What to Read After Harry Potter and Percy Jackson
It’s a question yelled into cyberspace regularly, and to be honest even as a teacher-librarian I’ve struggled with this question. Where does a reader go when they feel like they’ve read the very best fast-paced adventure fantasies they’ll ever find? What does a parent or educator offer next? Should we worry about kids who just keep on re-reading the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson novels?
All things Harry Potter
My eldest has binged Harry Potter* and spends all available birthday and pocket money on new editions, formats and merchandise.
For a recent birthday, she went to the Store of Requirement in Brisbane and had a HP mini bedroom makeover. She deeply loves the world of Harry Potter: the escapism, the warmth and hope infused in the writing and, of course, the magic.
And then there is Percy Jackson, totally different to Harry but both with chosen young heroes living in magical worlds full of folklore and mythology. Rick Riordan could not have nailed the ‘Percy Jackson’ series more perfectly. The series blends Greek mythology with the contemporary world and features characters who use their superpowers of ADHD and Dyslexia to ‘save the day’. They are epic. Riordan says, ‘Making Percy ADHD/dyslexic was my way of honouring the potential of all the kids I’ve known who have those conditions. It’s not a bad thing to be different. Sometimes, it’s the mark of being very, very talented.’ (credit and read more here).
So here is my list of ‘what to read next’ after the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books have filled your kids’ bookshelves. You might also like to check out my top book lists for newly independent readers, middle primary kids and middle grade readers.
Oh and read on past the list for my thoughts on if we should worry about kids who seem to obsessively re-read favourite series.
What to read after Harry Potter and/or Percy Jackson
NB: Books are in very loose age order and the start of the list is for readers 9+. Please note that the list spans in suitability from age 9 – 18 Some books contain mature themes – please check the suitability of themes and reading level. These books are not all strictly fantasy/adventure. Click on title links for more information or purchase.
‘The Stella Montgomery Intrigues’ series written by Judith Rossell
‘The Rondo Series’ written by Emily Rodda
‘A Most Magical Girl’ written by Karen Foxlee
‘Nevemoor’ series written by Jessica Townsend
‘The Mapmaker Chronicles’ series written by A.L. Tait
‘The Ateban Cipher’ series written by A.L. Tait
‘Tarin of the Mammoths’ series by Jo Sandhu
‘The Keepers Trilogy’ series written by Ted Sanders
‘Viking Magic Trilogy’ written by Anna Ciddor
‘The School for Good and Evil’ series by Soman Chainani
‘The Three Doors Trilogy’ written by Emily Rodda
‘The Land of Stories’ series by Chris Colfer
‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ series written by Derek Landy
‘The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel‘ series by Michael Scott
‘Mortal Engines’ series written by Philip Reeve
‘Wings of Fire’ series written by Tui T. Sutherland
‘Lockwood & Co’ series written by Jonathan Stroud
‘Zarkora’ series written by Nicholas and Alison Lochel (Currently out of print, source from your local library. #lovelibraries)
‘Conspiracy 365’ series written by Gabrielle Lord
‘Ruby Redfort’ series written by Lauren Child
‘Minutes of Danger’ series written by Jack Heath
‘Artemis Fowl’ series written by Eoin Colfer
‘The Keepers’ trilogy written by Liann Tanner
‘Ranger’s Apprentice’ series written by John Flanagan
‘Brotherband’ series written by John Flanagan
‘Song of the Lioness’ series written by Tamora Pierce
‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy written by Suzanne Collins
‘Heroes of Olympus’ series written by Rick Riordan
‘The Trials of Apollo’ series written by Rick Riordan
‘Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard’ series written by Rick Riordan
‘The Book of Lies’ trilogy written by James Moloney
‘The Twilight Saga’ series written by Stephanie Myer
‘The Obernewtyn Chronicles’ series written by Isobelle Carmody
‘The Maze Runner’ series written by James Dashner
‘The Old Kingdom’ series written by Garth Nix
‘The Illuminae Files’ series written by Amie Kaufman
‘Ashala Wolf’ series by Ambelin Kwaymullina
‘Rebel of the Sands’ trilogy written by Alywn Hamilton
‘Ruined’ series written by Amy Tintera
‘An Ember in the Ashes’ series written by Saaba Tahir
‘Elementals’ series written by Brigid Kemmerer
‘His Dark Materials’ series written by Philip Pullman
‘The Eighth Day’ series by Dianne K. Salerni
‘The Shadowhunters Chronicles’ written by Cassandra Clare
‘Arc of a Scythe’ trilogy by Neal Shusterman
‘The Tales of the Otori’ written by Liane Hearn
‘Shatter Me’ series written by Tahereh Mafi
‘Poison Study’ series written by by Maria V. Synder
‘The Lumatere Chronicles’ written by Melina Marchetta
‘Queen’s Thief’ series written by Megan Whalen Turner
‘The Ascendance Trilogy’ written by Jennifer A Neilsen
‘Divergent’ series written by Veronica Roth
‘The Raven Cycle’ series written by Maggie Stievater
‘Wolves of Mercy Falls’ series written by Maggie Stievater
‘Magisterium’ series written by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
‘The Seventh Tower’ series written by Garth Nix
‘Shadow House’ series written by Dan Poblocki
‘The Medoran Chronicles’ series written by Lynette Noni
‘The Wardstone Chronicles’ series by Joseph Delaney
‘The Laws of Magic’ series written by Michael Pryor
Is re-reading that bad?
In regards to ‘should we move them on?’, I believe that giving young people choice in what they read is key to developing a love of reading. Teacher librarians and school libraries are all about free-choice reading and I’ve long been a vocal advocate for ‘let them read what they want when they want’. However, encouraging young people to read widely and enjoy a balanced literary diet is something that can add immeasurably to their reading enjoyment.
I compare a balanced literary diet to a balanced food diet and like our body, our brain needs variety in order to grow. I think there is no harm in saying, ‘right! Harry Potter is now dessert, but for the main course, I’d really love you to try one of the books from this list, you may even like it eventually!’.
Having said this? Harry Potter or Percy Jackson may always be a safe place to fall and there is no harm in this. I’ve heard from some students I taught 15 years ago and they still go back to Harry Potter ‘in the holidays’! It’s like me with Donna Leon novels!
*I do find it hard to see my daughter’s deep love of all things Harry Potter develop, as Dan was reading the series aloud to her in the months before he died. It took her nearly a year after his death for her to restart them on her own and, though I offered, she wanted to read them alone. As sad as I find it, I am so pleased she has the memory of the time he spent reading them with her. Dan himself had a strong love of Harry Potter, though not as strong as his devotion to the Rangers Apprentice series – which is one of the series I often recommend after HP. His love for Rangers Apprentice knew no bounds and he hooked my father and brother up with the writing of John Flannagan as well – hilarious to see grown men swapping kids’ books. I’d highly recommend all fathers and father figures (or mothers/mother figures) read a series like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson with their children – they will enjoy them as much as the young readers and will also be modelling a love of reading.