Mythology-Inspired Fantasy for Tweens

Check out this diverse selection of mythology- and folklore-inspired original fantasy adventures for middle grade readers. Perfect for Percy Jackson fans and readers who love myths and legends.

Updated August 9, 2023
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Amira & Hamza : the war to save the worlds
Ahmed, Samira (Fiction writer)
A Kirkus Best Middle Grade Book of 2021! From New York Times and indie bestselling author Samira Ahmed comes a thrilling and magical adventure intertwining Islamic legend and history, perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the Land...
The jumbies
Baptiste, Tracey.
The jumbies are coming! Corinne La Mer isn't afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. She knows that jumbies aren't real; they're just creatures parents make up to frighten their children. But on All Hallows' Eve...
Maya and the rising dark
Barron, Rena
In this highly anticipated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Maya's search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister Dark world. Perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent's...
The pearl hunter
Beck, Miya T.
Set in a world inspired by pre-Shogun era Japan, this is a stunning debut fantasy in the vein of Grace Lin about how a young pearl diver goes to the ends of the earth to rescue her twin sister, who has been stolen by a ghost whale. Kai and Kishi share the same futon, the same...
Serwa Boateng's guide to vampire hunting
Brown, Roseanne A.
For most kids, catching fireflies is a fun summer activity. For twelve-year-old Serwa Boateng, it's a matter of life and death. That's because Serwa knows that some fireflies are really adze, shapeshifting vampires from the forests of Southeastern Ghana. Adze prey on the blood of...
Charlie Herna?ndez & the league of shadows
Calejo, Ryan
"This is a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan's many series, particularly for those eager for mythologies beyond Greek and Roman stories." --Booklist (starred review) "A winner for all kids, but it will be especially beloved by Latinx and Hispanic families." --...
The storm runner
Cervantes, Jennifer
"A perfect storm of inspiring heroes, surprising twists, and some seriously scary monsters. This hilarious, expertly-plotted adventure keeps you racing through the pages and leaves you desperate for the next book (and craving a steaming mug of hot chocolate)!" --Shannon Messenger, New York...
The enchanted life of Valentina Mejaia
Alessandri, Alexandra
Encanto meets The Chronicles of Narnia by way of Colombian folklore in this middle grade fantasy adventure. To save their father's life, a brother and sister must journey across a land full of mythical creatures and find the most powerful and dangerous of them all: the madremonte.
The scroll of chaos
Chapman, Elsie
Join Astrid Xu in this action-packed adventure as she ventures into the world of mythological China in order to save her mother -- and the world! Perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings! When Astrid Xu stumbles upon an ancient scroll with...
Black bird, blue road
Pasternack, Sofiya
In this historical fantasy novel, praised as a "rich, omen-filled journey that powerfully shows love and its limits*" and "propulsive, wise, and heartbreaking,"** Ziva will do anything to save her twin brother Pesah from his illness--even facing the Angel of Death himself....
City of the plague god
Chadda, Sarwat
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents an adventure based on ancient Mesopotamian mythology by Sarwat Chadda, author of the Ash Mistry series. "An epic worthy of Gilgamesh. Chadda brings attention to the less well-recognized mythology of ancient Mesopotamia with engaging...
Felice and the wailing woman
López, Diana
The twelve-year-old daughter of La Llorona vows to free her mother and reverse the curses that have plagued the magical town of Tres Leches in this delightfully sweet and spellbinding adventure by beloved author Diana L pez. When Felice learns that she's the daughter of La...
Winston Chu vs. the whimsies
Lee, Stacey
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents best-selling author Stacey Lee's modern reimagining of a classic Chinese folktale--replete with magic, boba, and lots of trash talking. Twelve-year-old Winston Chu is supposed to learn impulse control at the cooking academy his mom...
Cece Rios and the desert of souls
Rivera, Kaela
When a powerful desert spirit kidnaps her sister, Cece Rios must learn forbidden magic to get her back, in this own voices middle grade fantasy perfect for fans of The Storm Runner and Aru Shah and the End of Time.  Living in the remote town of Tierra del Sol...
Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts
Lewis, Erika
Brimming with Celtic mythology, action, and danger, Erika Lewis's Kelcie Murphy and The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts introduces readers to a new kind of magical school and a warrior who must choose with which side of an epic battle her destiny will lie. The...
Where the mountain meets the moon
Lin, Grace.
A Time Magazine 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time selection!​ A Reader's Digest Best Children's Book of All Time​! This stunning fantasy inspired by Chinese folklore is a companion novel to Starry River of the Sky and the...
Kiki Kallira breaks a kingdom
Mandanna, Sangu
For fans of the Aru Shah and Serpent's Secret series, this action-packed fantasy-adventure sees a girl's drawings of Indian mythology spring to vivid life--including the evil god who seeks to enter the real world and destroy it. Kiki Kallira has always been a worrier. Did she...
Lalani of the distant sea
Kelly, Erin Entrada
"Fast-paced and full of wonder, this is a powerful, gripping must-read."--Kirkus (starred review) "A lush and mysterious fable, full of beauty, full of wonder."--Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly's debut fantasy...
Tristan Strong punches a hole in the sky
Mbalia, Kwame
Seventh grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he's going to spend on his grandparents' farm in Alabama,...
Paola Santiago and the river of tears
Mejia, Tehlor Kay
Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule- Stay away from the river. It's all they've heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned a year ago. Pao is embarrassed to admit that she has been told to stay away for even longer than that, because her...
The last fallen star
Kim, Graci
Riley Oh can't wait to see her sister get initiated into the Gom clan, a powerful lineage of Korean healing witches their family has belonged to for generations. Her sister, Hattie, will earn her Gi bracelet and finally be able to cast spells without adult supervision. Although Riley is desperate to...
The Republic of Birds
Miller, Jessica
A young witch must save her sister from evil birds in this masterful middle-grade fantasy   In the land of Tsaretsvo, civil war has divided the human kingdom from the Republic of Birds. Magic is outlawed, and young witches are sent to a mysterious boarding school, from...
Cameron Battle and the hidden kingdoms
Perry, Jamar J
Inspired by West African and Igbo history and mythology, this adventurous middle-grade fantasy debut perfect for fans of Aru Shah and Tristan Strong celebrates the triumphs and challenges of a boy finding his truth path to greatness. As the true Descendant, I command to...
Pilar Ramirez and the escape from Zafa
Randall, Julian
The Land of Stories meets Dominican myths and legends come to life in Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa, a blockbuster contemporary middle-grade fantasy duology starter from Julian Randall. Fans of Tristan Strong and The Storm Runner, here is your next...
Pahua and the soul stealer
Lee, Lori M.
"I love the adventures Pahua has in this book. I also love the sense of humor, the clever plotting, and the fantastic cast of characters. But most of all I love Pahua- her courage, her kindness, and her love for family."--NYT best-selling author Rick Riordan Winner...
Naomi Teitelbaum ends the world
Shanker, Samara
A magical Bat Mitzvah gift gets out of control and thrusts a girl into a supernatural quest with the fate of the world at stake in this "refreshing, fast-paced" (School Library Journal) middle grade adventure that's perfect for fans of Aru Shah. Naomi Teitelbaum is so<...
Lei and the fire goddess
Maunakea, Malia
"Lei and the Fire Goddess blends preteen angst and beloved Hawaiian moʻolelo in a way that hasn't been done before." -Auliʻi Cravalho, actress and voice of Disney's Princess Moana Curses aren't real. At least, that's what twelve-year-old, part...
Aru Shah and the end of time
Chokshi, Roshani
Best-selling author Rick Riordan introduces this fantasy adventure by New York Times best-selling author, Roshani Chokshi, inspired by the great epics she grew up on. Named one of 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time by Time magazine! Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a...
Momo Arashima steals the sword of the wind
Sugiura, Misa
A thrilling fantasy series about a twelve year old girl who sets out to save her Shinto goddess mother--and the world--by facing down demons intent on bringing chaos. "A grand adventure." --Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fablehaven "A wild...
The serpent's secret
DasGupta, Sayantani
From New York Times bestselling author comes a world packed with action and adventure, perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and Soman Chainani.MEET KIRANMALA:INTERDIMENSIONAL DEMON SLAYER(Only she doesn't know it yet.)On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth...
Fenris & Mott
Van Eekhout, Greg
A girl and her puppy face down the end of the world--which the puppy's partly responsible for--in this middle grade story from acclaimed author Greg van Eekhout, perfect for fans of Gordon Korman and J.C. Cervantes. When Mott finds a puppy abandoned in a recycling bin,...
Lia Park and the missing jewel
Yoon, Jenna
Perfect for fans of the Storm Runner and Aru Shah series, this "intriguing, fast-paced" (Kirkus Reviews) middle grade fantasy follows a young girl who must venture to the undersea kingdom of the Dragon King in Korea to save her parents from an evil diviner spirit. Twelve...
The dragon warrior
Zhao, Katie
"An exhilarating tale. . . Readers will be enthralled." --J.C. Cervantes, New York Times bestselling author of The Storm Runner A debut novel inspired by Chinese mythology, this middle-grade fantasy follows an outcast as she embarks on a quest to save the...
Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor
Zhao, Xiran Jay
Percy Jackson meets Tristan Strong in this hilarious middle grade "edge-of-your-seat adventure" (James Ponti, New York Times bestselling author of City Spies) that follows a young boy as he journeys across China to seal the underworld shut and save the mortal realm. ...

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