Magical Realism

What is Magical Realism? by Michael Shumate (NoveList Plus)

Magical realism is a genre of fiction that combines the realistic settings and character-driven richness of literary fiction with elements of traditional fantasy and fairy tale. Unlike genre fantasy, though, magical realism does not typically depict a fantasy world separate from our own (such as Tolkien’s Middle-earth or the Hogwarts of Harry Potter). Instead, a typical narrative purports to be an authentic history or chronicle, with magical events arriving almost unremarked by the characters or narrator. Events such as human flight, teleportation, or the transformation of the inanimate into the animate (and vice versa) are presented as marvelous parts of the everyday. Originally associated with Latin American writers of the 1940s-1970s, magical realist techniques have since been adopted by writers from many other parts of the world.


Half a Creature From the Sea by David AlmondHalf a Creature from the Sea: A Life in Stories by David Almond

A storyteller presents a collection of short fiction, interwoven with pieces that illuminate the inspiration behind the stories.




The Game of Love and Death by Martha BrockenbroughThe Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

In Seattle in 1937 two seventeen-year-olds, Henry, who is white, and Flora, who is African-American, become the unwitting pawns in a game played by two immortal figures, Love and Death, where they must choose each other at the end, or one of them will die.



Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A. S. KingGlory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

As her high school graduation draws near, Glory O’Brien begins having powerful and terrifying visions of the future as she struggles with her long-buried grief over her mother’s suicide.




I Crawl Through It by A. S. KingI Crawl Through It by A. S. King

A surrealist novel about four teenagers who find unconventional ways to escape standardized tests and their perilous world, and discover that the only escape from reality is to face it.




The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemoreThe Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

Although Lace Paloma knows all about the feud between the Palomas and the Corbeaus, she finds herself falling for Cluck Corbeau when he saves her life while both families are performing in the same town.



The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica NovgorodoffThe Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff

Fictional graphic novel telling a magical realist story set in the world of the black market for deceased brides in China.




Inland by Kat RosenfieldInland by Kat Rosenfield

Returning to the coast after living in the Midwest, Callie’s mysterious illness disappears, but when the water near her house begins to call her, she uncovers dangerous family secrets & jeopardizes everything & everyone she holds dear.



Bone Gap by Laura RubyBone Gap by Laura Ruby

Eighteen-year-old Finn, an outsider in his quiet Midwestern town, is the only witness to the abduction of town favorite Roza, but his inability to distinguish between faces makes it difficult for him to help with the investigation, and subjects him to even more ridicule and bullying.



Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye J. WaltonStrange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye J. Walton

Born with bird wings, Ava Lavender is well aware that love has long made fools of her family. When pious Nathaniel Sorrows mistakes her bird wings for angel wings, 16-year-old Ava faces the man’s growing obsession, which comes to a head with the rain and feathers that fly through the air during a nighttime summer solstice celebration.



Belzhar by Meg WolitzerBelzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Jam Gallahue, fifteen, unable to cope with the loss of her boyfriend Reeve, is sent to a therapeutic boarding school in Vermont, where a journal-writing assignment for an exclusive, mysterious English class transports her to the magical realm of Belzhar, where she and Reeve can be together.


last updated: February 2016

About Princess Leia

I am the Teen Services Librarian at the Grayslake Area Public Library.
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