Giveaway: Fantasy and Adventure Books for Tweens and Teens

WINNER: Congratulations to stefhl!

Before there was Harry Potter, there was The Hobbit, The Phantom Tollbooth, and A Wrinkle in Time.  There was even my favorite fantasy book as a child, The Wizard of Earthsea.  Now, after Harry Potter, there are even more stories of fantasy and adventure from which to choose.

If your child loves books that deal in the fantastical, there are many options that appeal to kids who have grown used to amazing adventures and “the next big thing” in magical storytelling.  However, as an article from The Wall Street Journal points out, parents who grew up on Madeline L’Engle and the collective Franklin Dixon of The Hardy Boys series may need to steel themselves against the darkness and violence of today’s 8-12 offerings.  Still, they have a lot in common with stories from our past. The unlikely hero who must experience unknown adventures to fulfill quests on which many lives depend. Bilbo Baggins and Luke Skywalker can relate.

The Accidental Hero, by Matt Myklusch, follows a typical hero’s development from a forlorn child meant for bigger things to a full-fledged rescuer of worlds.  And it stars a child who thought he was born in New Jersey.  It’s the first in a larger series, and it has quite a following already.  Written for ages 8-12, it’s appropriate for any child interested in adventure laced with robots, other worlds, and hidden powers.  The Accidental Hero is accessible to reluctant readers at the older end of its age-range, and even the wide layout will help kids to feel comfortable with the words on the page.

The Unwanteds, by New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, is for the middle to older end of the 8 -12 target group.  It takes place in a world where creativity is punished by death, but strength and intelligence are rewarded and encouraged.  It also deals with a set of twins who are separated because of their different talents.  As the author describes it, the inspiration for the book came when the arts programs in her children’s school were being cut.  A timely inspiration.  Not to worry, the creative children are able to flourish despite being labeled The Unwanteds.

Finally, A World Without Heroes, from The Beyonders series by Brandon Mull, is definitely for the older set in the target group.  Focused on Jason, a bored-but-full-of-potential teenager, the book brings him to a world in which he fights magic and evil, and he must learn to work with a host of diverse characters.  The structure, character development, subject matter, and vocabulary will be interesting and challenging for most tweens, even the older ones.  And, like the Harry Potter series, most adults will not feel like the book is too childish for them.

Thanks to the generosity of Simon & Schuster, we have a three-pack of these books to give to one lucky reader. It would make a great holiday gift and you don’t have to brave the Black Friday crowds!

To enter, tell us what books you or your children use as an escape in comments. Does it involve magic, dragons, or sailing the seven seas?  One person who replies to this post by 11:59 pm EST on Monday, November 28 will be chosen at random to receive this three-pack of books.

No purchase necessary. Starts Friday, November 25, 2011 at 8 am EST and ends Monday, November 28, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. Open to U.S. residents ages 16 years and older. Void where prohibited.

Good luck!

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  1. Given Anne McCaffrey’s recent passing, a reread of Pern is probably imminent for us. My 7-year-old is just about the right age to appreciate the Harper Hall trilogy in particular.

  2. My daughter is too young for these books but her Dad is a sci-fi/fantasy fanatic so I know she will be one day (or at least she’ll be read them in the hopes of her becoming a fan herself)! I’d love these books, though, for my niece and nephew, who blew through the Hunger Games series so fast, I had to read them, too. So good!

  3. My daughter is only 16 months but I am counting the days until I can read Peter Pan with her. Really, what better fantasy is that for a child? It has everything: pirates, mermaids, fairies, sword fights…you name it. It’s the perfect start for a young fantasy reader.

  4. My son liked the other Brandon Mull books, as well as that Potter series, and is just now getting into the Artemis Fowl books (new word of the day: antihero).

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