Fantasy books have always been popular in YA and children's literature — long before Harry Potter. But lately, the genre has given authors the opportunity to create rich worlds that draw from culturally specific mythologies or historical periods. In two 2019 books, for example, authors dive back into 18th and 19th century Paris and supernatural twists.
In a way, YA fantasy offers a chance to rewrite history, in addition to letting imaginations soar. Through the lens of these YA fantasy books, history is suddenly a place full of young women who take the reins of their own story (and cause major world events to unfold); a place where magic is within reach. The same goes for fairy tale retellings, which often put a twist on the conventional understanding of the myth or give more depth to woman characters.
We worked with our friends at Goodreads to gather a mix of the most popular YA fantasy series (you know, the kind with page-long glowing recommendations on Goodreads and die-hard fans) as well as new releases of 2019, many of which refashion history.