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.
Most books are located in the School (S-) Collection (Room 112, Main Library) of the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library. However, books may also be located at the Center for Children's Books and older books may be located in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Room 346, Main Library) or in the Oak Street Facility. To verify the location of an item, please search for the book in the Online Library Catalog. If you require assistance locating an item, please ask for assistance at the SSHEL Information Services Desk.
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't escape magic, and it finds its way into the Wandless Academy.
Hawkins, Rachel. Hex Hall. 2010.
When Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, she is exiled to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
Sequels (Hex Hall):
Spell Bound. 2012
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.
Return to Groosham Grange: The Unholy Grail. 2008
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.
More Chrestomanci stories in chronological order:
Conrad's Fate. 2005.
Charmed Life. 1977.
Witch Week. 1982.
Magicians of Caprona. 1980.
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.
Lackey, Mercedes and 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 (Shadow Grail):
Not available at UIUC
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. Amidst 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?
Murphy, Jill. The Worst Witch. 1974.
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 at Sea. 1995.
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.
The Second Siege. 2008.
The Fiend and the Forge. 2010.
The Maelstrom. 2012.
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.
Sequels (The Children of the Red King):
Charlie Bone and the Time Twister. 2003.
Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy. 2004.
Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors. 2005.
Charlie Bone and the Hidden King. 2006.
Charlie Bone and the Beast. 2007.
Charlie Bone and the Shadow. 2008.
Charlie Bone and the Red Knight. 2009.
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.
Sequels (Song of the Lioness):
In the Hand of the Goddess. 1984.
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man. 1997.
Lioness Rampant. 1988.
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.
Sequels (Protector of the Small):
Lady Knight. 2002.
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.
Sequels (Circle of Magic):
Tris's Book. 1998.
Daja's Book. 1998.
Briar's Book. 1999.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. 1997.
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.
Sequels (Harry Potter):
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. 1999.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. 1999.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 2000.
S. R797ho 2003
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. 2003.
Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince. 2005.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. 2007.
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.
Willard, Barbara. Spell Me a Witch. 1979.
Things are not going well at the Academy for Young Witches. Belladonna Agrimony, the principal, seems to be losing her powers and three of the most dreaded of the Sevenly Sisterhood are arriving for an inspection. But even when the ultimate disaster has happened, they find a happy ending.