When most people think of reading fairy tales, they think of small children. However, there are SO many older children (and adults!) who enjoy a great story as well. I will never forget the first time that I opened Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire as a teenager. I was instantly hooked and moved on to devour every book I could find from the author. My oldest daughter is now a teen and she also enjoys fairy tale chapter books, so I thought I’d compile a list of some of her favorites to share. I hope you find something new and intriguing to add to your child’s “To Be Read” pile!
Fairy Tale Chapter Books for Older Children
Frogged by Vivian Vande Velde
This fractured fairy tale is a spin on the classic The Frog Prince follows Princess Imogene as she is deceived by a talking frog. She kisses him, expecting a prince to appear, but turns into a frog herself! She doesn’t want to curse someone else to rid herself of her amphibian form, so she sets off to find an alternate way to end her plight. Along the way, she is kidnapped by a traveling theatre troupe and forced to perform. Fun antics and adventure soon follow!
Grounded by Megan Morrison
This is Rapunzel in a whole new light! Rapunzel lives in a magical tower that obeys her every command, she reads book after book in which she is the main heroine! How could life in the magical world of Tyme get any better? Then one day a young man named Jack climbs her tower and a world of unanswered questions opens for her. What will she discover upon leaving her tower about her life and past?
Many may be familiar with the film based on this book, but if you’ve never read the story behind the screen, you simply must pick up this delightful tale! Despereaux Tilling is a mouse with a heart full of adventure and love for a princess named Pea. There are mature elements to the story that is really a look at dark versus light, good versus evil. Every page will keep you turning to find out what will happen next!
The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley
This is a series of books that follows the story of two orphaned sisters, Sabrina and Daphne. Upon the discovery that not only are they descendants of the Brothers Grimm, but that their fairy tales are actually real events from history, the sisters begin a new life direction–solving fantastical mysteries!
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
A Cinderella tale about a girl who meets her prince, but in order to find her happy ending, she must first discover how to break a spell bestowed to her as a gift that requires her to obey any and every command given to her. She’ll have to get past ogres, giants, and her unpleasant stepmother and stepsisters to accomplish this feat, but her determination leads her on despite the obstacles.
Princess Juniper of the Hourglass by Ammi-Joan Paquette
Princess Juniper longs to finally be in charge of her own country, but when her father sends her to the Hourglass Mountains while some unhappy rumblings begin to brew in their kingdom, she learns many valuable lessons about what leadership really means. This book is the first in a trilogy about Princess Juniper.
The Princess Imposter by Vivian Velde Vande
Princess Gabriella awakes one day surrounded by some extremely mischievous fairies who have decided to take one of their own and replace the princess! This fairy imposter revels in the royally lavish lifestyle while the princess must learn how to maintain her composure and training as she works through her time living with the raucous fairies.
The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
Peregrine, raised by a lord and lady, strives to please her parents and her people–the Latki. When the truth that she is adopted is revealed, she discovers that she is actually born of the Bamarre people, who are oppressed by the Latki. Heavy decisions loom for the 15 year old girl, who must choose between the people who raised her or the people to whom she was born.
The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech
A king and his family who have everything they have ever desired and more but are still extremely dissatisfied meet two orphaned slaves who despite their circumstances remain strong and positive. When the two worlds collide, dazzling magic ensues, and many lessons are learned about what truly makes a person happy.
Vasilisa the Wise by Kate Forsyth
These epic stories of brave young women were passed down for ages. Difficult journeys to find purpose, filled with inspiration, grit, and adventure were shared amongst the clan to grow their young girls into strong women who would make deep impacts on those around them.
Have any of these reads intrigued you today? Are there others that you’d add to the list?
For fairy tale fun for younger children, check out these fun Cinderella retellings!