to chat about all things Lord of the Rings with other fans.
The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis
There is much debate on whether to start with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (which was written first) or The Magician’s Nephew (which is set chronologically first), but whichever book you start with, this is a great series. These books are suitable for all ages and make a great family read-aloud. There books are a big hit with Christians, because as you may know, they were written as a Biblical allegory, with the lion, Aslan, representing Jesus. However, I believe anyone can enjoy them.
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
This is a fun series of four books, penned by a homeschooler. Starting with the book, Eragon, it centres around a boy and his dragon, battling against evil. The books are probably suitable for about age 10 and up, and are just as enjoyable for adults. Click on the link above for the official website, complete with activities. But steer clear of the movie, Eragon, it’s an immense disappointment if you’ve read the book.
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
This series starts out with the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (changed to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the U.S. for some reason) and starts following Harry Potter as he turns 11 and finds out he is a wizard. He and his friends battle the forces of evil throughout the series of books, all while attending wizarding school.
Rowling is an excellent storyteller and the books get increasingly intricate (and longer) as the series progresses. As a result, this series is just as enjoyable for adults as for children. I would recommend it in general for children age 10 and up, although my advanced reader daughter started at age 8. Unlike some other movies, the movie adaptations of these books are very well done – naturally the books are better though! Click on the link above for the incredible, interactive Harry Potter website.
The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
Starting off with The Lightning Thief, this series follows Percy as he finds out he’s actually a son of Poseidon, and thus a demi-god. Sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it? But instead of a school, he attends a camp for demi-gods.
This series pales in comparison to The Harry Potter Series, but it is a fun way to bring mythological monsters and Greek godd to life, especially if you’re studying ancient Greece in your homeschool. Click on the official website link above to enjoy some games and activities. If you’ve read the book, the movie The Lightning Thief is a bit of a disappointment.
The Stone of Tymora Series by R.A. and Geno Salvatore
If you happen to be a fan of R.A. Salvatore’s works yourself, check out this Young Adult trilogy he and his son have written together! The story of teenaged Maimun is begun in the first installment, The Stowaway. Maimun comes across pirates, demons, and yes, Drizzt Do’Urden, too! (I have to mention that I had the distinct pleasure of meeting both Salvatores at Hal-Con in Halifax and they were delightful in person AND I got some books signed!)
The Wings of Fire Series by Tui T. Sutherland
This wonderful series for tweens is about young dragons known as the dragonets of destiny. They start out virtual prisoners and once they escape into the wide world of dragons they are plagued with doubts if they really are the dragonets of destiny from prophecy and if they are capable of making a real difference in the world. Sutherland These books make perfect read-alouds the whole family will enjoy.
What are some of your family’s favourite Fantasy series? We’re always looking for more!
Love, Luck &