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Beyond Harry Potter – books for 10 to 13-year-olds

My 11-year-old son loved reading Harry Potter and Harry, Hermione and Ron kept him enthralled for almost a year as he devoured the series.

However, having finished the final book and attended Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, he found himself at a loss as to what to read. I realised how much harder it is to find individual books that are age-appropriate than handing him a series that he can continue on with.

As it has been a long time since I was his age, there were not many books that I had read and could recommend. I sought out a copy of Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, The Best-Kept Secret by Emily Rodda and anything by Paul Jennings.

I knew there must be more great books that had been written since the 1980s, but I had no idea where to start.

And so, by asking other mothers and their children, we found more options for children who had read and loved Harry Potter.

Here is a list of his recent favourites (with my son’s – brief! – descriptions).

Anything by Anthony Horowitz: Power of Five series, Alex Rider series, or The Diamond Brothers

Action, adventure, and enough description to seem real and hook you in, but never boring.

Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

I liked the emotions involved – some sad, some happy. Realistic story of life of a young girl. A change from regular action-packed/fantasy favourites.

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

A bit more challenging to read because of the language and the complicated storylines, but they’re exciting and include magic. These books change your perception of magical creatures like fairies and leprechauns.

Anything by Rick Riordan: Magnus Chase series, Percy Jackson series, Heroes of Olympius series and Trials of Apollo series

Plenty of adventure, excitement and magic. Good storylines and unexpected twists. They’re also very funny.

Airman by Eoin Colfer

A good, engaging read, with some emotional complexity. Realistic.

Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine

Scary, thrillers. Some are a bit chilling but they’re not over-the-top scary – enough to give you a tingle down your spine but not nightmares.

Anything by Emily Rodda: Rowan of Rin series, Deltora Quest series, The Three Doors trilogy, The Glimme

Exciting, but more of a slow burn than Rick Riordan, with cool opportunities to decode clues yourself.

Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy

Magic, adventure, action. Lots of mysteries and twists. There are evil guys who want to take over the world, evil gods that want to destroy the world and a skeleton who wants to save the world.

Wonder by PJ Palacio

Interesting read, emotional, realistic. Opens your mind and changes what you think.

The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman

A good stand-alone book, with adventure and fantasy. Female main character.

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