Before Harry Potter went to Hogwarts, Nita Callahan stumbled into the library and discovered a book that would change her life. That book was called So You Want to Be a Wizard.
In the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, Nita and Kit, two thirteen-year-olds living in Manhattan, discover that magic is real and taking place every day, in every corner of the world. This is set in our world; however adept they become, the teens still have to go to school, do their homework, and clean their rooms. They take the Wizard's Oath and become dedicated to their studies and their work, under the tutelage of adult wizards Tom and Carl. They learn the Speech, which enables them to communicate with other sentient beings - so Kit can then communicate with his adorable dog, Ponch. As the series continues, Nita's sister gets into the mix, and her story arc pulls in technology. With a diverse cast with a range of abilities and interests, the odds are good that readers will find one if not more character that they can relate to, and the series will appeal to boys and girls alike.
I strongly recommend this series to anyone and everyone who likes Harry Potter, The NeverEnding Story, The Keys to the Kingdom, and other such intelligent, inventive delights. The Young Wizards series has all of the action and magic that fantasy fans seek, be they kids or adults. Though the first book came out over twenty years ago, the characters have barely aged, and the writing quality has never lessened - only strengthened, in my estimation.
Make sure you read the books in order:
- So You Want to Be a Wizard
- Deep Wizardry
- High Wizardry
- A Wizard Abroad
- The Wizard's Dilemma (my favorite in the series)
- A Wizard Alone
- Wizards' Holiday
- Wizards at War
- A Wizard of Mars
- Games Wizards Play (coming in 2015)
Companion books: The Feline Wizards (for adults and teens)
- The Book of Night with Moon
- To Visit the Queen (aka On Her Majesty's Wizardly Service)
- The Big Meow