Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is a Halloween freebie. So I’ve decided to pick 10 books or series featuring magic that I’ve read at various points throughout my life!
Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll & Jan Pieńkowski
Meg and Mog is the first in the long-standing series about a witch (Meg) and her cat (Mog). Meg is a cute well-meaning witch who lives with Mog and her owl. In Meg and Mog, we are introduced to a witch wardrobe and a witch’s breakfast. Later Meg flies off to meet her witch friends for some spell-making at a Halloween Party. Unfortunately the spell does not go exactly to plan…
Meg and Mog! The Meg and Mog series are some of the first books I remember picking for myself, the bright colours really popped in the children’s section of my local library and there was definitely one or two on the book shelves of my reception class at primary school.
There’s over 15 stories in the series so plenty to keep young children going!
Winnie the Witch by Valerie Thomas
Winnie lived in her black house with her cat, Wilbur. He was black too. And that is how the trouble began. Everything in Winnie’s house is black – the carpet, the chairs, the bed and the sheets, the pictures on the walls, and even the bathtub! And of course her cat, Wilbur, is black too – all except for his bright-green eyes. Whenever poor Wilbur closes his eyes and tries to take a catnap, Winnie stumbles right over him. Or accidentally sits on top of him. Until one day, when Winnie gets a brilliant idea. What if Wilbur were a different color?
Another series of books from my early childhood! I’m sure my mum is relieved I didn’t try to turn our cats different colours after reading this!
The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
Mildred Hubble is a trainee witch at Miss Cackle’s Academy, and she’s making an awful mess of it. She’s always getting her spells wrong and she can’t even ride a broomstick without crashing it. Will she ever make a real witch?
I was a little bit older when I read this series for the first time, but I remember loving all the mishaps that Mildred managed to end up in! I’ve just bought my god-daughter a box set of the seven book as part of her birthday present! Plus I loved the TV series back in the 90s. It’s been back in the spotlight recently as CBBC produced their own version of the TV show earlier this year.
The Witches by Roald Dahl
‘A REAL WITCH is easily the most dangerous of all the living creatures on earth.’
That’s a pretty horrifying thought. More horrifying still is that real witches don’t even look like witches. They don’t ride around on broomsticks. They don’t even wear black cloaks and hats. They are vile, despicable, scheming harridans who disguise themselves as nice, ordinary ladies.
So how can you tell when you’re face to face with one? Read this story and you’ll find out all you need to know. You’ll also meet a real hero, a wise old grandmother and the most gruesome, grotesque gang of witches imaginable.
Including this one is probably a bit of a cheat because I don’t think I actually read the book, I do remember being terrified by the film though! I could always switch out this one for The Magic Finger or Matilda, both books featuring magic by Roald Dahl
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkin
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey ‘there and back again’. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon.
I feel The Hobbit needs to make this list, I have fond memories of this in my childhood, my dad was a fan and read it to me as my bedtime story, I loved the time spent with him but I have to admit I’m not actually a fan, and I’ve never read The Lord of the Rings or seen any of the films all the way through. My year 6 teacher attempted to read this to our class during fruit time, fortunately the class didn’t really get on with it, which lead him to switch to a different, not particularly well-known book featuring a boy wizard….
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy – until he is rescued by an owl, taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel. The Reason … HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD!
Of course that book was Harry Potter, which back in 1998 wasn’t the powerhouse of children’s fiction it became! I love the fact it was something I was in on from near the beginning, my mum bought me The Chamber Of Secrets as part of my present for moving up to ‘big’ school. I love these books, I got to share them with my grandma which will always make me smile when I pick one up, I’m a proud Slytherin and what post on magical books would be complete without Harry?
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.
Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
I’ve picked Heartless because what’s more magical than the world of Wonderland? And because I’ve not actually read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, although I have seen the both the animated and live action Disney movies, but I can’t cheat twice in one top ten!
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Journeys to the end of the world, fantastic creatures, and epic battles between good and evil—what more could any reader ask for in one book? The book that has it all is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, written in 1949 by Clive Staples Lewis. But Lewis did not stop there. Six more books followed, and together they became known as The Chronicles of Narnia.
This series took me a while to get into. I saw the BBC adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and my mum bought me a box set of the series, I tried reading The Magician’s Nephew but couldn’t get into it, a year or two later and I read all seven books one after another. The whole series is pretty full of magical, filled with talking animals, giants and dwarfs and of course the fearful White Witch. I know in recent years there’s been a lot of debate about sexism and racism within the series, and if I read them back now I might find them problematic, but for now I’ll look back on them with the fondness of my 9-year-old innocent self.
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
The extraordinary story moves between parallel universes. Beginning in Oxford, it takes Lyra and her animal-daemon Pantalaimon on a dangerous rescue mission to the ice kingdoms of the far North, where she begins to learn about the mysterious particles they call Dust – a substance for which terrible war between different worlds will be fought…
I’m sure His Dark Materials needs no introduction, especially with the recent release of La Belle Sauvage. I loved the original trilogy, I desperately wanted my own dæmon like Pan, I loved the armoured bear Iorek Byrnison, the balloonist Lee Scoresby and the queen of the witches Serafina Pekkala, and I remember being rather freaked out by the cliff-ghasts!
I’m super excited to be back in this world now I’m reading La Belle Sauvage
Gilded Cage by Vic James
In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.
This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit.
Have a quick ten years. . . .
Gilded Cage is the first in the Dark Gifts trilogy which continued with Tarnished City and will end with Bright Ruin next year. This was recommended to me by Liv and Charlotte and I have become slightly addicted to it, slightly different to the other magic books in this list there are no witches and wizards within the series, just those born with the skill and those without. Within the United Kingdom the skill-less are forced to do their days – ten years in servitude to the skilled. The books follow the journeys of several different characters both skilled and unskilled, filled with rebellion, and torture the books are definitely dark at points but a wonderfully addictive read! I need Bright Ruin now!
So there are my ten magical books for Halloween! Let me know if there’s a magical book you love that I’ve missed!