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8 Middle-Grade Fantasy Series Like The Spiderwick Chronicles

The Roku Channel debuts its TV adaptation on April 19.

The screenshot of the Spiderwick Chronicles trailer depicts a young man holding a fiery sword.
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  • Photo Credit: Roku Channel / YouTube

The Spiderwick Chronicles, written by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, is beloved among kids and adults alike. The fantasy series, the first installment of which was published in 2003, follows the adventures of the Grace children. Twins Simon and Jared and their older sister Mallory move into the Spiderwick Estate and discover a world of faeries, ogres, elves, and other things that go bump in the night. After receiving a film adaptation in 2008, the series is now the subject of a TV adaptation, courtesy of the Roku Channel. All eight episodes will premiere on April 19. 

The books are an ideal starting point for any kid looking to get into fantasy fiction. Here are eight other middle-grade fantasy series that are sure to satisfy fans of The Spiderwick Chronicles.

Middle-Grade SFF for The Spiderwick Chronicles Fans

Pendragon by D.J. MacHale 

The Merchant of Death (Pendragon Book 1)

The Merchant of Death (Pendragon Book 1)

By D. J. MacHale

Bobby Pendragon seems to live a perfectly normal life, one that every fourteen-year-old boy is familiar with. But after a strange encounter with his Uncle Press, he finds himself in Denduron, a world with three suns that is populated by strange beings. A magical tyrant rules over this land, forcing the Milago people to work in poverty for the benefit of the Bedoowans, who have far more luxuries and freedoms. 

Now Bobby is seen as a savior to these folks. He must prevent the destruction of this strange new land, and that’s only the beginning of his problems. There are even more worlds in need of his help. 

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

The cover of The Bad Beginning depicts Count Olaf and the Boudelaire children

The Bad Beginning

By Lemony Snicket

The story of the Baudelaire children is not a cheerful one. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are loving siblings who experience terrible tragedy when their parents die. Things only get worse when they're sent to live with their dastardly uncle, Count Olaf, a repulsive figure of pure evil who only cares about their inheritance. 

The Baudelaires must fight against not only Olaf but a cycle of cruel adults, monsters, and more chaos that haunts them from beginning to end. As Lemony Snicket himself says to the reader, this is not a happy story.

The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce

Lioness Rampant

Lioness Rampant

By Tamora Pierce

Alanna of Trebond has always craved adventure and excitement, but she's long been told that such things are only for boys. Her twin brother Thom wants to learn magic. So, one day, they decide to switch places. Thom goes to the convent to study the art of magic and Alanna, now calling herself Alan, heads to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. 

The journey towards being a brave and noble knight is filled with trouble and treachery, but it also gives Alanna the chance to be the hero she's long dreamed of being.

Howl's Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

An old woman walks toward a distant castle in the sky on the cover of "Howl's Moving Castle" by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle

By Diana Wynne Jones

Sophie is the wallflower in her family, the quiet one compared to her two glamorous sisters. That doesn't improve when she attracts the ire of the infamous Witch of the Waste, who turns her into an old lady. Her only chance of freeing herself from this curious curse is to track down the reclusive wizard Howl, who roams the land in a castle on legs. 

But Howl is heartless and irritating, and making a deal with him will take all of Sophie's smarts. Perhaps there's far more to this man than meets the eye.

Septimus Heap by Angie Sage

The cover of Magyk by Angie Sage depicts a golden ring on top of a blue book


By Angie Sage

The seventh son of the seventh son, aptly named Septimus Heap, is stolen the night he is born by a midwife who pronounces him dead. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across a bundle in the snow containing a newborn girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take this helpless newborn home, call her Jenna, then raise her as their own child. 

But what happened to Septimus? The children's fates are forever entwined, as Septimus becomes embroiled in a boy army and an evil wizard named DomDaniel plans to bring the kingdom to its knees.

The Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle


A Wrinkle in Time

By Madeleine L'Engle

The Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle, which begins with the iconic and multi-award-winning A Wrinkle in Time, is the stuff of literary legend. Ever since its 1962 release, the novel has inspired generations of kids and adults alike. 

Meg Murry has struggled ever since her scientist father went missing. When she, her genius brother Charles, and her classmate Calvin meet their eccentric new neighbors—Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which—they discover the ability to travel through space and time

The tesseract, a fifth-dimensional phenomenon that allows one to leap across galaxies and centuries, could provide them with answers to Meg's father's whereabouts. But chasing them is The Black Thing, a malevolent dark cloud that consumes everything in its sight. The fate of the universe is in their hands.

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste


The Jumbies

By Tracy Baptiste

Corinne La Mer isn't afraid of anything, or at least that's what she tells people. Then one night Corinne chases a rodent into the forbidden forest, and she's met with a pair of shining yellow eyes hidden in the trees. They belong to a jumbie, a mythical spirit from Caribbean folklore. 

When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger named Severine at the market the very next day, she knows something strange is about to happen. Severine is here to cause havoc on behalf of the jumbies and help them claim the entire island that Corinne and her family call home. In order to stop her, Corinne and her friends must learn to use ancient magic and call upon every ounce of their courage.

The School for Good and Evil Series by Soman Chainani

The Cover of the School for Good and Evil displays two swans, one black and one white

The School for Good and Evil

By Soman Chainani

As every fairy tale can tell you, there are good people and bad ones. Some are beautiful princesses who wear glass slippers and go to the ball, while others are dastardly witches who cast curses. At the School for Good & Evil, ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. 

The beautiful Sophie dreams of being sent to the School for Good, while her frumpy friend Agatha seems destined to go to the School for Evil. But when the two girls are swept up and sent to the academy, they end up on the other side: Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil while Agatha is expected to become a beautiful princess. Surely, there's been a mistake, but what secrets are at the heart of this strange school?

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