So your young readers loved Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and they are wondering what to read next. When looking for books like Percy Jackson, readers want fast-paced, exciting adventures with magical or supernatural elements just like in The Lightening Thief!
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Need a printable version of this Percy Jackson read alike book list to take to the library? You can grab one at the end of the list!
RICK RIORDAN NOVELS
Find it: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard | The Kane Chronicles | Heroes of Olympus | The Trials of Apollo | Daughter of the Deep | The Sun and the Star
The first place to turn to for books like Percy Jackson, is Riordan's other series. The Magnus Chase stories draw their inspiration from Norse myths. The Kane Chronicles delve into Egypt's myths and legends, while Heroes of Olympus goes back to Greek Mythology and Camp Half-Blood. The 5 book series, The Trials of Apollo also focuses on Greek myths but Daughter of the Deep pays homage to Jules Verne. The Sun and the Star takes place in the same world as Percy.
There are also graphic novel versions of Percy Jackson and other Riordan books
MORE: Middle Grade Books Inspired by Myths from around the World
RICK RIORDAN PRESENTS
Another great source for kids who want books similar to Percy Jackson is Rick Riordan Presents, an imprint, with the stated goal, "to publish great middle grade authors from underrepresented cultures and backgrounds, to let them tell their own stories inspired by the mythology and folklore of their own heritage." This list contains several series from the Rick Riordan Presents imprint, but there are many more!
TRISTAN STRONG PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE SKY (series) by Kwame Mbalia
Tristan Strong is grieving the loss of his best friend and reluctantly headed for Alabama to stay with his grandparents. While tussling with a strange creature he punches a tree, opening up a passage between his world and MidPass. Adventures and struggles follow as Tristan meets persons and creatures from African-American and West African myth and folklore. Young readers who love epic adventures, wily foes and heroic legends will love this tale. Highly recommended. Ages 9 and up.
ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME (series) by Roshani Chockshi
I love how Roshani Cockshi's Pandava series uses Hindu mythology to take readers on a fantastical journey. Aru has a tendency to stretch the truth, and while she is spending the school holiday at the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture (her mother is an archeologist), her classmates dare her to prove her claim that the Lamp of Bharata is cursed. What happens next involves frozen classmates, the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, a demon and the Kingdom of Death! Ages 9 and up.
THE BLACKTHORN KEY (series) by Kevin Sands
This is an incredibly suspenseful and action-packed upper middle grade series. (On par with some of the darker imagery in the Harry Potter books). Christoper, an orphaned apprentice in 17th century London must solve a complex puzzle surrounding the murders of apothecaries. Despite the seriousness of the plot, the well-drawn characters provide some humor. Ages 10 and up.
MORE: 50 Upper Middle Grade Novels (ages 11-15)
THE LAST MAPMAKER by Christina Soontornvat
Twelve-year-old Sai is an assistant to Paiyoon, a master mapmaker in Mangkon, a Thai-inspired fantasy kingdom. Sai is hiding her less-than-aristocratic ancestry. To prevent her secret from being revealed on her 13th birthday, Sai sails with Paiyoon on a ship bound for the Sunderlands in pursuit of treasure. Spellbinding. Ages 9 and up.
MORE: Grab our read alike bookmarks!
BLACK BIRD, BLUE ROAD by Sofiya Pasternack
After they read the shocking opening sentence, readers who like Percy Jackson's adventures won't be able to put this book down.. In the Turkic Jewish empire of Khazaria, Ziva has been taking care of her twin brother Pesah, while he works to invent a cure for his leprosy. On their birthday, the twins learn that their parents and uncle are sending him away to a leper colony, but when Pesah has a vision that he will meet the Angel of Death on Rosh Hashanah, the siblings run away, headed for Luz, where the Angel of Death cannot go. They travel with Almas, a sheydim who Ziva rescues. Ages 9 and up.
ICE WOLVES (series) by Amie Kaufman
Twins, Rayna and Anders, live by the seat of their pants. Homeless orphans, they must use their wiles to survive. During a village ceremony in which it is revealed which 12 year olds have the power to shape-shift into wolves, each twin discovers they have magical blood. Rayna can shape shift into a dragon and Anders into a wolf. The trouble is, the dragon and wolf blood communities have are mortal enemies. Now Rayna and Anders must discover the secret of why that is. Ages 10 and up.
THE APOTHECARY (series) by Maile Meloy
The action is set in 1952 against the backdrop of the cold war. In London, 14 year old Janie befriends Benjamin, the son of a mysterious apothecary. Benjamin wants to be a spy and enlists Janie in his efforts. When his father disappears, Janie and Benjamin get caught up in a plot involving a magical book called the Pharmacopoeia, spells which allow humans to turn into birds, Russian spies, and unbelievable potions. I couldn't put it down! Ages 10 and up.
MORE: Big List of Fantasy Novels for Tweens
LALANI OF THE DISTANT SEA by Erin Entrada Kelly
This book will capture your child's attention from the very first page. Rich vocabulary and imagery drawn from Filipino folklore take readers and listeners on a thrilling and utterly unique adventure. Lalani's mother falls ill and Lalani sets out on a voyage across the sea to the legendary Mount Isa in hopes of curing her. Themes range from the limits of personal responsibility, familial relationships and loyalty, and abuse of power and leadership.
THE VENGEKEEP PROPHECIES (series) by Brian Farrey
Jaxter Grimjinx is the eldest son in a family of thieves. When a trick goes bad and magical misfortunate starts to rain down on the city, Jaxter sets off to find the ingredients to counteract the spell. This is a great book full of interesting characters, magical moments and lots of suspense. I raced through this series, as did my son! Ages 9 and up.
MORE: Books Similar to Harry Potter
AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS (series) by B.B. Alston
Amari's brother, Quinton, is missing, but Amari insists that he is still alive. One day there is a mysterious visitor on her doorstep who delivers a package that reveals Quinton's secret. He is part of a Bureau of Supernatural Affairs and now Amari has a chance to find her own magic and earn a place in the Bureau. But Amari is not just an escapist fantasy, Alston deftly incorporates themes of bullying, prejudice and inequality. Ages 8 and up.
THE FOG DIVER (series) by Joel Ross
In a world where a deadly fog covers most of the earth, the population lives high on the mountains. A boy named Chess, with fog in eyes, has the uncanny ability to survive in the fog. He and his friends scavenge for goods from past worlds by diving off a floating boat. They are determined to save their adoptive mother, who is suffering from fog sickness but Lord Kodoc is on the hunt for Chess, whose abilities he both fears and desires for his own purposes. This may all sound very melodramatic, but it makes for a very exciting story. Don't miss the sequel, The Lost Compass. Ages 8 and up.
THE FALSE PRINCE (series) by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The kingdom is in turmoil and a nobleman is determined to pass off an unknown orphan as the missing prince. He brings three boys to train at his estate, promising that the one who best completes the test will have a new life as the ruler. Readers will find themselves constantly on their toes as to the outcome and a surprise twist will leave kids eager to read the next books in the series.
PILAR RAMIREZ AND THE ESCAPE FROM ZAFA by Julian Randall
12-year-old aspiring documentary filmmaker, Pilar Ramirez, lives in a gentrifying Chicago neighborhood with her Dominican-American family. Her abuela fled Rafael Trujillo's brutal dictatorship and her cousin vanished fifty years ago. Her college sister's sociology professor researches missing persons and when Pilar starts to look at a file in the professor's office, she is whisked through time and space to the mysterious and magical island of Zafa where she must endeavor to save the island from the sinister El Cuco. Ages 9 and up.
THE TROUBLED GIRLS OF DRAGOMIR ACADEMY by Anne Ursu
When 12-year-old Marya Lupu upsets an important visit by sorcerers come to test her older brother for magic, she is sent away to Dragomir Academy. Dragomir is a boarding school housed in a castle donated by a Count for the purpose of educating "troublesome" girls. The teachers, while not unkind, insist that girls follow rules. Marya, and her new friend, Elana, find this difficult. At the academy, Marya, starts to build relationships and questions what she's told about magic, who can wield it, and why it threatens the land. Her discoveries lead to uncovering secrets about the structure of Illyria's society. Ages 8 and up.
MORE: Books like Wings of Fire
HEALER OF THE WATER MONSTER by Brian Young
Nathan is trying to avoid spending time with his dad's new girlfriend, so instead of heading to Las Vegas with his father, he convinces his divorced parents to let him visit his grandmother on the Navajo reservation. In the desert, Nathan encounters Pond, an ailing water monster from the Navajo Creation Story. From there, Nathan begins his epic adventure into the Navajo Third World with the help of the Holy Beings. Young intriguingly blends together Diné mythology and the contemporary world. Fantastic.
THE SERPENT'S SECRET (series) by Sayantani DasGupta
DasGupta's original story draws upon Bengali myths and folklore. Kiranmala, and Indian sixth-grade interdimensional demon slayer is concerned. A spell gone awry has sent her parents into another dimension and she is about to be eaten by a rakkhosh demon in her own kitchen. Thus begins a highly engaging and funny adventure in which Kiranmala rejects two princes' offer to rescue her, travels to a magical dimension full of fantastic beasts, battles demons, solves riddles and saves New Jersey.
MORE: Books like Warriors by Erin Hunter
DACTYL HILL SQUAD (series) by Daniel José Older
It's 1863 and the Civil War is being fought with troops on the backs of raptors! This is a spectacular and unique historical fantasy story. When Magdalys and several friends are on a field trip, children from the orphanage where they live are kidnapped. Magdalys and the others head to the Dactyl Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn where they learn how to ride pterodactyls as part of a plan to take down the evil magistrate behind the kidnappings. Magdalys has some trouble learning how to be a team player but her skill as a dinosaur telepath helps lead the group to victory.
THE STORM RUNNER by J.C. Cervantes
In The Storm Runner, Mayan mythology is front and center. Thirteen-year-old Zane learns that the volcano in his New Mexico backyard is actually a prison for a Mayan god. When Brooks, a mysterious shape-shifting girl, shows up to help Zane fulfill his destiny, the adventure begins. Ages 10 and up.
THE UNWANTEDS (series) by Lisa McMann
My son loved this series, although it wasn't really my cup of tea. Every year, in the authoritarian country of Quill, 13-year-olds are sorted into categories according to their abilities. The artistic children, or "Unwanteds" are sent away to their deaths. This year, Alex is separated from his twin, Aaron. Aaron goes off with the Wanteds to university but Alex heads off to what he thinks is his doom. However, after he passes through "the Purge," he discovers that, instead of meeting his end, he finds himself in Artimé, a place where creativity and magic are nourished. However, war breaks out between Quill and Artimé, and the brothers are pitted against one another. Ages 10 and up.
ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME (series) by Roshani Chockshi
Take advantage of your child's love for Chris Colfer's series to introduce them to tales from around the world. I love how Roshani Cockshi's Pandava series uses Hindu mythology to take readers on a fantastical journey. Aru has a tendency to stretch the truth, and while she is spending the school holiday at the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture (her mother is an archeologist), her classmates dare her to prove her claim that the Lamp of Bharata is cursed. What happens next involves frozen classmates, the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, a demon and the Kingdom of Death! Ages 9 and up.
maria gianferrari says
Some other action-oriented titles you might like:
Mothman's Curse by Christine Hayes
Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable Fib by Adam Shaughnessy
Erica MomandKiddo says
Thank you for the recommendations!
Thank you so much. I keep asking librarian's and not getting much of a response. These are my son's favorite books and if I don't pick up something equally as good, he just reads them over and over again.
Erica MomandKiddo says
I hope he likes some of these!
Lucy Mitchell says
Great list! I'd also recommend Skullduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy - big books(I think there are seven in the series) that my boys flew through, as did all their classmates. Don't be put off by the scary covers - the books are great.
Erica MomandKiddo says
Thanks for the recommendations!
What age?? I’m looking for Fantasy Adventure Books like Riordan’s or Percy Jackson for 13 year olds (actually he read these when he was 11/12. But similar authors/stories! Any Suggestions Out There?? Thank You!!
Lucy Mitchell says
Oh, and the Arthur Quinn books too - I think there are two so far. By Alan Early.
Manda Leong Johnston says
Thank you for this and all your other wonderful lists. May I suggest you add to your 'to be read' list Suzanne Collins' Underland Chronicles (I couldn't find mention of it anywhere on your site)? These five books are full of adventure (and don't hold back on necessary violence) and my daughter thoroughly enjoyed them as a 9-year-old. We haven't been able to persuade anyone else, except an adult friend, to try them but that is only a reflection of our poor abilities to convince others of the fabulousness of this series!
Erica MomandKiddo says
Thank you for the suggestion. I'm familiar with this series, but I need to read it. I'll add it to my read list.
Anything by Brandon Mull should be on the list but especially his Fablehaven series. I'm an adult and I've read the series and 8 times. I even bought the whole series in German so I can read it again lol.
*about 8 times
I recommend Five Kingdoms. There are 4 so far.
I love The Fog Diver and I'm so glad someone else has heard about it! May I also recommend The Girl Who Can Fly, and the 2nd book, The Boy Who Knew Everything. Thrilling, strange Little House on the Prairie/ Xmen/ Artemis Fowl mashup about kids with strange powers.
Thank you for the recommendations! There's a sequel out to The Fog Diver, now -- The Lost Compass.
My daughter is completely obsessed with Percy Jackson and her grandparents found these books which she is also loving. She is 10 but reads probably at a 9th or 10th grade level.
Book Lover says
I'm so excited to read this one. It's wonderful!!