Magic and Math: Schools for Sorcerers

These fantasies are about magical schools, where the everyday becomes fantastic. Many of these fantasies pre-date the wildly popular Harry Potter series, but all contain similar elements, including magical teachers, and magic as part of the curriculum. Some of these stories portray schools in a magical world, where students must deal with magic as well as normal school issues such as bullying or self-esteem.

To find more books like the titles below, begin with a subject search of “schools — juvenile fiction” and a keyword search of “magic.”

Alexander, Alma.
Gift of the Unmage. 2007.
As the seventh child born of the union of two seventh children, fourteen-year-old Thea has not fulfilled her parents’ hope of having special magical powers, and they try a last, desperate measure before sending her to a school for those with no magical ability. However, the students can’ escape magic, and it finds its way into the Wandless Academy. Begins the Worldweavers series.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Al262g]

Chainani, Soman.
The School for Good and Evil. 2013.
With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile, her best friend Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil. When the girls’ fortunes are reversed and Sophie is at the School for Evil and Agatha at the School for Good, the girls are convinced that a mistake has been made, but in trying to remedy it they learn more about themselves and fairy tale conventions than they bargained for.
[SSHEL S Collection S. C3491s]

Duey, Kathleen.
Skin Hunger. 2007.
In alternate chapters, Sadima travels from her farm home to the city and becomes assistant to a heartless man who is trying to restore knowledge of magic to the world, and a group of boys fights to survive in the academy that has resulted from his efforts. A sequel, Sacred Scars, was published in 2009.
[SSHEL S Collection S. D869sk]

Horowitz, Anthony.
Groosham Grange. 2008.
After being expelled from school, thirteen-year-old David Eliot is sent to Groosham Grange, a spooky and sinister boarding school where ghosts and ghouls rule the school and the students study witchcraft. Originally published in 1988 it is followed by Returned to Groosham Grange: The Unholy Grail.
[SSHEL S Collection S. H785g]

Jones, Diana Wynne.
The Lives of Christopher Chant. 1988.
Chronologically, this is the first Chrestomanci story. Chrestomancis are nine-lived wizards, each of whom live at Chrestomanci Castle. Their children are joined by other magically-talented children to form a kind of boarding school where the students learn about themselves and their powers. Some members of the school venture to other worlds or the current Chrestomanci travels to other worlds to deal with problems.
[SSHEL S Collection S. J713L]

Jones, Diana Wynne.
Year of the Griffin. 2000.
This is the sequel to Dark Lord of Derkholm. In this tale, younger siblings and new characters come together at the University to study magic and encounter all kinds of trouble and adventure.
[SSHEL S Collection S. J713y]

Lackey, Mercedes and Rosemary Edghill.
Legacies. 2010.
After her family is killed, Spirit White is taken to Oakhurst Academy, a combination orphanage and school for those with magical powers, where she and her new friends investigate when students start mysteriously disappearing. Sequels Conspiracies, Sacrifices, and Victories continue the Shadow Grail series.
[SSHEL S Collection S. L118le]

Laybourn, Emma.
Missing Magic. 2007.
Thanks to his influential uncle Kelver, Ned’s gotten into an elite new school. But there’s a problem — everyone there can do magic. And Ned? Not a lick. Amid whispers of the terrifying Necromancers, Ned struggles to adjust to his new situation. Then, just as he’s getting accustomed to having his hair turned into snakes and his books into bricks, the Necromancers strike! Ned and his classmates are kidnapped. But without magic, how can he possibly help them escape?
[SSHEL S Collection S. L451m]

Lidell, Alex.
The Cadet of Tildor. 2013.
At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers, but when her mentor is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and best friend Alec struggle to do what is right in a world of crime and political intrigue.
[SSHEL S Collection S.L6196c]

Murphy, Jill.
The Worst Witch. 1981.
It’s Mildred’s first year at Miss Cackle’s Academy for witches; but already she knows she’s the worst at everything. When she makes a particularly disastrous mistake, Mildred decides to run away. On her way she makes a shocking discovery and must overcome her problems to save the school. The Worst Witch returns in several sequels.
[SSHEL S Collection S. M954W]

Neff, Henry.
The Hound of Rowan. 2007.
After glimpsing a hint of his destiny in a mysterious tapestry, twelve-year-old Max McDaniels becomes a student at Rowan Academy, where he trains in “mystics and combat” in preparation for war with an ancient enemy that has been kidnapping children like him. Begins the Tapestry series.
[SSHEL S Collection S. N298h]

Nimmo, Jenny.
Midnight for Charlie Bone. 2002.
Charlie is reasonably happy, living with his impoverished mother and paternal grandmother. But when his father’s strange family observes his uncanny talent, he is sent to a strange school with a sinister headmaster. Soon Charlie and his new friends become part of an ancient battle that continues in the other books in the Children of the Red King series.
[SSHEL S Collection S. N617m]

Pierce, Tamora.
Alanna: The First Adventure. 1983.
Alanna’s dream is to be a knight; so she takes her brother’s place and travels to the palace of Tortall as a page. But she must learn to accept herself and her magic before she can defeat her enemies and become a lady knight. Alanna continues her journey in the Song of the Lioness series.
[SSHEL S Collection S. P611A]

Pierce, Tamora.
First Test. 1999.
Keladry of Mindelan is determined to be a lady knight, like her heroine Sir Alanna. She must prove herself to the other boys and her instructors as well as overcoming physical and magical challenges before she can become a page. Read more about Keladry in the Protector of the Small series.
[SSHEL S Collection S. P611f]

Pierce, Tamora.
Sandry’s Book. 1997.
Four children, outcast and misfit among their families and peoples, are brought to Winding Circle to learn a new way of life and discover their hidden talents. Tris, Daja, and Briar’s books follow in the Circle of Magic series.
[SSHEL S Collection S. P611sa]

Rowling, J. K.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. 1998.
Harry Potter has a miserable life with his relatives until magical things begin to happen and he finds himself at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. In his first year, he makes new friends and enemies and faces a terrifying challenge. Harry Potter continues his studies and faces greater evils in six sequels.
[SSHEL S Collection S. R797h]

Sherman, Delia.
The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen. 2009
In New York Between, a parallel Manhattan that is home to various creatures of folklore, Neef meets her counterparts at Miss Van Loon’s school for human changelings, where Neef learns the basics of diplomacy and soon gets into trouble.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Sh553m]

Stevermer, Caroline.
A College of Magics. 2002.
Teenager Faris Nallaneen, heir to the small northern dukedom of Galazon, is still too young to claim her title, so her despotic Uncle Brinker insists she be sent to Greenlaw College, where all students major in magic. Sequel A Scholar of Magics continues the tale.
[SSHEL S Collection S. St488c]

Yolen, Jane.
Wizard’s Hall. 1991.
Poor Henry. It’s not enough that his mother has sent him away from home to learn magic. It’s not enough that everyone at his new school calls him Thornmallow because he’s “prickly on the outside, squishy within.” It’s not enough that the only talent he shows at Wizard”s Hall is an ability to make messes of even the simplest spells. Now, when Wizard’s Hall is threatened by a cruel sorcerer’s fearsome beast, it is up to Henry — er, Thornmallow — to figure out how to save not only his new friends but also the entire school for wizards.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Y78W]

Here There be Dragons

Dragons are enduring figures in fantasy for all ages. They represent our fears and our imagination, embody heroism and inspire quests. The titles in this collection portray dragons in a wide variety of roles and endow them with many different abilities. Their stories range from the humorous to the tragic, reliving traditional tales of dragons or reinventing popular conceptions of the species.
The selections have been divided into several categories. “Anthropomorphic Dragons” includes dragons who speak and reason, and either live in a complete culture of their own or coexist in human society. “Raising Dragons” includes those stories of finding or hatching a dragon, often including a psychic bond between the dragon and human. There are traditional Western tales of “Dragons as Monsters” and stories of “Not-So-Monstrous Dragons” as well as stories based on “Asian Dragons.”
To find books about dragons, start with a subject search of “juvenile” β€” probably “juvenile fiction,” since most titles about dragons will be fiction. Add a keyword or subject search of “dragon*.”

ANTHROPOMORPHIC DRAGONS

Baker, E.D.
Dragon Kiss. 2009.
Audun, a dragon from the Icy North, encounters obstacles as he pursues the love of his life — a human girl who can transform into a dragon using magic.
[SSHEL S Collection S. B1712dk]

Funke, Cornelia.
Dragon Rider. 2004.
With the help of his friends, Firedrake goes on a quest to find the mythical Rim of Heaven and save the dragons from the encroaching humans. This book is also available online through the Online Library Catalog as a downloadable audiobook.
[SSHEL S Collection S. F964d]

George, Jessica Day.
Dragon Slippers. 2007.
Orphaned after a fever epidemic, Creel befriends a dragon and unknowingly inherits an object that can either save or destroy her kingdom. Read on in sequels Dragon Flight and Dragon Spear.
[SSHEL S Collection S. G2935drs]

Levine, Gail Carson.
A Tale of Two Castles. 2011.
Twelve-year-old Elodie journeys to Two Castles in hopes of studying acting but instead becomes apprentice to a dragon, who teaches her to be observant and use reasoning, thus helping her to uncover who is poisoning the king.
[SSHEL S Collection S. L5788ta]

Pierce, Tamora.
Wild Magic. 1992.
In the first adventure of Daine, the wild-mage, she rescues Kit, a baby dragon. Although it is not apparent until the final book that dragons are capable of human speech and have a separate civilization, Kit is obviously intelligent and responds to human behavior as she accompanies Daine on her adventures. Follow Daine’s journey in sequels Wolf-Speaker, The Emperor Mage, and The Realms of the Gods.
[SSHEL S Collection S. P611wi]

Sutherland, Tui.
The Dragonet Prophecy. 2012.
A secret movement is determined to bring an end to the long years of war between the seven dragon tribes, with the help of a prophecy — a foretelling that calls for great sacrifice. Five dragonets are collected to fulfill the prophecy, raised in a hidden cave and enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war. But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when the select five escape their underground captors to look for their original homes, they find that what has been unleashed on the dragon world may be far more than the planners had intended. The Dragonet Prophecy is the first book in the Wings of Fire series.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Su848d]

Vaughn, Carrie.
Voices of Dragons. 2010.
In a parallel world where humans and dragons live in a state of cold war, seventeen-year-old Kay and her dragon friend, Artegal, struggle to find a way to show that dragons and humans can co-exist.
[SSHEL S Collection S. V4658v]

Wrede, Patricia.
Dealing with Dragons. 1990.
Cimorene is tired of her life as a princess and discovers she much prefers being captured by a dragon – permanently β€” no matter how many knights try to rescue her! Her friend Kazul becomes king of the dragons and is an important figure in the sequels as the pair encounter many mythical beasts and characters.
[SSHEL S Collection S. W925D]

Yep, Laurence.
City of Fire. 2009.
Twelve-year-old Scirye and her companions travel to Houlani, a new Hawaiian island created by magic, where they enlist the help of volcano goddess Pele in an attempt to stop an evil dragon and a mysterious man from altering the universe. Begins the City Trilogy.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Y43ci]

RAISING DRAGONS

Broach, Elise.
Hiding Hoover. 2005.
Daddy always says, “no pets,” but when his two children find a marvelous new pet, they find ingenious ways to hide him.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. B781h]

McKinley, Robin.
Dragonhaven. 2007.
When Jake Mendoza, who lives in the Smokehill National Park where his father runs the Makepeace Institute of Integrated Dragon Studies, goes on his first solo overnight in the park, he finds an infant dragon whose mother has been killed by a poacher.
[SSHEL S Collection S. M2153d]

Paolini, Christopher.
Eragon. 2003.
When farm-hand Eragon finds a strange stone that hatches into a dragon, his life is changed forever as he becomes involved in exciting, dangerous, and magical adventures and develops new powers. Eragon begins the Inheritance series.
[SSHEL S Collection S. P196e]

Thomas, Shelley Moore.
Good Night, Good Knight. 2000.
Three lonely dragons are going to bed. Who will bring them a drink of water? And tuck them in? And read them a story? The Good Knight, of course! The Good Knight and friends appear in several silly sequels.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. T367g]

Yolen, Jane.
Dragon’s Blood. 1982.
Jakkin, a Keeper in a dragon nursery, steals and trains a fighting dragon in the hope of winning his freedom. Dragon’s Blood begins the Pit Dragons series.
[SSHEL S Collection S. Y78D]

DRAGONS AS MONSTERS

Donaldson, Julia.
Room on the Broom. 2001.
One by one, a witch invites the animals who find her missing belongings to join her on her broom. When the broom breaks and a dragon appears, the animals come to her rescue and then help the witch make a new broomstick with room for all her friends.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. D714r 2001]

Haskell, Merrie.
Handbook for Dragon Slayers. 2013.
Yearning for life in a cloistered scriptorium, thirteen-year-old Princess Matilda, whose lame foot brings fear of the evil eye, escapes her scheming cousin Ivo and joins her servant Judith and an old friend, Parz, in hunting dragons and writing about them.
[SSHEL S Collection S. H2735h]

Hodges, Margaret.
Saint George and the Dragon. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. 1984.
Classic tale of St. George and the monstrous dragon he defeats through courage and perseverance. Adapted from Spenser’s Faerie Queene.
[SSHEL S Collection S. H666S]

Krause, Ute.
Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon. 2010.
No princess is around to be fed to the dragon so Little Oscar’s name is pulled from the hat. Learn how the boy’s cleverness comes to his rescue!
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. K868o:E]

NOT-SO-MONSTROUS DRAGONS

Axelsson, Carina.
Nigel of Hyde Park. 2004.
It is time for Nigel, dragon and crown prince, to be crowned king of Hyde Park. But how can he rule his subjects when he can’t rule his own imagination? Zany illustrations show Nigel learning to conquer his imagination and his arch-enemy, Lord Black.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S. Ax22n]

Bar-el, Dan.
Not Your Typical Dragon. 2013.
When Crispin Blaze turns seven, he’s expected to breathe fire like all the other dragons. But instead of fire, he breathes a host of unusual things.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. B23n]

DiTerlizzi, Tony.
Kenny & the Dragon. 2008.
Book-loving Kenny the rabbit has few friends in his farming community, so when one, bookstore owner George, is sent to kill another, gentle dragon Grahame, Kenny must find a way to prevent their battle while satisfying the dragon-crazed townspeople.
[SSHEL S Collection S. D634k]

Grahame, Kenneth.
The Reluctant Dragon. Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard. 1938.
This is the classic pacifist dragon tale, taken from Kenneth Grahame’s Dream Days (1898). Dragon, built up by the fears and prejudices of the villagers into a monster, is really a kind and rather ineffectual creature. However, when St. George comes to save the village from their “monster” only the shepherd boy can reconcile the frightened villagers, militant St. George, and helpless dragon.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. G76R1953]

Gravett, Emily.
Again! 2013.
At bedtime, Cedric the dragon wants his mother to read his favorite book again, and again, and again.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. G788a]

Keller, Beverly.
A Small, Elderly Dragon. 1984.
The old dragon of Minervia can no longer terrorize the countryside – but he still causes quite a lot of trouble when a wicked sorcerer takes Minervia in exchange for getting rid of the dragon. It takes Princess Dorma and all her friends to defeat the sorcerer and find a happy ending for everyone – even the dragon.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. K281sm]

Polacco, Patricia.
The Graves Family Goes Camping. 2005.
The Graves family is having a wonderful time camping at Lake Bleakmire and collecting creepy, slimy, and unusual specimens when they discover a species thought to be extinct – a dragon!
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. P756grc]

ASIAN DRAGONS

Berkeley, Jon.
Chopsticks. 2006.
Chopsticks the mouse frees the wooden dragon and together they fly across the sky every night, returning to the wooden dragon’s restaurant in the morning.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. B455c]

Chang, Grace.
Jin Jin the Dragon. 2007.
Jin Jin the dragon does not know what kind of creature he is, so he embarks on a journey, assisted by other animals he meets along the way, to find Old Turtle and Crane, who will help him learn his identity. Includes information about Chinese writing and the place of the dragon in Chinese lore. Jin Jin returns in Jin Jin and the Rain Wizard.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. SE. C36231j]

Davol, Marguerite W.
The Paper Dragon. Illustrated by Robert Sabuda. 1997.
A dragon has awoken and is destroying the village and its land. Mi Fei is only an artist, but when the people ask him for help he cannot refuse. He finds his talents are of use against the dragon and eventually puts him back to sleep.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. D311p]

Demi.
The Boy Who Painted Dragons. 2007.
Ping, a painter of dragons — of which he is secretly afraid — is challenged to seek the truth, find the truth, and dare to be true.
[SSHEL S Collection SE. D3952b]

Lin, Grace.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. 2009.
Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.
[SSHEL S Collection S. L63w]

Young, Ed.
The Sons of the Dragon King: A Chinese Legend. 2004.
The dragon king’s nine sons each seem to be lazy or useless at first, but the king guides them into positions which use their strengths for the good of the people.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S. 398.2 Y848s]

Young, Russell.
Dragonsong: A Fable for the New Millennium. 2000.
Chiang-An lives in China near an unnamed village. When the dragons gather to bring gifts which will decide who becomes the village’s guardian, Chiang-An goes out into the world to search for the perfect gift.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S. 398.2 Y86d]

Zhang, Song Nan and Hao Yu Zhang.
A Time of Golden Dragons. 2000.
Written to celebrate the alignment of the Chinese Golden Dragon year and the Western millennium, an event which occurs every 3,000 years, this book explains the significance of dragons in Chinese culture and history.
[SSHEL S Collection Q. S. 398.2 Z61t]