Houdini and Me by Dan GutmanStarring: 21st-century New York City kid Harry Mancini, an expert on 20th-century illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini.
What happens: When Harry begins getting magical texts from Houdini's ghost, he's amazed and thrilled… until Houdini suggests an alarming feat: swapping bodies and time periods with Harry.
Author alert: If you love author Dan Gutman's series (such as My Weird School and The Genius Files), don't miss this witty, fast-paced fantasy.
Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee NutterWhat it's about: Feeling overlooked in her family and lonely at her new school, Maggie longs for a puppy to keep her company. When a trip to the animal shelter causes a major allergic reaction, however, Maggie realizes that finding the perfect animal friend will be more complicated than she expected.
Why you might like it: If you deal with allergies of your own or you've ever felt confused about your family and friends, you might relate to Maggie's experiences in this colorful, slice-of-life graphic novel.
Granted by John David AndersonWelcome to: the Haven, where fairy Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets has just gotten her first assignment to fulfill a human's wish.
What happens: Traveling in the human world is tough for tiny Ophelia, but she finds friendship with homeless dog Sam. As she gets closer to her goal, however, she can't stop wondering: who decides which wishes are important, and why?
Try this next: For further feel-good fantasies focused on wishes, try Faith Harkey's Genuine Sweet or Lauren Myracle's Wishing Day.
The Magic in Changing Your Stars by Leah HendersonThe setup: After messing up his audition for the school musical, 11-year-old dancer and rapper Ailey confides in his Grampa, who confesses his own childhood regret and offers a magical gift: a pair of tap shoes that transport Ailey to Grampa's youth in 1939 Harlem.
The question: Can changing Grampa's past help Ailey change his own future?
You might also like: Rita Williams-Garcia's Clayton Byrd Goes Underground, another moving story about a kid finding himself through his grandfather's legacy.
Inkling by Kenneth OppelWhat it's about: Grieving the loss of his mom and stuck with a school project he can't finish, Ethan Rylance is struggling. Luckily, help arrives in the form of Inkling, a living inkblot who can read, write, draw, and (most importantly) listen.
Why you might like it: With true-to-life characters, off-kilter humor (Inkling talks like whatever he's read recently), and interesting ideas about creativity and friendship, Inkling is a quirky and memorable read.
Orphan Island by Laurel SnyderThe rules: Each year, a boat delivers a new youngest child to the magical island of orphans. Then the boat takes away the Elder, so that there are always nine kids remaining.
The rulebreaker: When it's Jinny's turn to be the Elder, she refuses to leave, upsetting the island's peaceful balance.
Why you might like it: This unusual, mysterious fantasy will make you ask questions about the way things are done on the island, as well as in the real world.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 8-11!