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Lemony Snicket Readalikes
Suggested Reading List

Wicked Good Fun | Brothers and Sisters | Orphans Only
Fantasyland | Mystery and Intrigue

Wicked Good Fun

A House Called Awful End ~ Philip Ardagh

The first book in the Eddie Dickens trilogy, young Eddie is sent away to live with Mad Uncle Jack and Even Madder Aunt Maud along with a visit  from strolling theatricals and quite possibly to the orphanage. A sure pleaser for Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl fans.  2002

The Doom of the Haunted Opera ~ John Bellairs (completed by John Bellairs) 

This tale of suspense takes friends Lewis and Rose Rita on a trip beyond their everyday worlds where fateful intrigue draws them closer to an evil plot that is innocently masquerading under the guise of a renovated opera house.  1995

The House with a Clock in Its Walls ~ John Bellairs

Young Lewis Barnavelt goes to live with his magician/sorcerer uncle in a mansion that has a clock hidden in its walls that is ticking off the time until doomsday.  1973

Artemis Fowl ~ Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl is not a wizard, but he is a twelve-year-old genius, a devious one, whose plans include magical surprises that cover fairies, gnomes and trolls. This thriller fairy tale is also recommended to Harry Potter fans. Try cracking the code that appears at the bottom of each page. This is the first book in the trilogy.  2001

Matilda ~ Roald Dahl

Matilda discovers mental powers that help rid the mean headmistress of her school and bring her nice teacher, Miss Honey, back to the classroom.  1988

The Witches ~ Roald Dahl

A boy and his grandmother together thwart the witches’ plans to destroy the world’s children. 1983

The Tower at the End of the World ~ Brad Strickland

Based on the characters created by John Bellairs in this sequel to The House with a Clock in Its Walls, Lewis finds himself and his good uncle (who happens to be a sorcerer) in yet another battle in which evil wizards want to take over the world.  2001

Brothers and Sisters

Gregor the Overlander ~ Suzanne Collins

Common sense, quick wit and determination are the tools Gregor needs to understand and find his and his two-year-old sister’s way back out of the hole they have fallen into beneath New York City where they encounter giant cockroaches and vicious rats.  Be sure to read the sequel:  Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane.  2003

The Thief Lord ~ Cornelia Funke

Two runaway brothers find protection with Venice’s infamous Thief Lord while their guardians and a hired detective search the city. 2002

Circle of Doom ~ Tim Kennemore

To their increasing surprise, Lizzie’s younger brothers watch their thirteen-year-old sister make a batch of potions using both ordinary and extraordinary ingredients. 2003

Secret in St. Something ~ Barbara Brooks Wallace

Eleven-year-old Robin escapes with his baby brother to live with street boys in New York City after fleeing from their cruel step-father. 2001

Orphans Only

Crispin: The Cross of Lead ~ Avi

Crispin flees his fourteenth-century English village to escape punishment for crimes he did not commit and meets a juggler who knows of a secret both dangerous and life-threatening.  2002

Ruby Holler ~ Sharon Creech

Young teenage fraternal twins, Dallas and Florida, grew up in a terrible orphanage, but find magical changes in their lives when an odd yet sweet older couple invites them on an adventure. 2002

The Several Lives of Orphan Jack ~ Sarah Ellis

Many adventures wait for the orphan, OtherJack, after he leaves school for the real world where he discovers his true calling as an “ideas peddler.”  2003

Brainboy and the Deathmaster ~ Tor Seidler

Twelve-year-old orphan, Darryl, is adopted by a technological mastermind and finds his life endangered when he discovers himself in the main role of a disastrous video game. 2003

Sparrows in the Scullery ~ Barbara Brooks Wallace

How can a kidnapped orphan, left at a terrible home for boys, find a will and a way to live on his own and make friends?  1997


Coraline ~ Neil Gaiman

Compared to Alice in Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia in an eerie fashion, this twisted tale of one girl’s move to a new home turns her greatest fear into a very strange sub-reality.  2002

The Field Guide ~ Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

A group of siblings move to their Great Aunt’s dilapidated Victorian mansion, discover a field guide to fairies and encounter strange new creatures inhabiting the house and surrounding area. First book in The Spiderwick Chronicles.  2003

Island of the Aunts ~ Eva Ibbotson

A group of sisters decide to kidnap children and bring them to an isolated island to assist with the care of mythical sea creatures.  2000

Monsieur Eek ~ David Ives

When a mysterious stranger arrives in MacOongafoondsen, thirteen-year-old Emmaline Perth and a neighborhood friend seek justice as their tiny town tries to convict him; a thoughtful story with a funny twist on the sensible and the ridiculous.  2001

Mystery and Intrigue

The Game of Sunken Places ~ M.T. Anderson

Brian and Gregory are invited to stay in a relative’s old mansion in rural Vermont where an old board game is discovered and draws them into a mysterious adventure.  2004

The Last Treasure ~ M.T. Anderson

Ellsworth visits relatives he has never met and joins his cousin in uncovering family secrets and a hidden treasure.  2003

Chasing Vermeer ~ Blue Balliett

An international art scandal causes eleven-year-olds, Petra and Calder, to piece together the seemingly unrelated clues to solve a mystery.  2004

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler ~ E.L. Konigsburg

Twelve-year-old Claudia runs away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art where she tries to keep order in their new home while becoming a changed and heroic person.  1967


Researched and compiled by M. Sulikowski

Copyright © 1996-2002
by Ocean County Library. Designed by The Web Production Team
Disclaimer. All rights reserved. Revised: Friday November 16, 2007

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