Readers who are looking for books like The School for Good and Evil will love these novels that incorporate magical themes, battles between light and dark, and fairy tale elements.
The Netflix movie The School for Good and Evil is based on the book by the same name by Soman Chainani. Chainani's five book series is about adventures of two friends, Agatha and Sophie who are dropped into a school populated by the offspring of famous fairy tale heroes and heroines.
Similar to The School for Good and Evil series, the age recommendation of the books on this list is about 10-13 years old.
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THE FAIRY TALE DETECTIVES (The Sisters Grimm series) by Michael Buckley
This series could not be more fun! Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, descendants of the famous Brothers Grimm, live with their grandmother in Ferryport Landing. The entire series is filled with wonderful, reimagined fairy tale characters and madcap humor. In this first book, the sister must solve the mystery of why a giant is on the loose in the town. Ages 10 and up.
PENNYROYAL ACADEMY (series) by M.A. Larson
After rescuing a prince from a witch, Evie ends up at Pennyroyal Academy, where princesses and knights train in combat. Princesses learn how to battle witches and sew pretty dresses; knights learn how to kill dragons. Everyone is instilled with the values of “Courage, Compassion, Kindness, and Discipline.” Readers who want books like The School for Good and Evil will enjoy similar themes like split schools and recognizable fairy tale characters. Plus, the series is great fun. Ages 11 and up.
THE TRIALS OF MORRIGAN CROW (Nevermoor series) by Jessica Townsend
Morrigan Crow was born on Eventide, which means she is cursed. Cursed children are destined to live only 12 years and as Morrigan is 11, her time is rapidly approaching. But her fortunes turn when she gets an invitation to compete for a spot in the prestigious Wondrous Society. She must complete several trials in place called Nevermoor and if she is successful, she can remain instead of returning home to face her death. Ages 9 and up.
THE PRINCE OF NOWHERE by Rochelle Hassan
I confess that I did not see the twist coming in this time traveling tale. Other readers may figure out the twist earlier but it won't take away from the page-turning nature of this fast-paced story. Roda lives with her mother and aunt in a city surrounded by a freezing mist. She starts to get mysterious anonymous letters which foretell of things to come and which lead her to an injured crow. The crow turns out to be Ignis, a shapeshifter from Aerlands, outside the mist. Events soon have the pair following clues from the letters which take them on an incredible journey. Ages 9 and up.
MORE: Time Travel Books
FURTHERMORE by Tahereh Mafi
A magical, mysterious, modern day Alice in Wonderland-like book that is also great for kids who like The School for Good and Evil. 12-year-old Alice is determined to find her father after he disappears from Farenwood. Alice is a bit of a misfit. In a world full of color, she has pure white hair and white skin, and she performs miserably at the magic competition, when all 12 year olds are supposed to display their unique talent. After the competition, Alice and a boy, Oliver, set off on a topsy-turvy, inside-out and upside-down adventure into Furthermore to find and bring back her father. Ages 9 and up.
THE GOLDEN COMPASS (His Dark Materials series) by Phillip Pullman
Pullman's series is a modern classic and is a good choice for readers who want a step up in sophistication from The School for Good and Evil. Two children, Lyra and Will, cross parallel universes in a world where their souls (for lack of a better word) exist outside of their bodies as animal companions. The epic plot is complex and is heavily involved with philosophy and theology. Ages 11 and up.
THE HERO AND THE CROWN (series) by Robin McKinley
McKinley has created a richly detailed fantasy world with well-developed and complex characters. Aerin, the king of Damar's daughter is feared because of her mother and her unusual red-hair. But Aerin decides not to let others decide her destiny. She concocts and ointment that protects her from fire, battles dragons that threaten the land and defends the kingdom from the Northerners. An extremely rewarding read. Ages 10 and up.
THE SPINDLERS by Lauren Oliver
Oliver's text is magically poetic, full of puzzles, riddles and literary references, and her richly imagined world, is one you will not want to leave. However, it's also a little creepy and involves spider people, so sensitive readers should enter with caution. These same evil spider people have stolen the soul of Liza's younger brother. Liza falls through a hole in the wall where a giant rat takes helps her navigate a path to save her brother before the Feast of the Souls. Ages 9 and up.
BOOKS OF BAYERN (series) by Shannon Hale
The four novels in the Bayern series starts with a fantastic reimagining of the fairy tale, The Goose Girl. Ani is born with the gift of understanding and speaking with animals. She is send to the neighboring kingdom but along the way her servant abandons her and assumes her identity. Each book in the series focuses on a different protagonist tied to the country of Bayern who has a special power they must learn how to control and use effectively. Ages 11 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.
INKHEART (series) by Cornelia Funke
I adore the metafictional aspect of this book! There's something so wonderful about characters escaping the confines of their stories. Meggie's father's read aloud skills are so magical is actually able to read characters out of the books! Unfortunately an evil character he has read out of a book is on a mission to bring him down and Meggie's father has accidentally read his wife into a book. Spellbinding. Ages 10 and up.