Have a fairy-loving kid on your hands? Since I have spent several months of near-constant scrambling, trying to find things my daughter would enjoy reading, I figured I’d log what I found in the hope that it helps someone else. I found five fairy-themed chapter book series and four series that involved enough magic to make up for the lack of fairies. These range from late-second to fourth grade reading level and include occasional pictures, since my visual kid loves illustrations. Several of them also feature a nice, big font, for those intimidated by small, crowded type.
Rainbow Magic – These are the fairy equivalent of the Magic Tree House series, though written by an author conglomerate calling themselves Daisy Meadows. Two child protagonists–both girls this time–are the only humans in contact with the fairy world, and in each book they have to help the fairies recover some magical object pilfered by the mischievous Jack Frost and his goblins. While these were horrifically formulaic (The girls must be 80, for all the spring breaks they’ve spent together!), my daughter loved them and they really had no objectionable content. Most of these incredibly numerous books–written in seven-book themed sets–range from a 2.4-3.0 reading level and are exactly 65 pages long, but there are a handful of sets at the 4th grade level and the special edition books are all over 150 pages.
Disney Fairies – This chapter book series was (obviously) created by Disney, set in Neverland but introducing more fairies beyond Tinkerbell. While there are more than 25 of these books, we didn’t get beyond the first two chapters of the first one; while the font was not too small, I think my daughter was turned off by the illustration style. I’ve been told that the stories are better than the Rainbow Magic series, though, so it can’t hurt to try them! The reading level on these is mostly in the 4th grade range.
Never Girls – This series by Kiki Thorpe features four girls who accidentally find themselves in Neverland. Though the island is the same as the one from Peter Pan (and Tinkerbell is a character in the series), the books are far more focused on the girls’ experiences in this magical place. These books–at least a dozen of them–seem to be written at mid-third grade level and are again just over 100 pages each. The font is not huge, but the pages appear to be double-spaced (or nearly so), making them appear less intimidating. The reading level for these books (according to PermaBound) is mid-to-upper 3rd grade.
The Fairy Bell Sisters – This six-book series by Margaret McNamara follows the exploits of Tinker Bell’s little sisters, who live with other fairies on Sheepskerry Island. The font is quite large, the books are interspersed with pencil sketches, and they are only about 120 pages long–but PermaBound has them listed at a 4th grade reading level.
The Fairies’ Promise – Written by Kathleen Duey, this four-book series follows the exploits of a young fairy (only in her 60s, which for fairies is still a child!) named Alida who has been captive for many years and is now trying to find her kin and restore the relationship between fairies and humans. The storytelling was really pretty good in this series, with each story building upon the previous one and not simply relying on a predictable pattern. Each book was about 100 pages long, and from what I could figure out, they’re written at roughly 3rd grade level.
Fairy Ponies – An Usborne series by Zanna Davidson, this six-book series features ponies who ARE fairies. A young girl visiting her great-aunt for the summer meets the fairy ponies and, after helping save one of their young, is granted access into their magical kingdom, where she helps to solve a variety of problems. Though they’re marketed for ages 7+, these would be easily accessible to younger kids, too. Each book is just under 100 pages, and I’d guess they’re writing is about 3rd grade level.
Non-Fairy-Specific Magical Books
Once I exhausted the list of fairy books I could find, I started searching online for similar books that my daughter might also enjoy. Here are a few more series that she enjoyed around the same time as her fairy obsession.
The Kingdom of Wrenly – The main characters of these books aren’t fairies, but they live in a kingdom with a whole island run by fairies and my daughter enjoyed these books around the same time as her fairy obsession, so they’re worth a try. A young boy and girl–a prince and his best friend–gallivant around their intriguing kingdom on a variety of adventures. This series by Jordan Quinn has at least ten books that are just over 100 pages each. They feature a large font and frequent pictures, and the reading level ranges from late 2nd to early 3rd for the books I could find listed.
My Little Pony Chapter Books – I wince at character-themed books, but if they keep my kid reading, I’m willing to make a few exceptions. Since I’d seen the child of someone I respect reading one of these, I figured they can’t be entirely horrible. Having now read a couple of them, I definitely wouldn’t call them great literature, but they weren’t as horrible as I expected. (How’s that for a recommendation?) The books for which I could find reading levels were mostly at the upper end of 4th grade level.
My Secret Unicorn – I wasn’t sure how this series would go down, since it’s essentially a girl-with-pony series, but the appeal of finding out your horse is secretly a unicorn was enough to draw my daughter in. She didn’t make it through the whole series, but she enjoyed the first five books or so. The font is moderate size and the books, written at early 4th grade level, include a sprinkling of realistic pencil sketches.
Rescue Princesses – I think the only thing that convinced my non-animal-person daughter to read these animal rescue books is the fact that the first book featured a fawn on the front–about the only non-magical animal she likes. The fact that the princesses in this book were both very fancy and very cool sealed the deal. Girls who wear fancy dresses and also sneak around in the dark exposing evil and using magical jewels to save the day? We’ll take it! These books feature moderate-sized font and some stylized, cartoony images (WHY do all the princesses look the same except for their hair?!) and range from 3rd to early 4th grade level, according to Scholastic.