It’s hard to believe that The Neverending Story is almost 40 years old! Do you remember reading the story for the first time and wishing it would truly never end? (And if you haven’t read it yet, well, what are you waiting for?) These books may not be The Neverending Story, but they’re the next best thing to keep that feeling of magic and wonder from fizzling out.
In honor of the 37th anniversary of The Neverending Story‘s first publishing, here are five novels that share the similar whimsical, fantastical nature of storytelling:
1. Momo by Michael Ende
From the author of The Neverending Story comes another adventure about the importance of creativity and imagination. One day, a girl named Momo appears in the ruins of an old amphitheater in an unnamed town. Far from being a normal girl, she has an extraordinary gift to help people with their problems, and soon the town comes to rely on her. One day, a group called the Men in Grey appear and convince the townsfolk to lock time away for future use. With no time left to spare on things deemed unimportant, life in the city soon becomes lifeless and dull. With the help of the administrator of Time and a clairvoyant tortoise named Cassiopeia, Momo sets out to defeat the Men in Grey in order to restore time and bring happiness back into the lives of the people she loves.
2. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Milo lives an ordinary, humdrum life…until a tollbooth magically appears in his bedroom. When Milo drives through it in his toy car, he’s whisked away to the Lands Beyond, a place where everything is exactly as it sounds and nothing is as it first appears. With the help of his new friends, Tok the watchdog and the Humbug, Milo embarks on a quest to rescue the princesses, Rhyme and Reason, who have been locked away in the Castle in the Air. Along the way, he gains a new appreciation for the twists and turns of language, learns to face his fears, and discovers that his life was never so ordinary after all.
3. The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
This is the fourth book set in the fictional world of Zamonia, but don’t worry: you won’t need to read the others first to enjoy this one.
When Optimus Yarnspinner, a young writer who happens to be a dragon-like creature called a lindworm, inherits a perfect, unpublished story from his godfather, he knows he has to find the author’s identity. His quest brings him to Bookholm, the eponymous City of Dreaming Books. But Yarnspinner isn’t prepared for the dangers lurking within this book lover’s paradise and is caught in a trap, cast into a labyrinth under Bookholm by the evil Pfistomel Smyke. Yarnspinner is faced with the perilous task of escaping Bookholm’s depths and all the dangers that may lurk within the pages of a book.
4. The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren
When Jonathan Lion learns that his beloved little brother, Karl, has only a small amount of time left to live, the 13-year-old comforts his brother by telling him about the wonderful world of Nangiyala, where he’ll go when he dies. The brothers Lionheart are separated by an unfortunate accident that costs Jonathan his life, but the two are soon reunited in the world of Nangiyala. However, the land is not at peace: the brothers must find the courage within themselves to face a tyrant and the deadly creature in order to free Nangiyala. The Brothers Lionheart is a story that deals with loss in such a magical way that it’s sure to help readers come to terms with their own mortality.
5. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
When a unicorn learns that she may be the last of her kind, she embarks on a quest to find out what has happened to the rest of her species. She is joined by the traveling magician Schmendrick and Molly Grue, a bandit leader’s wife who never got to experience being a maiden, but the world is not a safe place for a unicorn, even with the help of her friends. The unicorn’s journey brings her to the castle of King Haggard, into the clutches of the king and his unstoppable, terrifying Red Bull. The only way for the unicorn to escape is to become the one thing that she fears becoming most: a human being. Yet, when mortality brings a new appreciation for life, and she feels love in her heart for the first time, she may just decide that it was worth it.
Do you know any more books that capture the wondrous feeling of The Neverending Story? Tell us the comments!
YouTube Channel: Movieclips
Featured image via Pixabay