It’s been more than ten years since Rick Riordan‘s Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, landed in bookstores, but it’s still being widely read by kids today. Since Percy, Riordan’s also journeyed into other mythological traditions including Norse (Magnus Chase), Egyptian (the Kane siblings), and gone back to Greek (Apollo). To keep the good times rolling, we’ve compiled a list of books like Percy Jackson. While not all are rooted in mythology (though many are), they all match the spirit, humor, and adventure that’s made Percy such a mainstay in middle grade fantasy.
So this is an obvious one, but of course all mega Percy Jackson fans will be delighted by this fully illustrated edition. Illustrator John Rocco brings Percy’s first adventure to life in stunning detail, from his first trip to Camp Half-Blood to his encounters with hell hounds, Furies, Medusa, and other creatures as he seeks out Zeus’s missing lightning bolt.
2. The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
It’s 1952 and Janie’s family has just moved to London from Los Angeles. Homesick, she consults an apothecary for a cure and becomes fascinated with him and his son, Benjamin, who dreams of becoming a spy. When Benjamin’s father suddenly disappears, he and Janie must use the apothecary’s secret book, the Pharmacopoeia, to find him. But they must also keep the book out of the hands of Russians who want to use it to carry out a nuclear attack.
3. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
As head of his family’s crime family, twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is determined to restore the Fowl family’s fortune. To do so, he kidnaps a fairy, Holly Short, and will have to take on the whole LEP (Lower Elements Police) if he wants to ransom her off.
4. Aru Shah and the End of Time (The Pandava series) by Roshani Chokshi
In the first title from Disney-Hyperion’s Rick Riordan Presents imprint, Aru Shah, in an attempt to impress some friends from school, lights a cursed lamp and frees an ancient demon intent on awakening the God of Destruction. To stop the demon and save the world, Aru must find the reincarnations of the Pandava brothers, heroes of Hindu myth, and travel through the Kingdom of Death.
5. Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
Taran, assistant pig keeper, longs for adventure and battle, to prove himself like his hero Prince Gwydion. After chasing a lost pig into the forest, Taran is injured and rescued by Prince Gwydion, who takes Taran along with him in a journey to take on the Horned King. Based on Welsh mythology, you might be more familiar with the second book in the series, The Black Cauldron, which was adapted by Disney in 1995.
6. The Colossus Rises: The Seven Wonders by Peter Lerangis
In six months, Jack McKinley’s going to die. That is, unless he can find seven magical loculi hidden inside the seven wonders of the ancient world. Summoned to a mysterious island alongside three other kids, a secret organization promises to save their lives by uniting the seven pieces together. Though the wonders have been lost for thousands of years, Jack and the others accept, and make their way to the first wonder at the Colossus of Rhodes where they learn they’ll have to save more than their own lives.
7. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee (January 15, 2019, Disney-Hyperion)
Science fiction and Korean myth collide as Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits, embarks on a quest to find her missing brother and clear his name. At their mother’s insistence, and to keep their family safe, neither Min or Jun uses any trace of fox magic (neither Charm nor shapeshifting), but Min will have to use more than ever before if she wants to save Jun and her planet.
8. D’AUlaireS Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
This guide to Greek myth for young readers has been in print for more than fifty years, and is a conclusive and accessible roundup of Greek gods, heroes, and myths.
9. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
When Kendra and Seth’s parents go away on a cruise, they’re left with their grandparents for what they think is a dull vacation. Instead, they discover their grandfather is the keeper of Fablehaven, a sanctuary for mystical and magical creatures. But when Seth breaks the rules, inadvertently unleashing trouble, Kendra and Seth have to find a way to make things right.
10. Fairy Tale Detectives (Sisters grimm) by Michael Buckley
When Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are sent to live with their grandmother Relda, they learn they’re the descendants of the famous Brothers Grimm. And the brothers’ famous book is actually a case file of all the monsters they encountered. Now the girls are living in a town full of magical creatures, both good and bad, and when one of them sets loose a giant who kidnaps Relda, it’s up to the sisters Grimm to save the day and find their grandmother.
11. The Flame of Olympus by Kate O’Hearn
When a winged horse named Pegasus crashes onto the roof of Emily’s Manhattan apartment, she and her friends are thrust into a battle to save all of Olympus. Dragged into a battle between Roman gods and creatures called Nirads, Emily teams up with a goddess, a thief, and a mortal boy to return Pegasus to Olympus and save all the gods, while avoiding a government agency that wants to experiment on Pegasus.
12. The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi
When twelve-year-old Farah and her two friends are sucked into a Jumanji-esque board game called The Gauntlet, they have to find a way to beat the game’s many challenges, engineered by its diabolical architect. If they can’t find a way to escape, they’ll stay trapped forever, and so will a bunch of other children, including Farah’s younger brother.
13. Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room, he finds himself in Underland, where people live alongside all types of creatures and critters. There, Gregor learns a prophecy predicts his role in Underland’s future, and though he wants nothing to do with it at first, helping the Underlanders might also mean solving the mystery of his father’s disappearance two years ago.
14. Gods and Heroes: Mythology Around the World by Korwin Briggs
For fans of mythology from all corners of the world, Korwin Briggs’s new book is a fun introduction to a variety of gods, goddesses and heroes. From Apollo, Greek god of prophecy, to Nu Gua, Chinese goddess of creation and renewal, to to Maui, the Maori hero of the Pacific, there are more than seventy figures from more than twenty traditions.
15. The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
In this story, rooted in Caribbean folklore, Corrine La Mer must save her island from the Jumbies. She thought they were just stories made up by parents to scare their children, but then she meets the beautiful and mysterious Severine. And bewitching Corrine’s father is just the first step in a larger plan for Severine to claim the entire island for the Jumbies, and to stop her, Corrine will have to gather all her courage and get a handle on magical abilities she didn’t know she had.
16. Loki’s Wolves (Blackwell pages) by K.A Armstrong and M.A Marr
Matt’s always known he’s a descendant of the Norse god Thor, and everyone else in his hometown, including his friends Laurie and Fen, know of their own connections to Thor and trickster Loki. It’s no big deal until Matt, Laurie, and Fen, are forced to fight in the place of the gods and stave off Ragnarok.
17. Max Tilt: Fire the Depths BY Peter lerangis
When Max Tilt and his cousin, Alex ,discover their great-great-grandfather Jules Verne (yes, that James Verne) authored a manuscript called The Lost Treasures that’s more fact than fiction, the two embark on an adventure that could solve all of Max’s problems. His ailing mother, his unemployed father, their soon-to-be foreclosed on house. But Max and Alex aren’t the only treasure hunters looking, and they’ll have to outrace a lifelong researcher if they want to get to the treasure first.
18. The MENAGERIE by Tui T. Sutherland and Kari Sutherland
When Logan Wilde discovers a griffin hiding under his bed, he’s drawn into the world of the Menagerie, guarded for centuries by Zoe Kahn’s family. But after someone releases the griffin cubs, the whole menagerie may be shut down. To save the Menagerie and find the person sabotaging it, Zoe’s willing to do anything, even enlist the help of outsider Logan.
19. The Serpent’s Secret (kiranmala and the kingdom beyond) by Sayantani Dasgupta
For her whole life, Kiranmala’s parents have told her she’s an Indian princess and not from this world. She’s never believed them, but when her twelfth birthday arrives, her parents suddenly disappear, and a rakkosh demon attacks her in her kitchen, it seems her parents may have been telling the truth. Joined by two handsome princes who are determined to rescue her, Kiranmala leaps into another dimension, dodging the Serpent King and Rakkoshi Queen, to find her parents and save the world.
20. The Shadow Thieves (THe cronus chronicles) by Anne Ursu
When Charlotte’s cousin Zee shows up, claiming to be the cause of an illness that’s felled his friends back in England, she doesn’t believe him. Until more people start getting sick, too. Together, Charlotte and Zee journey to the Underworld, where they learn that the fate of the whole world, both living and dead, is in their hands.
21. Skullduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
After her grandfather, an author of horror novels, passes away, twelve-year-old Stephanie Edgely inherits his house. She also inherits his enemies, one of which attacks her. But Stephanie’s also inherited her grandfather’s friend, Skullduggery Pleasant, skeleton, detective, and sorcerer. Realizing her beloved grandfather’s novels were based more in truth than she ever knew, and that he was murdered, Stephanie and Skullduggery go together on a journey to find his killer and, of course, save the world.
22. The Field Guide (the spiderwick chronicles) by Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black
When the three Grace children move into their new house, they discover a book in their attic: Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastic World Around You. As strange things begin to happen around the house, the kids realize they aren’t the only ones living there, and are instead sharing it with a bunch of mythical and magical creatures.
23. Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes (September 18, Disney-Hyperion)
In the next release from Disney’s Rick Riordan Presents, Storm Runner, a boy name Zane is thrust into a battle against Maya gods. A new girl at school informs him he’s destined to release a Maya god from the ancient relic he’s imprisoned in, unless she can find the god first. But their plans go awry, and Zane ends up in a battle between the gods (just like Percy Jackson before him, one of these gods is Zane’s father), and if Zane wants to win—and survive—he’ll have to become the Storm Runner. But it’s hard for Zane to imagine it when he can’t even walk without his cane.
24. Valkyrie by Kate O’Hearn
A young valkyrie approaching her fourteenth birthday, Freya isn’t too eager to take up the full duties of a valkyrie, collecting souls from battlefields. She’s much more interested in the lives of humans, who Freya’s only watched from afar on Asgard. But on her first battlefield mission, Freya reaps a soldier whose unfinished business whisks her to Midgard where she has to battle enemies both mortal and immortal.
25. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Living with her mother and father in their ramshackle hut in the valley of Fruitless Mountain, Minli spends her days in the field and her nights listening to her father’s stories of the Old Man on the Moon. In search of a way to change their fortunes, Minli departs on a journey to find the Old Man and ask him how.
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