5 Magical Realism Books for Kids Who Love … Magic
Kathleen Benner Duble | The Children’s Book Review | June 11, 2019
As a kid, I loved nothing more than a good story with magic! And the books where I could actually envision myself having that magic, too—if just a few little changes happened in my life—were even more awesome to read.
Today, I’m grown up but I haven’t stopped wishing that someday I’ll stumble into an enchanted town or catch a leprechaun guarding a pot of gold. But in the meantime, I continue to read about others who have had magical things happen to them. Here are some of the magical books I’ve loved. I hope you read them because I think you’ll love them as much as I do!!
Written by Ingrid Law
Mibs Beaumont is turning thirteen, a very special time for all Beaumont children, as that’s when they discover their Savvy—or special power. Mibs’ brother can control the elements and her grandmother can move mountains! Mibs can’t wait to discover what her savvy will be. But when Mibs’ dad is in a serious car accident, Mibs finds herself hoping her savvy will be the ability to heal. And while, in the end, Mibs finds she doesn’t get what she wants, she does discover that, with the help of a few friends, she gets exactly what she needs.
Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Dial Books | 2008 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0803733060
Written by Natalie Babbitt
What would you do if you discovered a way to live forever? Would you drink the waters that provide this ability? What does it truly mean to live forever? This is the question facing ten-year-old Winnie Foster when she discovers the Tuck family and their secret—a spring whose waters, if ingested, cause you to never grow old. To complicate matters, Winnie is being followed by a man who is determined to reveal the Tuck’s secret, discover the hidden spring, and bottle the water to sell it for his own gain. What will Winnie do? The answer makes for a wonderful story that leaves you asking yourself: Would you agree to live forever, if given that chance?
Ages 9+ | Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux | 1975; 2007 reprint | ISBN-13: 978-0312369811
Written by Rebecca Stead
Miranda and her best friend, Sal, have been pals forever—that is, until a kid in a dirty green coat on the streets of New York punches Sal. Now, for no reason Miranda can think of, Sal won’t talk to her anymore. To make matters worse, the apartment key her mom left her for emergencies has gone missing, and mysterious notes addressed to Miranda keep appearing. As Miranda tries to unravel the puzzle of the notes, she finds that they predict future events that no one could possibly know—including the fact that it will be Miranda herself who must prevent a tragic death that is about to happen. Can Miranda stop this terrible event? Can she figure out who is writing these notes? And can she solve the riddle of how this person seems to know the future? Read When You Reach Meto find out!
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books | 2009 | ISBN-13: 978-0385737425
Written by Sarah Beth Durst
What if your parents owned a shop that traded in dreams—dreams caught by dream catchers and stored to be sold at a later date? And what if a group of people called the Night Watchmen were trying to stop your parents from selling those dreams? And what if you had a magical ability where you could go inside a dream and a piece of that dream would return with you? That’s the situation Sophie finds herself in. Sophie has lived all her life in the Dreamcatcher Bookstore, where her parents illegally resell dreams. Sophie herself never dreams because the one time she drank a liquid dream, one of the creatures in the dream followed her back to reality. Luckily, Monster is a nice creature, but Sophie’s parents don’t want her tempting fate again. But when Sophie’s parents go missing, it is up to Sophie, Monster, and Sophie’s new best friend, Evan, a boy plagued with nightmares, to find them, save them from the Night Watchmen, and restore order to a world that loves nothing better than a good night’s sleep and sweet dreams.
Ages 10-12 | Publisher: Clarion Books | 2017 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0544935266
Written by David Almond
Michael and his family have moved to a new house, which is hard enough in and of itself. But to add to their worries, Michael’s new baby sister is born prematurely and is fighting for her life. Left to his own devices by his frantic parents, Michael explores the new house and finds a creature living in the garage—a creature who is half angel, half bird and calls himself Skellig. Skellig is really ill. And when Michael befriends his next-door-neighbor, Mina, together they begin to nurse Skellig back to health, discovering in the process some magical truths about loving and caring for others.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Yearling | 2000 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0440416029
Kathleen Benner Duble is a critically acclaimed and award-winning author of many historical novels for children. Her books include Phantoms of the Snow, The Sacrifice, and Quest. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband.
Written by Kathleen Benner Duble
Publisher’s Synopsis: A deeply felt sibling story set in a town where people have a mysterious magical power and one girl is determined to discover what it is, for readers of Lauren Myracle and Ingrid Law.
Willow knows the unknown is scary. Especially when your little brother has been sick for a long time and nobody has been able to figure out why. All Willow wants is for her brother to get better and for her her life to go back to normal.
But after a bad stroke of luck, Willow and her family find themselves stranded in an unusual town in the middle of nowhere and their life begins to change in the most unexpected way. Willow soon discovers that the town isn’t just unusual—it’s magical—and the truth is more exciting that she ever imagined.
Will Willow find that this could be the secret to saving her family—or discover that the root of magic could lead them to something greater?
Check out the free downloadable discussion guide and book trailer!
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers | June 11, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-0525578505
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Kathleen Benner Duble, author of The Root of Magic, curated the book list 5 Magical Realism Books for Kids Who Love … Magic. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with Foxes, Middle Grade Books, Murder Books, Mystery, and Steampunk.