As a Harry Potter addict who can’t get enough magic, I am here to recommend a series of books for the magic lover. Simon Thorn by Aimée Carter is a great upper elementary to middle school read with a familiar magical element- people turning into animals. No wands involved, but you have to be of a magical bloodline. Like other magical worlds, members of this one find out as teenagers what their abilities are and how to harness them. Like J.K. Rowling, Carter takes on themes of prejudice and discrimination by showing characters affected by others’ negative beliefs.
The best part? Seeing all of the different communities of animals, reptiles, and more that can switch back and forth between their human or critter forms (I don’t want to offend the insect kingdom, not everyone turns mammal).
The best part of reading this series might just be trying to sort book club members into kingdoms. We’ve already sorted ourselves into Hogwarts houses… let’s try animal kingdoms next! I can’t decide if I would want to turn into a dolphin (sharks are scary) or a black widow spider (she’s pretty tough) or a golden eagle so I could soar (pigeons are looked down upon btw). I recommend all three books in the Simon Thorn series for nonmuggles looking for their next read. If you haven’t started you get to binge read three before the next release!