What to Read After... Beast Quest
Published on: 22 April 2018 Author: Emily Drabble
Do you know children hooked on Beast Quest? Have they devoured the series and struggle to figure out what to read next? Maybe they're just looking for a new obsession. Whatever the case, we have ideas about what they might enjoy next - and share some of your recommendations too.
If a child you know is hooked by the massive jaws that is Beast Quest, what to do when the fun - or the series - runs out? Admittedly, running out will take some time; there are currently 110 chapter books in 21 Beast Quest series by Adam Blade - a small collective of authors who have been writing the books for over ten years - following the adventures of Tom and Ellena and the beasts, villains and heroes of Avantia.
And then you have the Sea Quest series to devour, starring Max, Lia and the Robobeasts, plus Team Hero. In fact, Beast Quest goes beyond books - it's a whole world including collectible cards, and many primary school playgrounds ring to the sound of, 'Let's play Beast Quest!' Whisper it, but Beast Quest is now also a console game.
So what makes Beast Quest so addictive and readable? Perhaps it's a heady mixture of:
- Being part of a series, which is a framework that's quite controlled. Yes, it's predictable for an adult reader, but that's comforting in a beastly kind of way to a young reader - and far more interesting than most Reading Scheme books.
- Being something everyone in your class has heard of and can talk about or play with you.
- Beasts... and
This series gets many young children who have recently learned to read totally hooked on books, so let us rejoice in Beast Quest while the sun shines. But how to keep the fire burning?
For young Beast Quest lovers who need to diversify
The Astrosaurs books by Steve Cole, illustrated by Woody Fox and starring Captain Teggs, are most excellent for Beast Quest fans, and come with free collectible cards, too. There are 22 in the series so far, including Riddle of the Raptors and The Planet of Peril.
It might also be worth giving Horrible Histories by Terry Deary a go - historical fighting and gore, and loads of books to get stuck into. Cressida Cowell's How To Train Your Dragon series could be another hit.
Elsewhere, the Spynosaurs series written by Guy Bass and illustrated by Lee Robinson has only three titles so far, but these are very good: comic-filled adventures that will suit many Beast Quest fans.
For those that are just over Beast Quest
There's lots of fighting but also much more besides in Brian Jacques' Redwall series; there are 23 titles, including sequels and prequels, to enjoy. The stories star woodland animals in a slightly Medieval-esque setting, from brave mice warriors to the horrible giant adder Asmodeus Poisonteeth.
Jay Jay Burridge's Supersaurs series, illustrated by Jay Jay and Chris West, is exciting, too. Raptors of Paradise and The Stegasorcerer are out now, and are the first two stories in a six-book series. They're all set in a world where humans and dinosaurs coexist, and the fast-paced adventure thrillingly includes an app which allows dinosaurs to come to 3D life when you scan the QR codes on a smart phone.
Taking a gentle shift a little bit sideways, try A. F. Harrold's Greta Zargo books, starting with Death Robots from Outer Space, which is out now (the second book in the series will be released in May). Illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton, it's brilliant - and very funny too.
For older Beast Quest fans who have lost their reading ways
The once mega-popular 'choose your own adventure' Fighting Fantasy books that gripped young readers all through the 1980s and 1990s are back! They're a perfect destination for more grown-up Beast Quest-ers. So far, five of the original titles by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone have been gloriously reissued by Scholastic, and what's more, there's a brand new title by Charlie Higson, The Gates of Death. The books set readers on a quest battling monsters in Allansia with just a pencil and dice - and each one contains over 400 mini-sections offering readers a choice or a battle.
If you're looking for something else, try David Solomon's My Brother is a Superhero and its sequels. And Taran Mathuru's The Summoner series is there for former Beast Quest-ers to fall head over heels in love with, starting with The Novice.
We also asked children's librarian Jake Hope for his recommendations on what to read after Beast Quest:
'Try Chris Mould's The Pocket Pirates: The Great Cheese Robbery for swashbuckling adventures of derring-do! This is the first in a series, so it's perfect for hooking young readers. Or Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre's Cakes in Space - absurd humour and a story told through pictures and words makes this a highly entertaining fast-paced read. Lastly Peter Brown's The Wild Robot, a highly unusual yet heartwarming tale that is likely to remain in the hearts and minds of readers for a long time.'
As always, you came up with some fantastic ideas about where children could head after enjoying the Beast Quest series - here are just some of the options you proposed on social media:
- @ZoeMarkham has been through this exact quandary with her son, saying: 'I'll always be grateful to Beast Quest for showing him the beauty of reading for pleasure - but yep, there comes a point!' So what's worked for him? Zoë suggests Tui T. Sutherland's Wings of Fire series ('equally addictive and SO much better written'). And she added: 'If you've got kids who are into Minecraft, Sean Wolfe's Elementia Chronicles are great - they had my then seven-year-old HOOKED.'
- Just one more from Zoë - 'My son started on Spirit Animals last night and says, "It's wicked",' she tweeted. That's another one to add to the list, then!
- Another parent with experience of Beast Quest fandom is @Mum_Reader, who shared 'the books that have held her son's attention since his 18-month Beast Quest addiction abated'. So check out the Timmy Failure books by Stephen Pastis, the Ultimate Football Heroes series by Matt and Tom Oldfield, the Joey Pigza books by Jack Gantos, and Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre's collaborations: Oliver and the Seawigs, Cakes in Space and Pugs of the Frozen North. As she says, 'Proof, possibly, that you can never guess what might spark their interest'.
- Why not try some of the classics next? @amers_b suggested checking out Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series, while @BristolLibrary advised Beast Quest fans looking for something 'more challenging' to try A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin and Northern Lights by Philip Pullman.
- Elsewhere, @padstowbooks revealed that Pamela Butchart's To Wee or Not To Wee and Tom McLaughlin's The Day That Aliens Nearly Ate Our Brains are popular choices with their customers, while @writing1to6 recommended the Rover series by Roddy Doyle.
- Finally, if your Beast Quest devotee is looking for a 'spooky, fast-paced thriller', AJ Hartley's Cold Bath Street came highly recommended by @publishingdeb. That ought to keep you going for a while...
Read a Beast Quest review
Author: Adam Blade
Produced by a team of writers, Beast Quest is an ever-increasing series of short, graphically illustrated novels aimed at early KS2 boys.
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