These books are suggested for readers aged 8 and up, unless otherwise stated.
Note: Lots of these books make great family read-alouds! Share the adventure!
The City of Orphans (age 10+)
The streets of 1893 New York are dirty, crowded, and - for 13-year-old newsboy Maks - dangerous. On the run from the Plug Ugly Gang, and trying to save his sister from prison, Maks has to use every one of his wits to survive. A riveting, fast-paced adventure with an unforgettable hero. Terrific!
The Game of Sunken Places
by M. T. Anderson
#1 in the Norambegan Quartet
When two boys get an invitation to stay at the strange mansion of a distant relative, they should know better than to go. There they stumble on a board game that mirrors a bigger game they are pulled into, with trolls and warring kingdoms. Exciting and funny.
#2 The Suburb Beyond the Stars
Peter and the Starcatchers (age10+)
by Dave Barry
#1 in the Peter and the Starcatcher series
Soon after Peter sets sail on the ship Neverland, he finds himself helping Molly, a young Starcatcher, to guard her magical stardust against all dangers, including pirates and thunderstorms. This book is hard to put down!
#2 Peter and the Shadow Thieves
The Name of This Book is Secret
by Pseudonymous Bosch
#1 in The Secret Series
Two 11-year-old misfits try to solve the mystery of a magician who has vanished under strange (and stinky) circumstances, but they also have to stop the evil Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais, who are searching for the secret of immortality.
#2 If You Are Reading This, It’s Too Late
NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society
by Michael Buckley
#1 in the NERDS series
While running a spy network from their elementary school, five unpopular misfits combine their talents and cutting-edge gadgets to fight evil around the world. This action-packed, tongue-in-cheek series is goofy and fast-paced.
#2 M is for Mama’s Boy, #3 The Cheerleaders of Doom
Gregor the Overlander
by Suzanne Collins
#1 in the Underland Chronicles
Gregor tumbles through a laundry room grate and into a dark Underland, which is on the brink of war. But his arrival is no accident: a prophecy foretold that he has a big role to play in that world. Exciting stuff from the author of The Hunger Games.
#2 Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane
by Zizou Corder
When his parents are kidnapped, what’s 10-year-old Charlie to do? Rescue them, that’s what! He faces all kinds of danger, with only one weapon: his secret ability to speak Cat. Good thing there are lions on the ship he’s sailing on. A real page-turner!
Inkheart (age 9+)
by Cornelia Funke
#1 in the Inkheart Trilogy
Meggie lives quietly with her father, until a stranger arrives and Meggie learns of her father’s secret magical power, a power that has now put them both in danger. Only Meggie can save them, but is there enough time?
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
by Chris Grabenstein
Mix Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with A Night at the Museum and you get something of the fun and adventure of this book. Twelve lucky kids win a chance to stay overnight in the world’s most amazing library. Then they have to figure out how to get out!
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
by Christopher Healy
#1 of the League of Princes Series
A funny, fast-paced take on the world of fairy tales. Four rejected Prince Charmings set out on a quest together. To foil an evil plot, they must take on trolls, witches, dragons and other assorted baddies.
#2 The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle
by Brian Jacques
#1 in the Redwall series
How can the peace-loving mice of Redwall Abbey defend themselves against Cluny the Scourge and his army of battle-hardened rats? If only they had the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior! If only bumbling Matthias could turn out to be a hero!
Alabama Moon (age 10+)
by Watt Key
After his father dies, 10-year-old Moon leaves the isolated shelter they always shared, to go to Alaska as his father wished. Caught by the government, Moon has to figure out a whole new world, new friends, new enemies. Will his survival skills save him?
Call of the Wild (age 12+)
by Jack London
In the days of the Alaska gold rush, when strong sled dogs were in great demand, Buck is stolen from his home to join a dog team. Surviving harsh conditions and cruel treatment, he returns to the instincts of his canine ancestors and becomes a leader in the wild.
by Patrick Matthews
Testing Day should have been great: like his dad, Al would get a high rank and an easy life. But Al gets a zero! Now he’s on the run for his life, desperate to figure out what’s really behind the struggle between men and dragons, in this exciting fantasy world.
Eye of the Storm (age 10+)
by Kate Messner
In the near future, when monster storms happen frequently, Jaden and Alex make a terrible discovery at summer camp. With a massive tornado approaching, Jaden must trust her knowledge and believe in herself, if she’s to save everyone from the worst storm yet!
The Greenglass House (age 9+)
by Kate Milford
The creaky old smugglers’ inn is quiet in winter, but one cold night the guest bell rings again and again, as strange guests turn up. Milo and Meddy untangle the deepening web of mystery to discover the truth about Greenglass House, and themselves.
by Kenneth Oppel
#1 in the Silverwing Trilogy
A real adventure for a noble hero: it has a dangerous journey, a cryptic map, a trusty companion and plenty of cliff-hangers! The difference is that the noble hero is an undersized bat, named Shade.
Hatchet (age 11+)
by Gary Paulsen
When the small plane taking him to his dad crashes in the wilderness, Brian finds himself alone and fighting to survive. A hatchet is his only tool. He can’t think any more about the awful secret he carries; he’ll need all his know-how and courage just to stay alive.
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
by Nathan Philbrick
Homer’s big brother needs to be rescued, so 12-year-old Homer escapes from his evil uncle - plus a whole bunch of other bad guys - to come to the rescue! A great adventure with some surprising laughs!
The Maze of Bones
by Rick Riordan
#1 in the 39 Clues series (multiple authors)
Dan and Amy Cahill face a choice: do they want a million dollars? Or a clue to the world’s most powerful secret? Choosing the clue throws them into peril, but it’s too late to change their minds!
#2 One False Note by Gordan Korman
Lord of the Deep
by Gordon Salisbury
Fishing. This is it: the big time! Working on his stepdad’s charter boat, Mikey feels like the luckiest guy ever. But he’s about to learn some of life’s toughest and most important lessons, out there on the deep, dark sea.
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
by Brandon Sanderson
#1 in Alcatraz series
A hero with a talent...for breaking things! A life-or-death mission to rescue...a bag of sand!? A fearsome threat from a powerful network...of evil librarians! Who can stop them? Certainly not super-klutz Alcatraz... Right?
#2 Alcatraz vs. The Scrivener’s Bones
by Brian Selznick
The author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret returns with another amazing book. This one follows the mysterious adventures - one told in words, one in pictures - of two children who live fifty years apart, both desperately searching for something important.
The Mysterious Benedict Society
#1 in Mysterious Benedict Society series
by Trenton Lee Stewart
After passing a series of tests, four children are selected for a secret mission. They must go undercover at the Learning Institute For the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is: there are no rules.
#2 The Mysterious Benedict Society & the Perilous Journey
The Hobbit (age 12+)
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo Baggins the hobbit enjoys his peaceful life in the Shire, but his peace is broken when the wizard Gandalf and some dwarves turn up to take him on an adventure: to steal the treasure of the terrible dragon Smaug. Little does Bilbo know that this is only the beginning of a much bigger adventure.
Navigating Early (age10+)
by Clare Vanderpool
As outsiders in their boarding school, both Jack and Early are mourning the loss of loved ones. Their friendship leads to an exciting adventure on the Appalachian Trail, with a very satisfying ending.