If you’re a mythology fan like me, you have likely read the Percy Jackson books at some point in your life. But the Percy Jackson series is merely the most well-known mythology-based middle-grade books out there.
There are actually a lot of similar books that I highly recommend, and that I will outline in this article.
I’ve decided to structure this article into two main sections:
- Mythology books
- Action-adventure books
Because Percy Jackson is a mix of both, I’ve felt that fans of the series will like books from both categories.
Also, be sure to check out all of our other Mythology Book Lists like this one.
My Criteria for Choosing These Books
Going into this article, I had to lay some groundwork rules for which books I would pick and why.
For the main list (i.e. my top picks), I’ve followed the following criteria:
- Diversity: I wanted to make sure I had a diverse group of mythologies, genres, authors, and protagonists. Appealing to a more diverse audience is incredibly important, which is why it is one of my top priorities.
- No Other Rick Riordan Books: required and has written a lot of other book series, many of them similar to Percy Jackson but with different mythologies. Books like the Kane Chronicles and the Magnus Chase books do not count. I assume that if you like Percy Jackson, you may have read those already.
- Only Middle-grade Novels: for this article, I am sticking to middle-grade novels only, since this is what Percy Jackson embodies. I specifically wrote a different list of similar books, but for adults, here.
- Books I Have Personally Read or Have Strong Reviews: while I have not read everything on this list (it would be very hard to read everything), I have read many of them, and the ones that I haven’t read I picked only because they have a wealth of positive reviews.
My Complete List of Books like Percy Jackson
In my research for this article, I found that there are literally dozens and dozens of books like Percy Jackson, and I couldn’t fit them all on my main list.
So I did the best of both worlds and included everything into a handy-dandy list, then outlined my top picks below.
Additionally, you can filter this list by category, with three available categories:
- Top pick
Filtering by any of these will only show you the books that fit into that category. So if you want to see only my top picks in a convenient table, go ahead and use that filter.
Middle-Grade Mythology Books like Percy Jackson
Let’s start with the middle-grade mythology books, because these are obviously the books that are most like Percy Jackson. In no particular order, here are my favorites…
Honorable Mention: All Rick Riordan Presents Books
Honestly, the best place to start reading books like Percy Jackson is to read the Rick Riordan Presents books.
I am not including them on this list, since they are all closely related to Percy Jackson and Rick Riordan, but they are fantastic and you should go read them. Some of the best include:
- The Aru Shah Series
- The Tristan Strong Series
- The Sadie Kane Series
- The Storm Runner Series
Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas
by Jonathan W. Stokes | Incan Mythology
Hook: The Goonies meets Indiana Jones and James Patterson’s Treasure Hunters in this funny, action-filled adventure series!
While this one is only loosely connected with Incan mythology, I do love its hook: that it is a mix of Goonies and Indiana Jones.
The story involves a young boy named Addison Cooke, whose aunt and uncle are researchers, and they frequently go all over the earth looking for hidden treasures. But in this case, his uncle is kidnapped by a mysterious organization, and Addison has to get him back.
This is action adventure at its finest, and a great fit for anyone who liked the adventurous side of Percy Jackson.
by Nnedi Okorafor | African Mythology
Hook: The Nigerian Harry Potter
This is another incredible book that provides a diverse perspective to young adult fiction. This blends the elements of African myth with popular middle-grade in young fiction tropes, such as Harry Potter.
The story involves a 12-year-old named Sunny, an albino in Africa who discovers that she has magical powers. Eventually, she must go to a school with others to learn how to train her powers.
For anyone who wants a book like Percy Jackson, but with an African twist, I highly recommend this book.
by T. A. Barron | Atlantis (Greek) Mythology
Hook: Atlantis stories from the author of the Merlin Saga.
The Merlin Saga was one of the first book series that I fell in love with as a boy. It inspired the Arthurian books that I would later write. But wouldn’t you know it, he also wrote a book about Atlantis.
The story involves a young boy named Promi, who is doing all he can to survive, and teams up with a friend named Atlanta, and their antics lead to the creation of Atlantis.
This one ticks all the boxes: mythology, young protagonists, middle-grade fiction, etc. If you like Percy Jackson, you will definitely like Atlantis Rising.
Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows
by Ryan Calejo | Hispanic Mythology
Hook: Percy Jackson meets Story Thieves.
This is a great series by Ryan Calejo that is also refreshingly diverse. It takes inspiration from Hispanic mythology and, and the Hispanic culture permeates this book.
The story involves Charlie Hernández as he grows up and begins to realize that there is more to the stories that his grandmother told him than he realized. Much of it is actually real, and he must learn to navigate this new fact.
The actual description for this book describes it as part Percy Jackson, so it is definitely want to check out if you liked Rick Riordan’s books.
The Fairy-Tale Detectives
by Michael Buckley | Fairy Tales
Hook: Girl-power Fairy Tales
I love the concept of this series: The Sisters Grimm. It was one of the first series to bring the magic of girl power to fairy tales, in the vein of Once Upon a Time.
The story is about Sabrina and Daphne, two sisters that discover they are descended from the Brothers Grimm. And they are thrust into a world full of fairies, giants, and magic.
This is basically the same as Percy Jackson, but with female protagonists, and with fairy tales instead of Greek Mythology.
by K. L. Armstrong and Melissa Marr | Norse Mythology
Hook: Percy Jackson meets Norse Mythology
This is another of my favorites for Percy Jackson-like books. I’m a big fan of Norse Mythology, and everyone loves Loki right?
Well, this story is about a thirteen-year-old like Matt Thorsen who is a descendant of Thor. He starts out as an ordinary boy, but as Ragnarok draws closer and closer, he has to find Thor’s hammer and shield to prevent the end of the world.
It doesn’t get much closer to Percy Jackson than this: a middle-grade adventure starring a young male protagonist and a direct connection to one of the top mythologies in the world.
Odd and the Frost Giants
by Neil Gaiman | Norse Mythology
Hook: If Percy Jackson were a Viking…
Neil Gaiman is a master of fantasy, and a master of mythology. He literally wrote the book on Norse Mythology, so you can imagine my delight when I discovered he wrote a middle-grade novel based on Norse Mythology.
The story is about a young Viking boy named Odd who is left fatherless after a Viking raid. He runs to the woods and encounters animals who turn out to be Norse Gods. Magical antics ensue.
Most of the middle-grade books I recommend here are set in the present day, but this is one that is set in ancient times, which makes it unique. Plus Neil Gaiman is simply a delight to read.
by Scott Reintgen | Various Inspirations
Hook: Can a side character save the day?
I love the idea for Saving Fable, that this is a world of characters, who know they are the heroes of these stories, and the world even includes some familiar faces.
The story is about Indira who finds out she was accepted to Protagonist Preparatory, where she will learn from the likes of characters like Alice from Wonderland and Mr. Darcy.
But Fable is just a side character, so is she capable of uncovering the truth about a mysterious antagonistic force threatening them all?
It’s just a delightful blend of stories from all over, and that also unpacks the stories in various ways to not only entertain young people, but educate them as well. Just like the Percy Jackson books do. Highly recommend.
The Colossus Rises
by Peter Lerangis | Various Mythologies
Hook: Percy Jackson Meets Indiana Jones
You can’t argue with a headline like “Percy Jackson meets Indiana Jones.” And if you read the description of this book on Amazon, you will see a quote from Rick Riordan himself.
The story is about a young boy named Jack McKinley, who discovers that he’s going to die unless he can find seven magic Loculi that have been hidden among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
It’s a great story that is clearly written to be a parallel with Percy Jackson. I think you’ll enjoy it.
The Flame of Olympus
by Kate O’Hearn | Greek Mythology
Hook: If Pegasus landed on your roof…
This is a fun middle-grade story aimed at young girls who also want a taste of Greek Mythology.
The stories are about a young girl whose life is turned upside down when none other than Pegasus lands on her roof, and she is thrust into a huge war among the Olympians, where she has to single-handedly save Olympus.
It is extremely similar in subject to Percy Jackson, and definitely one I would read, particularly if you have young girls in the house.
by Tracey Baptiste | Caribbean Folklore
Hook: A young girl with magic vs scary haunting spirits
If you want something a little different, here’s a great book by Tracey Baptiste, centered around Caribbean folklore.
This one is a little scarier, but still aimed at young readers. The story involves a young girl named Corinne La Mer, who doesn’t believe in ghost stories. Until she has an encounter with “the Jumbies”, strange spirits that haunt the forest.
It’s a spookier take on mythology and folklore that you might want to pick up around Halloween time.
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell
by Chris Colfer | Fairy Tales
Hook: Fairy Tales are real
If you like fairy tales, then this series by Chris Colfer might be good for you.
It’s a story about two siblings, Alex and Conner Bailey, who are thrust into an enchanted realm full of classic fairy tales, and they come face-to-face with multiple fairytale characters they are familiar with.
It’s a great modern fairytale story that fans of Percy Jackson are bound to love.
The Lost Years of Merlin
by T. A. Barron | Arthurian Legends
Hook: Merlin as a young boy
This is a classic series that I actually grew up reading and absolutely fell in love with: The Lost Years of Merlin by T. A. Barron. Barron is a master of young fiction, and he provides a unique look at the Arthurian legends through the eyes of a young Merlin.
Barron is one of the few on this list who has two series, together with his Atlantis series, so he is deftly one that you should check out.
The Serpent’s Secret
by Sayantani DasGupta | Indian Mythology
Hook: She’s a legend. She just doesn’t know it yet!
This is a fun adventure for those interested in Indian mythology, and want that middle-grade Percy Jackson fix.
The story is about Kiranmala, a sixth-grader from New Jersey. But when her parents vanish and a demon crashes into her kitchen, she realizes that there may be truth to the fantastic stories that her parents used to tell her. Subsequently, she is thrust into a new world full of magic, and so much more.
It’s a great refreshingly unique twist on a Percy Jackson-like story.
Thrones and Bones: Frostborn
by Lou Anders | Norse Mythology
Hook: More Vikings for Percy Jackson Fans
This is another story that uses Vikings and Norse mythology as the backdrop to a great adventure story like Percy Jackson.
The story is about a young man named Karn. He is destined to take over the family farm in Norrøngard. His only problem? He’d rather be playing the board game Thrones and Bones. He is thrown into perilous situations, along with the half human, half frost giantess Thianna, and the two have to survive pursuit by a 1500-year-old Dragon.
It’s full of adventure, takes place during the Viking era, and is great for Rick Riordan fans.
When You Trap a Tiger
by Tae Keller | Korean Folklore
Hook: A Newbery Medal Winner
If you want something based on a little Korean folklore, you might want to check this book out. Not only is a great for Percy Jackson fans, but it is also the winner of a Newbery medal.
The story involves a girl named Lily, who moves in with her sick grandmother just before a magical Tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history.
It’s a refreshing take on mythology and folklore, as we don’t get a lot of Korean stories in Western middle-grade fiction. Highly recommend.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
by Grace Lin | Chinese Folklore
Hook: A companion to the bestselling Starry River of the Sky
Another great Eastern option is Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin. It is both a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award.
The story is about a young girl named Minli, who sets off on a journey to find the Old Man on the Moon, in order to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune. Her journey brings her in contact with interesting characters, magical creatures, and more.
Once again this is another fresh take on mythology and folklore, perfect for fans of Percy Jackson who want a Chinese flavor to the story.
Action-Adventure Books like Percy Jackson
Percy Jackson is an action/adventure book, and there are many more middle-grade novels that fall into the same category. I have not included as many as the mythology category, but I have included some of the best.
by Eoin Colfer
Hook: Millionaire genius 12-year-old meets a fairy
Chances are you have heard of Artemis fowl. It was adapted by Disney into a movie that we shall not name, but the book series is still very good.
The story involves Artemis, who is a 12-year-old that is also a millionaire, genius, and criminal mastermind. But one day he bites off more than he can chew when he captures a fairy.
This one is not based in any mythology, but is very similar in tone and genre to Percy Jackson.
by Brandon Mull
Hook: Two kids discover the last stronghold of true magic.
Fablehaven is one of my favorite middle-grade book series. It’s a bit like Narnia but with more evil magical creatures.
The story concerns Kendra and her brother Seth who go to stay with their grandfather, and discover that he is the last guardian of Fablehaven, a stronghold of true magic. And the stakes are legitimately high.
If you like the fantasy adventure of Percy Jackson, Fablehaven is a good one to try.
Gregor the Overlander
by Suzanne Collins
Hook: middle-grade from the author of The Hunger Games.
Suzanne Collins is known for writing the Hunger Games series, but did you know that she wrote a middle-grade adventure as well?
The story is about Gregor who falls through a grate in his apartment building into “the Underland” which is a mysterious land that is falling apart. Gregor is prophesied to help with its future, but danger awaits.
If you’re looking for another celebrity author like Rick Riordan, this might be a good place to start.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
by J. K. Rowling
Hook: You’re a wizard Harry!
We can’t talk about Percy Jackson alternatives without bringing up the Harry Potter series.
You know the story, I don’t need to spell it out for you. But if you or your child has not read Harry Potter and you’re looking for more like Percy Jackson, then you absolutely need to get on that.
Keeper of the Lost Cities
by Shannon Messenger
Hook: A telepathic girl finds she is the key to a world.
This is a book by Shannon Messenger that is all about a girl named Sophie. Sophie has never fit in with the crowd. But she eventually figures out that she’s a telepath, and it isn’t until she meets someone like herself that she is thrown into a whole new world.
This is another classic middle-grade fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of Percy Jackson.
by Michael Scott
Hook: The secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel…no, not that one.
If you thought Nicholas Flamel was just a Harry Potter character, you would be wrong! Turns out, he’s a public domain character, and Michael Scott wrote an entire series with him as the protagonist.
While this story has mythical elements, it fits as more of an adventure book, and involves the immortal Nicholas Flamel as he protects some of the most dangerous books to ever exist.
A great one for not just fans of Percy Jackson, but those of Harry Potter as well.
The Book of Chaos
by Jessica Renwick
Hook: Multiple gold-medal winner
This is a story about another girl named Fable (see Saving Fable above), who has magic but is forced to hide it from the world by her overprotective aunt.
But eventually a strange book finds its way to her, and she is transported to a mysterious land called Starfell, where she is finally accepted for who she is. But there’s a dark secret in Starfell.
A great fantasy adventure story with fairy tale elements, and a young protagonist, perfect for fans of Percy Jackson.
The Iron Trial
by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Hook: Callum Hunt fails at failing
This is an interesting story written by two best-selling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Both of these authors have had huge success in young adult fiction as well as other genres. So you know they have talent to share.
The story is about a young man named Callum Hunt who doesn’t want to have anything to do with magic. When he is forced to go through the “Iron Trial” he tries his best to fail… And fails at that.
It’s a quirky story with a unique hook that I think fans of Percy Jackson will enjoy.
The Ruins of Gorlan
by John A. Flanagan
Hook: Over 5 million copies sold
No list of middle-grade adventures would be complete without the Ranger’s Apprentice series, written by John Flanagan.
The story is set in a medieval setting, where the main character, Will, is recruited to be the apprentice of a Ranger, and he is thrown into an unanticipated conflict that will test every skill he learns.
It’s great for those who like the fantasy aspects of Percy Jackson, and want a nice middle-grade adventure set in a fantasy setting.
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness
by Andrew Peterson
Hook: Was made into an animated series.
The Wingfeather Saga is a beloved series by Andrew Peterson, set in a fantasy world. It is not based on mythology, but is still a great option for Percy Jackson fans.
The stories are about Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, and their disabled sister Leeli, who need to use their magical gifts to survive when the venomous Fangs of Dang cross the dark sea to rule over their land.
That’s it! I hope this was helpful to you and that you found some reads that you like.
If you liked this article, you might also like my others about Percy Jackson, including: