These are series of fantasy stories, anything having to do with magic, fairy tales, or similar subjects. I also include stories with mythological creatures, talking animals (or animals that behave like humans), and other things that don’t exist. There aren’t many here yet, but there will be more later.
Magic in Daily Life
Magical events occur in the lives of ordinary children. The children live in the “real” world, often in times contemporary to when the books were written, but they encounter magical beings, objects, or circumstances that take them on fantastic adventures.
The third grade class at Bailey Elementary keeps encountering strange adults who may actually be mythological or supernatural creatures. 1990-2007.
This British fantasy trilogy is about the adventures of two young sisters, Charlotte and Emma Makepeace, who live at Aviary Hall. The best-known book of the trilogy is probably the third book, Charlotte Sometimes, which is a time travel story that takes place at a boarding school. By Penelope Farmer. 1962-1969.
A group of people known as the “Old Ones” struggle against the forces of evil. This series draws on Arthurian legends, mythology, and folklore. By Susan Cooper. 1965-1977.
The adventures of a haunted English mansion and the people who live there at various times. 1954-1976.
This short series of time travel stories is about children who reach out of their own time periods to touch others living in the past and in the future in order to change their world for the better. The series centers on themes of climate change and war and how we respond to changes in the world around us. By Margaret J. Anderson.
Jack and Annie discover an old tree house in the woods that is filled with books and can take them to different periods of time. By Mary Pope Osborne. 1992-Present.
A magical nanny comes to take care of children and take them on amazing adventures. 1934-1988.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is a woman who lives in an upside down house and has magical cures for children’s bad habits. By Betty MacDonald. 1947-1957, 2007, 1997-2001, 2016-2018.
Various groups of children go on magical adventures. A somewhat loose series that follows different sets of characters, although some of the events are related. By Edward Eager.
Magical or Living Toys and Dolls
A boy brings toy plastic figures to life by locking them in an old cupboard with a special key. 1980-1998.
Raggedy Ann and her brother, Raggedy Andy, are rag dolls who come to life and have magical adventures. By Johnny Gruelle. 1918-1975.
This classic children’s series is about a stuffed bear called Winnie-the-Pooh and his other animal friends who live in the Hundred Acre Wood. By A. A. Milne. 1924-1928.
Psychic People and Special Mental Abilities
The characters in these stories may or may not have magic, but they are either psychic or have special mental abilities, like the ability to read minds, predict the future, travel through time, see and communicate with ghosts, sense things about other people, or create things or change the nature of reality with their minds. For more books on this topic, see my list of books about people with Psychic Abilities, which also contains non-series books.
This is a very loose trilogy that takes place mainly in Canada, at a place called Hawthorn Bay on Lake Ontario, at various periods in history. It’s partly an historical series and partly fantasy because some of it involves fantasy elements like ESP and time travel. By Janet Lunn.
In the far distant future, humans have evolved to the point that the things they imagine can change the nature of reality itself. By Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman. 1994-1999.
Witches, Wizards, and Other Magical Beings
These stories might take place in the modern world, but they focus on witches, wizards, and other magical beings. For more books on these topics, see my lists of Witch Books and Wizard Books, which also contain non-series books.
Little Witch is a young witch in a family of witches. She is sometimes nicer than her family wishes that she would be and has adventures with her human children friends. By Deborah Hautzig. 1984-2004.
On her thirteenth birthday, Sarah Collins discovers that she is actually a witch and can use magic. By Megan Barnes.
Mildred Hubble is the worst witch at witch school, but sometimes, being a little different from everyone else can be a good thing. By Jill Murphy. 1974-2018.
These stories take place in magical places, like fairy tale lands.
This young adult series is about Princess Cimorene, who becomes the Queen of the Enchanted Forest. It parodies many popular fairy tales. By Patricia C. Wrede. 1985-1993.
This is actually a collection of fantasy series about different girls: the princess of a fairy-tale kingdom, a fairy, and a girl who travels through time with her aunt. The format is similar to the American Girls history series, and there were dolls associated with it. By various authors.
A boy named Elmer Elevator has adventures with a young dragon. 1948-1951.