Popular Fiction Read-Alikes

December 9, 2020 | Andrea

Comments (0)

Kids impatiently waiting for their holds on the latest Jeff Kinney book? Our children's librarians made a list of middle-grade fiction read-alikes. We have lots of suggestions for books similar to popular series such as Artemis Fowl, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter, Land of Stories and Lumberjanes. Check out the entire booklist!

Book Covers - 7 titles from Popular Fiction Read-alike List

Readers of all ages find comfort in revisiting their favourite stories. There's nothing wrong with reading beloved books more than once. But sometimes you're looking for something new, in the same genre or with familiar story tropes you enjoy. We've got the perfect tool for read-alike recommendations!

Novelist K-8 is an online database of reading suggestions for kids, accessible with your library card. Find read-alikes by genre or make your own "appeal mix." For example, you can search for books with sarcastic characters, suspenseful tones, intricately plotted storylines – or all three! Novelist is also available for adults so you can mix your own reading cocktail. 

Parents and educators enjoy sharing their own childhood favourites with their kids, and it's incredibly rewarding if they get into those books. Regardless of the type of stories your child likes to read, choice is important. When kids pick the books they want to read, they are not only more likely to finish the book, but to read more on average! Reading for pleasure has lots of amazing benefits, including building vocabulary, improving concentration and developing the ability to empathize with others. Giving your child the ability to choose their own books will help instill a lifelong love of reading!


If you like: survival stories, found families, magic portals leading to strange lands

Try: The Barren Grounds by David Robertson

The Barren Grounds by David Robertson

Eli and Morgan are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg after being forced away from their families. Lonely and disconnected, they discover a doorway to another world in the attic. They meet the hunter Ochek, and together they embark on a quest to save his starving community. Billed as Narnia meets Indigenous folklore, this is the first book in a new fantasy series.


If you like: odd couples solving mysteries, magic meets technology

Try: The Case of the Slime Stampede by Liam O'Donnell and Mike Deas 

The Case of the Slime Stampede by Liam O’Donnell and Mike Deas

A goblin and a troll team up to clear the school caretaker’s name when cleaning slime runs amok. The action and adventure doesn’t let up, with wizards, pirates and an eight-legged principal in the mix. The first book in the Tank and Fizz series.


If you like: realistic fiction, school and family dynamics, sibling bonds

Try: Jo: An Adaptation of Little Women (Sort of) by Kathleen Gros 

Jo: An Adaptation of Little Women (Sort of) by Kathleen Gros

The March sisters are reimagined for the modern day. Jo is in eighth grade, writing for the school paper and dealing with crushes and coming out. Looking for more books similar to the work of Raina Telgemeier? Check out our graphic novel read-alikes.


If you like: superhero comics, ragtag bunch of misfits teaming up, gross-out humour

Try: Mucus Mayhem by Kevin Sylvester 

Mucus Mayhem by Kevin Sylvester and Britt Wilson

Jess is allergic to everything. So it must be awesome to develop superpowers, right? Unfortunately, on the list of dream superpowers, the ability to turn your used tissues into snot minions ranks pretty low. How is she going to help save the world? Jess is part of the Almost Epic Squad, a hilarious multi-author series about kids with less-than-ideal superpowers. 


If you like: fairy tales, animal companions

Try: A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong 

A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong

Rowan is next in line to be queen, but she'd rather switch places with her twin brother to be the Royal Monster Hunter instead. She gets her chance when a dangerous gryphon threatens the land.


If you like: magic schools, shapeshifting shenanigans, flying vehicles

Try: Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins 

Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski  Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins

Nory fails her entrance exam to a magical academy where her dad is the headmaster. She's sent to live with her aunt and attend a more "experimental" school for students with more unusual gifts.


If you like: Greek mythology, horses

Try: Wings of Olympus by Kallie George 

Wings of Olympus by Kallie George and Fiona Hsieh

Pippa is swept up in the world of Greek myth when she is chosen to compete in a winged horse race on Mount Olympus.


If you enjoy realistic fiction like Wonder, the December pick for our Family Book Club is Rules by Cynthia Lord.

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Catherine creates a set of rules for her younger brother, who has autism. When she makes a new friend who communicates through a book of pictures, she learns some lessons about acceptance and being different. Join us to discuss this book on December 17 at 6 pm! A replay will be available after the program.