Best 10 portal fantasy novels with kid protagonist?

GiovanniDeFeo

Has Danced with Dragons
#1
Hi, as the title of this thread states I'd like to know what are yours.
It is for a serious research I am making on the topic. Protagonist must be teenagers/ children.
Mine are:

- The Never-ending story
- The Thief of Always
- The Phantom Toolbooth
- Alice in the wonderland/ in the mirrorglass

Any input is welcome.

G.
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#2
1) a wrinkle in time
2) wind in door
3-10) Narnia series
11) alice in wonderland
12 ) giving tree
13) bridge to terabithia

but I don't read a lot of child protagonists
bonus (50) Harry potter)
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#9
Harry Potter is not strictly a portal fantasy.
And The Magicians characters are not children, albeit childish.
About Harry Potter... well - it is and it isn't. As with most speculative works, it's hard to horse-shoe them into just one sub-genre, or out of it, for that matter.
About The Magicians - the characters are teenagers for the first two books.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#10
I want to say The Fionavar Tapestry but I guess they're just too old.

Do portals from one secondary world to another count? If so, Feist's Magician would count and I like that a lot.

Something that does straight up fit and is great - The Northern Lights.

I wish I'd read Wolfe's Knight-Wizard (or Knight-Mage?) before answering this question.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#11
Forgot about The Wayward Children and its sequel Among the Sticks and Bones. Very beautifully written novellas, the first one has won a Hugo or something like that if I remember correctly.

Beyonders by Brandon Mull is one as well. Although I'm only well-versed in the first book and it's decent, but nothing to write home about.
 

GiovanniDeFeo

Has Danced with Dragons
#12
About Harry Potter... well - it is and it isn't. As with most speculative works, it's hard to horse-shoe them into just one sub-genre, or out of it, for that matter.
About The Magicians - the characters are teenagers for the first two books.
I guess we have a cultural issue here... in Italy when you get to college you are 19, or 20.
I guess in the US you are...17? So, yeah.
 

GiovanniDeFeo

Has Danced with Dragons
#13
Forgot about The Wayward Children and its sequel Among the Sticks and Bones. Very beautifully written novellas, the first one has won a Hugo or something like that if I remember correctly. Beyonders by Brandon Mull is one as well. Although I'm only well-versed in the first book and it's decent, but nothing to write home about.
Thanks, that's a nice addition, neve heard of those.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#15
Besides, how can they count as adults when they're not legally allowed to drink yet? *ducks and runs*


Another portal fantasy I wish I had read due to hearing good things but have yet to do so is Red Moon and Black Mountain by Joy Chant.


And yes, Northern Lights is known as The Golden Compass in the States. I'd meant to say His Dark Materials though, to nail the whole trilogy.


On further thought, this is hard. I feel like portal fantasies are way out of fashion - and so too are books featuring young protagonists being aimed at a normal audience. That said I did remember another I've heard good things about - The Thessaly series by Jo Walton - and one I've actually read and can genuinely recommend, albeit secondary world to secondary world; Hatful of Sky by Sir Terry Pratchett.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#16
On further thought, this is hard. I feel like portal fantasies are way out of fashion.
They still have their audience, but it's a guilty-pleasure kind of thing. I've heard about a newly published and relatively well-liked from 2018 in the young-adult fantasy sub-genre that might be a portal fantasy - The Cruel Prince. No idea who the author was.

As of portal fantasy going out of fashion - yeah, maybe. You could say that some of kind have gone through an evolutionary phase, where now LitRPG for the most part reads as portal fantasy, the only difference is that you are using a virtual-reality device to connect to the other world, instead of a wardrobe. And the other world isn't corporeal, but in most of the cases it feels real to the participants.
 

GiovanniDeFeo

Has Danced with Dragons
#17
They are out of fashion because they have been done in the same way for such a long time now.
I still find The neverending story so brilliant. I mean, the kid goes into the magical world only he can save... and becomes the villain!

There is a lot that can be done with those very simple tropes. But that's why it is interesting, right now portal fantasy are uncool. Which is usually what happens right before they come into fashion again, possibly in a different form.
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#18
What is wind in door and giving tree? never heard of those...
Wind in the Door is a sequel of Wrinkle in time.
The Giving Tree is not strictly a Portal Fantasy. less so than Harry Potter. But its a classic childrens novel for really young kids, its a picture book by Shel Silvertein. its portal part is like The Lorax, where the world outside, the urban world is normal, and the World in nature where the Tree exists is fantastic, strange, and outside of the normal world.
 

Kalavan

Journeyed there and back again
#20
I haven't read it, but I think that Gaiman's Coraline fits your criteria to a t.

I also should recommend Paul Kearney's A Different Kingdom, a quite dark portal fantasy fairy tale