If you liked "Harry Potter" for the believable way the magic elements are handled...
If you liked the "Harry Potter" series for the believable way the magic elements are handled, for the glorious escapism, and for their appeal to girls, you may enjoy these titles:
"Olivia Kidney" by Ellen Potter
12-year old Olivia gets locked out of her apartment and spends the evening searching for her father, the building's superintendent. Her encounters with the strange occupants of the building help her to resolve the problems in her life.
"The Trolls" by Polly Horvath
Eccentric Aunt Sally comes from Canada to watch the Anderson children while their parents are on a trip to Paris and every night the bedtime story adds another piece to a very suspect family history.
"Half Magic" by Edward Eager
"When Jane finds a magic charm which grants half of any wish, her brother Mark and her sisters Katharine and Martha take turns making double wishes, leading to strange happenings, including a visit to King Arthur's court, a trip to the Sahara Desert, and a new stepfather, which leads Jane to make one last wish."-catalog summary
"Wizard's Hall" by Jane Yolen
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.
A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones "Time City is built on a patch of time and space outside history. It is full of wonders and haunted by "time ghosts," but it is nearly worn out and doomed to destruction. In September 1939, Vivian Smith is on a train, being evacuated from London, when she is kidnapped by two boys from Time City, Jonathan and Sam. They mistakenly think she is the mysterious Time Lady disguised as a child. Only the Time Lady can wake the founder of the city, Faber John, from his age-long sleep, and only he can save the city. Vivian wants to get home; Jonathan and Sam want her to help them in their quest through the ages of history to save Time City. Meanwhile, someone seems to be tampering with history, changing it over and over, complicating everything. When Faber John is at last aroused, Time City's and Vivian's dilemmas are resolved in ways that are as satisfying as they are unexpected."-catalog summary
"Skellig" by David Almond
In this mysterious, poetic novel, two children form an unlikely friendship as they seek to protect a strange cobweb-covered creature-could it be an angel?-which they find in a crumbling garage "Dust" by Arthur Slade Eleven-year-old Robert is the only one who can help when a mysterious stranger arrives, performing tricks and promising to bring rain, at the same time children begin to disappear from a dust bowl farm town in Saskatchewan in the 1930s.
"The Magic Thief (Book One)" by Sarah Prineas "A young thief is drawn into a life of magic and adventure after picking the pocket of the powerful wizard Nevery Flinglas, who had returned from exile to attempt to reverse the troubling decline of magic in Wellmet City."-catalog summary
I hope you like these titles. All of them are owned by the Central Rappahannock Regional Library. If you have a CRRL library card you may put any (or all!) of them on hold, either through the "library catalog"
link at http://www.librarypoint.org or by calling the branch library nearest you.
Mary M. Buck