few years back, my sister and her son were going to Barnes and Noble in
the middle of the night. Turns out a book called Harry Potter
and the Prisoner of Azkaban went on sale at midnight, and my
nephew had to have a copy right then. I found this amusing, but being a
book lover, I made a note to check out this Harry Potter series
We’ve all probably heard of
Harry Potter by now. Maybe you’ve also heard of Eragon?
How about Twilight? Spiderwick? Wicked Lovely? Charlie Bone?
Artemis Fowl? Inkheart? Pendragon? Bartimaeus? Maximum Ride? A Great
and Terrible Beauty? Septimus Heap?
Maybe you haven’t heard of some
of those—which might be a good thing. But I can’t remember the last
time a contemporary young adult novel or series reached such
blockbuster success. Nancy Drew maybe?
Most teens are completely
enraptured by young adult fantasy novels. Many adults are too. What
makes them so popular? I’ve asked lots of teens this question over the
years. Here are some of their answers:
• I like getting away from this world.
• Life feels easier in a fantasy world. It’s simple.
• I like reading about heroes saving the day.
• I like swordfights, wizards, and weird creatures.
• It’s fun to be scared by a book.
• Good triumphs over evil.
• Fantasy stories are magical.
• Using magic would be cool.
• They’re exciting.
Anything can happen.
Those are many of the reasons I
love to read this genre, too. Fantasy can also be a wonderful way to
get readers thinking about spiritual things without using the religious
language that often offends unbelievers. The danger in fantasy novels
today is that the unbelieving worldview of what is good and evil has
been slowly changing. Today, self rules. The main character goes after
what he wants, despite the consequences. New Age and occult practices
are portrayed as exciting and cool, as are overtly sensual situations.
Revenge is held as an acceptable and heroic tendency. Parents are mean,
ignorant, or nonexistent. And sadly, God is sometimes the evil,
It’s wise to research a book
before you buy it to make sure you don’t end up reading something with
a lot of junk in it. Looking at the negative reviews on Amazon can give
you some clues as to what to expect of the author’s moral values and
his or her view of what’s good and evil in the world.
Many general market fantasy
novels come from a worldview based on truth. Their fantasy worlds, like
Narnia and Middle Earth, still take readers to a place where love,
courage, friendship, and self-sacrifice are chosen for causes greater
than themselves. But if you’d rather not risk it, I’ve listed some
fantasy novels from Christian publishers. Some are edgier than others,
so if that’s a concern, still take time to research the reviews. But
you can trust these authors to take you to a good place in the end.
Echoes from the Edge
series by Bryan Davis
A boy travels between three dimensions in an attempt to solve his
Dragons in Our Midst
by Bryan Davis
A boy descended from dragons must avoid a dragonslayer who is seeking
to destroy his family.
Dream House Kings
series by Robert Liparulo
A family moves into a new house, but someone or something already lives
there. Or maybe the house is haunted.
series by Jeffrey Overstreet
In a colorless kingdom, a young woman uses her unique gift to weave
colors from the world around her.
Blood of Kings
series by Jill Williamson
A squire and a maiden discover their ability to communicate with the
minds of others.
graphic novels by Ted Dekker
A young man falls asleep and wakes in a fantasy world. When he sleeps
again, he’s wakes on earth. Which world is real?
by the Miller brothers
A boy finds an ancient book that is a gateway to a supernatural realm
where he trains to be a Codebearer.
The Door Within
trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson
A boy enters a door to a medieval land and becomes the twelfth knight,
who must stop evil from taking over The Realm.
series by Donita K. Paul
A girl discovers that she can find dragon eggs and help them hatch.
Susan Page Davis
A girl is kidnapped by a savage tribe and tries to find a way back to
Hero: Second Class
series by Mitchell Bonds
An apprentice hero strives to become a real Hero.
by Chuck Black
Biblical allegories that cover the span of time from Genesis through
King Raven Trilogy
by Stephen Lawhead
A series based on the Robin Hood legend.
by Rick Barry
A prince sets off on a secret mission to rescue his kidnapped father.
Legends of Karac Tor
series by D. Barkley Briggs
Two brothers pass through a gate into another world.
The Lost Books
series by Ted Dekker
A boy uses brains over brawns to become a soldier and must lead his
team to find the lost books of history.
On the Edge of the
Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson
A fun adventure with the Igby children, Peet the Sock Man, and toothy
series by Jonathan Rogers
A fun medieval allegory of the story of David.
Isle of Swords
by Wayne Thomas Batson
A ship captain searches for riches that will free him and his daughter
from the piracy business forever.
John B. Olson
A homeless man rescues a young woman from a monster who continues to
The Jerusalem Undead
Trilogy by Eric Wilson
A young woman’s life is in danger from evil collectors who seek to
upset the balance of good and evil in the world.