I love stories which feature hidden worlds. Worlds within this world. Blame Hagrid. Since I first took a trip down Diagon Alley with Hagrid and Harry, I have loved the idea that more than one world can exist within the same physical space. The most magic moment for me is when Hagrid taps that brick wall. An everyday ordinary object, made extraordinary by the secret it conceals.
Every protagonist visits a new world, at least figuratively speaking. A new experience changes their flawed point of view. When that new world is magical, it plays up the truth of new experiences around the corner.
Here are ten stories I’ve really enjoyed. Ten worlds I have loved.
A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson
A favourite Middle Grade read of 2017. Owl has always made ice appear from her fingertips. When she learns who her father is, she sets out into a world where the seasons are controlled by a council of leaders, and brought into being by magic.
In Darkling Wood by Emma Carroll
Alice’s brother needs a heart transplant. Alice is packed off to stay with her Grandmother Nell. Alice meets a girl nobody has heard of. Flo shows her the secrets of Darkling Wood, the wood Nell wants to have chopped down. I am so due a reread. With Carroll’s next novel out in January, a cosy week in rereading her novels sounds like a very happy way to spend Christmas.
The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison
I love, love and triple love Harrison’s work. Tanya is always in trouble, but it’s not her fault the fairies stalk her. Sent to stay with her Grandmother, Tanya explores the woods, and starts to uncover the secrets hidden in her Grandmother’s past. Harrison’s faeries are descended straight from folklore. Divine.
Gabriel’s Clock by Hilton Pashley
Half-Angel, Half-Daemon Jonathan is in danger. Attacked in the middle of the night by strange monsters, Jonathan is sent to his Grandfather in the magical village of Hobbes End. The final part of the Hobbes End trilogy is out this autumn, and I can’t wait. This was a real favourite when I worked as a bookseller, and I can’t wait to tell people all about it. Look out for my spot on the blog tour in November.
The Rose Muddle Mysteries by Imogen White
Another favourite Middle Grade read this year. Rose has never had a family, so imagine her surprise when a wealthy lady gives her a locket to try on and says she is a long lost descendant. The only trouble is the dark shadows Rose saw when she tried the locket on, and the immediate murder of her benefactor. This is a great new series, set in a world reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, with added folklore. Brill.
Ink Heart by Cornelia Funke
Meggie’s father can read characters out of books. The only trouble is, they don’t always want to be let back in. Every character has their own agenda. A well known series, which highlights that books really do take us into whole new worlds.
Ned’s Circus Of Marvels by Justin Fisher
Ned has always thought of himself as ordinary. Average. Pretty boring. Then he learns about the veil which divides our world from a magical one, the circus which acts a front to keep dangerous magical beings from attacking the human world, and the people who would destroy the veil. Totally action packed, totally pacy, I loved the unique world and the idea of engineering as a form of magic.
The Dream Snatcher by Abi Elphinstone
Earth magic has always existed. Moll Pecksniff lives with a tribe of gypsies, who are among the last people to be in touch with it. The Witch Doctor Skull would destory the old magic, and turn the world over to darkness. Moll has a special ability, one which she inherited from her parents. It might help her save the old magic. I love Moll. She’s headstrong, but her heart is in the right place and she is brave. Also love her wild cat Gryff.
The Boy Who Went Magic by A. P. Winter
There’s no such thing as magic … everyone says so, except Bert accidentally activates a
magical mirror, and learns the princes plans. I love this book. It has airships and pirates, magical mirrors and hidden lands.
Read my Review for more info.
Bad Dreams by Anne Fine
Mel likes to be left alone. She lives through the books she reads. Then her class teacher puts her in charge on new girl Imogen. That’s fine, Mel reasons. Imogen can sit with her in the library. The only problem is, Imogen can’t so much as touch a book without yelping in pain. I LOVE this book. I loved it as a child, and reread it often alongside Charm School.
Are there any worlds within this world that you love? Do you have a TTT link? Post in the comments below.