Clap Your Hands If You Believe in Fairies

Did you know that June 24th is International Fairy Day, opens a new window? Celebrate all things tiny and magical with the library! While some might associate fairies and magic with children's books, there are books for all ages to help you get your sparkle on.

Diminutive things possessing magical powers have been sprinkled throughout legends dating back to the 12th century, but the word “fairy” didn’t come about until the 17th century. The word is derived from “Fatae” or the “Fates,” the three mythological goddesses that dictate the destiny of humans (1).

There are many well-known literary fairies. In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Oberon, king of fairies, and Titania, his queen, cause a disturbance in the mortal world. Then, of course, there are the fairies made famous by Disney: The Fairy Godmother (Cinderella), The Fairy Godmothers (Sleeping Beauty), and The Blue Fairy (Pinocchio). These fairies all originated from either fairy tales or children's books.

Perhaps the most famous fairy of them all, Tinkerbell, made her first appearance in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan stories. There is a memorable scene in both the book and the play where Peter announces that you must clap if you believe in fairies to save Tinkerbell!

Children’s Books

In modern children’s books, fairies are the subject of a popular easy reader series and are re-imagined in a based-on-a-true-story picture book about a famous fairy hoax, opens a new window. For middle-grade readers, The Artemis Fowl series features a kidnapped fairy named Holly Short.

Evelyn the Mermicorn Fairy

The Cottingley Fairies

Artemis Fowl

YA and Adult Fiction Series

There are some really fantastic series about these immortal creatures for teens and adults. Generally referred to as “faeries,” these creatures are not all sparkle and wings. They can also have dark sides and complicated relationships with each other as well as with mortals!

The Cruel Prince
The mortal Jude gets mixed up in palace politics and tries to win a place in the High Court of Faerie. Follow this juicy faerie tale up with the next in the series, The Wicked King.

A Court of Thorns and Roses
This is another fun series about worlds of humans and faeries colliding. In this world, faeries and humans are separated by a wall. Feyre, a human, kills a wolf and a monstrous creature arrives at her home, demanding her life as punishment. The creature turns out to be Tamlin, High Fae, under a mysterious curse.

The Hum and the Shiver
In this adult series, the faerie world is called Tufa and it exists in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. These books are highly recommended for fans of magical realism and southern lore.

Adult Nonfiction

Whether you believe in fairies or not, you can live the fairy life at home with these inspiring nonfiction books.

Faerie Knitting
What goes better with fairytales than knitting? Each of the 14 projects from knitwear designer and knitting instructor Lisa Hoffman is inspired by and paired with an original fairy tale by author Alice Hoffman.

Miniature Gardens
Invite fairies into your garden (or at least pretend to) with adorable miniature gardens.


  1. Beddoe, Stella. "Towards an insect god: Queen Mab and the diminutive fairies." MAKE: The Magazine of Women's Art, Mar.-May 1999, p. 12+.

So, do you believe in fairies? Feel free to clap or talk about your love of fairies in the comments below.