We might be in the same shoes. My son just finished all the Rick Riordan books which kept us happily reading for the better part of the school year. But now we are adrift, desperately seeking more books like Percy Jackson. Riordan’s books are so exciting, we often stay up past my son’s bedtime for “just one more page.” We want more of those types of books.
We also like the special powers conferred by lineage to gods. Deep down, my son and I both feel that we are Half Bloods and/or godlings just waiting to discover our latent powers. It hasn’t happened yet but we’re not discouraged.
Learning about ancient Mythology from any civilization is a welcome bonus. I like it because we feel smarter for knowing about gods and heroes and the learning is so pleasant that it doesn’t feel like work.
I think any age is the perfect age to read about mythology. I’ve gathered up our favorite Riordan-like Percy Jackson books as well as mythology picture books and easy chapter books. I also have a collection of Mythology Books for Kids on Pinterest.
Mythology Picture Books for Kids
Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas
Karas has carefully researched mythology on Zeus’ youth to create this wonderful picture book that stays true to its classic origins. Young kids will love the story and older kids will still get something out of it. It’s a picture book that manages to bridge a wide span of ages. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Max and Ruby’s Midas by Rosemary Wells
While the Midas myth is not true to Greek Mythology, Max and Ruby are very appealing to young kids so this is a nice way to make a connection to a classic tale. [picture book, ages 2 to 5]
Mythology Early Chapter Books for Kids
Heroes in Training series by Joan Holub
We are really enjoying this early chapter book series on the young Greek gods even though it’s not true to Greek mythology. I think of it as a warm-up to the Percy Jackson series. [early chapter book, ages 6 and up]
Goddess Girls series by Suzanne Williams
My middle child had issues with this series because the Greek myths are not accurate and there are mean girls/goddesses. It’s harmless though it’s not my favorite. [early chapter book, ages 6 and up]
Middle Grade Similar to Percy Jackson Books
Ghost Leopard: A Kids’ Magic Fantasy Action Adventure (#1) by Lars Guignard
I love this first book of what seems like a series that emulates The Kane Chronicles but places the action and mythology in India. Guignard went to boarding school in India so you also get a real flavor of life in India mixed with magic, Hindu gods, and time travel adventure. It’s a heady mix! [chapter book, ages 7 and up]
The Pharoah’s Secret by Marissa Moss
Some prefer this book to The Kane Chronicles and I think it’s because it has all the same elements of latent powers, ancient Egypt, and action-adventure. What makes this book more accessible is that it limits the scope of the history to one particular time — the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut — and the mystery surrounding her death and afterlife. [chapter book, ages 7 and up]
The Curse of the Night Witch: Emblem Island by Alex Aster
I really liked the premise of this fantasy book of kids having pre-ordained “palm reading” futures with a little bit of wiggle room to change their destiny. In this case, on Emblem Island, twelve-year-old Tor Luna is unhappy with his leadership emblem. Though it’s prestigious and bodes for a successful future, his life was also going to be boring. In order to change his fate, he makes a wish that comes true but the outcome is a curse, not a blessing. Now he has to find the Night Witch on a dangerous journey to fix his fate.
My issue with this book is that the characters feel flat, like paper dolls rather than living human beings. I’m not sure why. Is it Show Don’t Tell? Not completely. Should there be more dialogue? Maybe… It’s that I don’t understand why Tor wants to be a Water Breather so badly other than he likes to swim. I didn’t understand his internal motivation. His friends felt like archetypes.
The publisher describes this book as perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time. To me, it’s more similar to The Unwanteds. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
Chapter Book Series with Magic Powers but without Mythology
The Emerald Atlas (Books of Beginnings) by John Stephens
Called “A new Narnia for the tween set” by the New York Times and perfect for fans of the His Dark Materials series, The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma’s extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.
It’s an orphanage version of Percy Jackson with three siblings so it has a sadder undercurrent. It’s not exactly like Percy Jackson since it lacks the mythology connection but it’s close. [chapter book series, ages 9 and up]
Magyk (Septimus Heap, Book 1) by Angie Sage
Septimus Heap, the seventh son of the seventh son, disappears the night he is born, pronounced dead by the midwife. That same night, the baby’s father, Silas Heap, comes across an abandoned child in the snow — a newborn girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take her into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son Septimus?
Grasshopper and Sensei liked this series when she was in 5th grade. It’s perfect for Harry Potter fans who need a slighter easier, less thick book but want an action-adventure fantasy series centered around magic. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
Seven Wonders Book 1: The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis
When I read this review from The Brain Lair, I thought this sounded like a great Percy Jackson-like series.
Midnight for Charlie Bone (The Children of the Red King, Book 1) by Jenny Nimmo
My oldest liked this action-adventure fantasy series too. Kids with special powers who get sent to a special school are a popular theme! In the case of Charlie Bone, he has an unusual gift in that he can hear people in photographs talking! Add in scheming aunts and a boarding school where secrets and dangers lie ahead. Sounds like Harry Potter? Perhaps!
Maximum Ride series by James Patterson
Grasshopper and Sensei loved this extremely fast-paced action-adventure series based on high tech hybrid kids who can fly. It has crazy plot changes like the movie Total Recall where everything you think is real is a dream or a fake memory.
Savvy by Ingrid Law
This is a country bumpkin version of Percy Jackson in which the Beaumont kids get a special power called a savvy once they turn thirteen. One caveat: all the kids agree that they love Savvy but are disappointed by the sequel Scumble.
Chase Tinker and the House of Magic (The Chase Tinker Series) by Malia Ann Haberman
5th grader This Kid Reviews Books turned me on to this series which sounds like it might please the Percy Jackson crowd.
Rick Riordan’s Suggestions for Percy Jackson-like Books
I found more recommendations are from Rick Riordan himself but I edited out books that were YA and more violent than Riordan’s such as The Hunger Games (an excellent series but I would hold off until kids are in 5th grade in a perfect world). It’s actually ironic to me that Riordan’s books are also labeled as Young Adult because I know parents who read Percy Jackson to their kindergarteners and first graders who are reading this independently. And in terms of content, I have no problem with that.
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville
And many other titles in his Magic Shop series. These are easier reads, ideal for 2nd-4th grade. Both my boys loved these.
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
My favorite by this author. It’s a fast-paced read with a great premise and interesting characters. Grades 4th-7th.
Airborn and Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel
Adventure novels in the tradition of Treasure Island and Jules Verne, but with a modern sense of storytelling. These take place in a world where airplanes were never invented, and dirigible airships rule the skies. Grades 6th-8th. Again, my son Haley ate these up.
Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus
An interesting new take on mythology in New York. Rory and Bridget discover a hidden world in New York City where spirits of the past live on and sometimes become gods. If you liked the Gregor books, you may well enjoy this. Grades 5-7.
Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
Lots of fantasy and humor, perfect for middle grade sensibilities. Grades 4th-7th.
Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy
A funny fantasy/mystery series featuring a detective who just happens to be a fire-throwing skeleton. Grades 4th-7th. I don’t “blurb” many books, but this one I recommend without hesitation. My whole family loves them.
The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
The first title is The Amulet of Samarkand. A more challenging series, but brilliant stuff. A young London magician summons an ancient djinn to help him with his problems. Grades 6th-8th.
Bone by Jeff Smith
A nine-book series of graphic novels. And yes, comics absolutely qualify as reading! My sons and I all enjoyed this series – fast, high-interest reads with plenty of action, humor, romance and fantasy. Pretty much everything you could want, and the coolest red dragon ever. Grades 4-8.
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
A brother and sister discover that their grandfather is the caretaker at a wildlife reserve for mythical creatures. The first book in a series: wonderful premise, great characters, page-turning adventure. Grades 4-8.
The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart
Four gifted children join a secret society to combat evil. This reminds me of Roald Dahl and Norton Juster — lots of humor, puzzles, and intriguing mysteries. Some great surprises at the end, too. Grades 4-7.
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
First in a series about two siblings who are plunged into a world of immortals and mythological creatures. A fast-paced fantasy set in the modern world. Grades 5-8.
Rick Riordan Mythology Books for Kids Picks
Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths by Bernard Evslin
Much better storytelling than D’Aulaires, in my opinion.
Greek Gods and Heroes by Robert Graves
Another great anthology for young readers. I used this as my classroom text for 5th-6th grade when I taught English in San Francisco.
The Usborne Illustrated Guide to Greek Myths and Legends by Cheryl Evans
A little hard to find, but very accessible, with high-interest illustrations. And when in doubt, always ask your local librarian or independent bookseller. They are a wealth of information when it comes to kids’ books.
What are your favorite picture books, easy chapter books, or chapter books with mythology mixed with action-adventure? Please share! We need more books!
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p.s. Related posts:
Top 10: Diversity Chapter Books Like Percy Jackson
Best Books for Kids about Ancient Egypt
Best Chapter Books from My 5th Grade Daughter
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.
46 thoughts on “More Books Like Percy Jackson”
This is such a great list of books, I’ve bookmarked your post so I can work my way through them. FYI – my books are about edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventure to ancient Egypt – you may find them of interest. You’re welcome to visit my website http://www.swlothian.wordpress.com for details.
Hi S. W.,
I do love time travel books to ancient Egypt for kids! I’d love to check one of yours out! Can you send me a review copy? Thanks!
We haven’t read most of the books on this list, but my daughter is just finishing up the Fablehaven series and seems to have enjoyed it very much. She flew through them in the last few weeks. Thanks for some new suggestions!
Good to know that your daughter likes Fablehaven. I’ll move it up on our list too since I’m not sure what we are reading this summer yet since we need more Percy Jackson-like books ourselves!
Great list! My daughter is on the last Rick Riordan series available and is anxiously awaiting the release of “House of Hades.” She and I both enjoyed the Benedict Society books as well. Bookmarking the list. Thank you!
Techie for Stanley & Katrina
Thanks Christine M.,
Riodan’s Son of Sobek is out on June 18th as well but just for Kindle. We’ll try to check this out as it sounds exciting: Percy Jackson and Carter Kane together! I need to get my hands on a Kindle, though.
Thanks for the reminder! We forgot that was this week. I just downloaded it. Darling Daughter is so excited. I know, we have an iPad and don’t read the ebooks we have often, there is a way to read the Kindle books on a computer, it just isn’t the same. 🙂
Hi Christine M,
Let me know how it works out! I hope she likes it!
What a comprehensive list! I love mythology so this gives me plenty to look forward to!
Thanks so much Barbara!
Well, hey, I’d like to add my book to this impressive list. Newly released through Booktrope Publishing, I’d like to introduce Charis: Journey to Pandora’s jar.
Here’s the synopsis:
Thirteen-year-old Charis Parks has five days to save mankind. What she thought was mere mythology has become her reality … she alone must reverse the curse of Pandora’s Jar. If Charis is to fulfill her destiny, she has to face her fears against the darker forces of Hades and the blood-thirsty Erinyes Sisters who help him. Together with the gods and her best friend Gabe, Charis takes a fantastic journey to Pandora’s Jar where she must release the only spirit that remains trapped inside – the spirit of Hope. Or else …
Renee at Mother Daughter Book Reviews said, ” Nicole Walters has created the female equivalent to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson in Charis. If you love Greek mythology, are looking for a strong female central character and appreciate exceptional writing skills, I highly recommend Charis: Journey to Pandora’s Jar by Nicole Walters.\\\”Thanks for allowing me to prat on and on about the book. It was just such a joy to write and now to share with Greek mythology lovers like myself!
Thanks for the heads up on your book! I saw the review on Mother Daughter Book Review and I was intrigued! It sounds wonderful! I will try to check it out.
That would be “prattle”. See? That’s what happens when one is too excited and the hands and the head can’t keep up!
What an extensive, wonderful list of books! These look fun.
Thanks Jeanette! I need this list for my son so I made it for purely selfish reasons.
My 8 year old hasn’t tried out Percy Jackson yet, but I’m pinning this list because I bet he’d love a lot of these.
My son decided in 2nd grade that he wanted to read Percy Jackson because a few of his friends were reading them in 1st grade so he got his own copy at school and just started reading it. I actually wanted to keep him in picture books, graphic novels and easy chapter books for another year … I love those genres and there is plenty of time for chapter books. But the siren call of Percy Jackson! And also his friends pretend to play the characters at recess so that made reading the series motivating. For his friends who found a chapter book too dense, they are listening to the audio book and reading the graphic novel so everyone can participate in the pretend games. I find it surprising also that Percy Jackson is YA since I do agree that it’s appropriate from a content perspective for first grade boys. Perhaps that is the secret to Riordan’s success: strong ensemble characters of boys and girls appeal to boy and girl readers. No extremem violence or other content to make it inappropriate for young readers but exciting enough for older kids as well through 8th grade (or older. I love them as an adult!).
(excuse my ramblings!)
Tried to get the girls to watch the movie a few years ago but they weren’t interested. I think I will try to see if 9.5 year old is interested in reading them before tackling Harry Potter.
My middle child hated Percy Jackson. I thought that she didn’t give it a chance but she said that it was a read aloud by the teacher in 4th grade and that she hated it. And my son’s 4th grade friend also hated the series. Both my daughter and the friend though like Newbery-winning chapter books that are more in the genre of realistic fiction or historical fiction so perhaps these kids just don’t like action adventure (with the exception of The Hunger Games, though).
My issue with Harry Potter is that I’ve somehow managed to watch the movies so I feel like I know that plot and that is ruining the book for me.
My kids also complained about the first movie not following the book closely enough. I wonder if your daughter would like the graphic novel of The Lightening Thief as a way to ease into the chapter book series or at least consider if she wants to read the chapter book. Would that work for her?
I’d recommend you also check out Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms series to your to read list, too. There is also Brandon Mull’s The Beyonders series and he also has the Fablehaven series which is great. Finally there is the Grey Griffins series by Derek Benz you should check out. Happy Reading!
Thank you for your wonderful book recommendations Deb!!! Yes, I’ll suggest them to my son!
Great list Mia – I have always been a big fan of mythology (greek in particular)! I’m pretty excited about your list. I’ve been trying to get my daughter to read the Percy Jackson books, but she just doesn’t want to get into them at the moment. Ah well – I’m sure it will come! Pinning!!
This is a great list! I see a lot of my kid’s favorites here so I’ll share this list with them so they can find some new favorites.
My girls have also read a few of the Pandora Gets Jealous series and enjoyed them.
Thanks for this wonderful list of fun reads! Perfect for summer!
I think the only one we read is Young Zeus and we like Greek Myths.
This is a great resource!
I don’t know if I’d compare Savvy to Percy Jackson, but it is a great book. Have you ever read Tracy Barrett? “The King of Ithica” reminded me of Percy Jackson, except the human monsters were scarier than the mythological ones. I bet your son would love it.
This is a stellar list! When I was a bookseller, I was constantly fielding questions from parents about what their kids should read after Percy Jackson. Artemis Fowl, Fablehaven, Mysterious Benedict Society, and Savvy were always among my recommendations.
Like you after Percy Jackson we were quickly looking for something to read for our boy who loved Percy. We became Fablehaven fans. I personally love many of the books on this list. We also stuck with Rick Riordan and read the Kane Chronicles based on Egyptian Mythology. Really fantastic !!! We can hardly wait for his next series which is based on Norse mythology. I think it’s almost a perfect world. 🙂 As always thanks for sharing your great book sense and insights.
I’m excited for his Norse series too! And now I keep hearing about Fablehaven so I will get the first book to try out. My son is almost done with The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate which I am mostly reading to him. Next, he wants to read books 2-4 of Half Magic series. Then Son of Sobek if we can rent his sister’s Kindle. Ah, so many good books and so little time!
Cool list! Here’s my list of recommended books which refer to or retell Greece myths and legends: It’s All Greek to Me: slayground.livejournal.com/380693.html
Thanks so much Little Willow! I really appreciate you sharing your list! We love Greek mythology!!!
She LOVED it! Downloaded it that day and she read it right away.
Hi Cool Mom!
YAY! There is also his first Kane Chronicles, The Red Pyramid, that is also a graphic novel. (Not to make you buy more books … )
She hasn’t been interested in the graphic novels as of yet. She usually likes what her mind has created more than graphic novels, when she has the option. 🙂 Good stuff. So glad that option is available for others, though!
Hi Cool Mom,
Ah, that makes sense! The one graphic novel that girls seem to live is Smile by Raina Telgemeir if you wanted one. My girls also like Drama by her but I love that your daughter is using her creativity and doesn’t need graphic images!
You do a great job recommending books, she loved, “Smile.” I know she read it multiple times. I think “Drama” is on her to be read list – or she read it – I can’t keep up.
Thanks so much Christine! Love sharing a book that we get so excited about especially when other kids agree!
Great line-up of books. One of my freshman students turned me on to the Artemis Fowl books. Thanks for sharing on the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Cheryl, Hop Hostess
Thanks so much for stopping by Cheryl! Love the Kid Lit Blog Hop! I think my son is almost ready for Artemis Fowl! Can’t wait!
I love the range of books you pulled together for this post!
I have to Percy Jackson fans at opposite ends of the age spectrum: age 8 and 13 so I’ve been searching for mythology books for both for a few years.
This is a fun reminder of how much we all wish for magic in our lives, no matter what age bracket we fall in! Thanks so much for posting to the Kid Lit Blog Hop 🙂
I think you are right about the magic aspect! Maybe that is why fantasy action adventure appeals to us all! Thanks for hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop! It’s one of my favorite blog hops!
Great list! My boys and I will love reading these. Percy Jackson was such a great book. Loved the combination of magic, learning, and humor. My oldest son (who is now 13) and I were so inspired by the series that we even co-authored our own humorous middle grade urban fantasy adventure. Our novel, Mason Davis and the Rise of the Storm Makers, just came out this summer and although the book deals with nephilims and not demigods, it does have adventure, humor, magic, and a few educational tidbits about our nation’s greatest treasures – National Parks.
How wonderful that Percy Jackson inspired a joint mother-son book! That is awesome!