Magic in Our World: Middle Grade Urban Fantasy

With a little imagination, magic can be spotted even in the most mundane objects. A neighborhood cat can transform into a witch’s familiar. A coin dropped in a fountain may have more power than you know. A book can open up worlds both familiar and fantastic with each turn of the page… 

Oh wait, books do that anyway!

Especially urban fantasy novels, which take the world we know so well and give it a little magical twist. The result? Captivating tales that ask your middle-grade reader to take in their world and wonder what if

Our recommendation wizards at Literati have a few books that will let your middle grade reader slip into all the enchantments of a fantasy novel with the same real-world familiarity of a contemporary one.

Swish and flick! Here are our favorite urban fantasy novels for middle grade readers.

Be Careful What You Wish for With The Collectors

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I wish I could do a backflip.

I wish I had a magic flying carpet. 

I wish my sister would turn into a mini pig. 

Chances are, we’ve all made a few wishes that we aren’t particularly proud of. If it’s been twenty years and your sibling still hasn’t sprouted a pig nose, you can, perhaps, thank The Collectors. 

Van, the soft-spoken protagonist of Jacqueline West’s novel, comes face-to-face with The Collectors—a society of wish workers devoted to monitoring which wishes should come true and which wishes should not. But what happens when ill-wishers’ desires are granted and left to run amuck and cause harm in the city streets?

The Collectors is an addictive new take on the tried and true adage: be careful what you wish for! Your child will love following Van’s adventures and watching what mayhem comes from a little irresponsible wishing. 

Try Your Hand at Sorcery with The Okay Witch

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We could say that The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkeller—rife with ghosts of a town’s dark past, snarky talking cats, and epic battles of good versus evil—is perfect for a spooky October day. To be fair, it totally is. But, truthfully, we urge readers to pick this one up in any season. 

Moth Hush has never been particularly spooked by witches—in fact, she loves every witchy book, TV show, and movie out there! But being a witch is an entirely different story.

When Moth discovers magical powers of her own, she also uncovers a family tie to the witch trials that took place years ago in her hometown. With a little help from a talking cat, a museum curator, and a wallflower best friend, Moth must master her magical heritage and reveal what really happened in the past—before history can repeat itself. 

Charming magic, lifelike characters, and hilarious, heartfelt dialogue make this book way more than just okay. In fact, this may become your middle grade reader’s latest and greatest on their urban fantasy shelf. 

Explore the Darker Side of Magic with Jaclyn Hyde

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For your child, being “perfect” might mean a report card of A’s, getting along with siblings, and making it onto the school basketball team. But that pressure to be perfect can sometimes do more harm than good. It’s certainly a lesson that protagonist Jacklyn Hyde has to learn the hard way.

And by “the hard way,” we mean taking a “perfection” potion and turning into a goblin monster that wreaks havoc on her life.

Yeah… that sounds less than perfect.

If you hear a midnight cackle of laughter coming from your child’s favorite reading corner, it’s likely coming from your middle grade reader who just can’t seem to put Jaclyn Hyde down. We can’t really blame them though, can we? 

Find Fantasy Wherever You Go with Literati 

Literati is more than a subscription book club for kids. It’s a monthly, conversation-starting package woven into words your middle grade reader will be talking about for weeks to come.

Talk about magic in our world!

If you’re looking for a way to invite the fantastic into your child’s life, the hand-selected titles for Club Phoenix are perfect for readers between the ages of nine and twelve. Each book box comes with five books hand-selected by our middle grade experts along with treats and surprises like themed art, bookmarks, and more! Keep the books you want and return the books you don’t (just like—dare we say it—magic).

Enchant your child into a lifelong love of reading with Literati.

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