After covering the best adventure fiction in 2023, here is another equally important collection of reads but this time for young readers. Best adventure books for kids is just what it is: a selection of fictional works that are sure to spark the imagination of your little ones and provide them with hours of entertainment.
The collection is a fruit of a combined extensive online search and a marathon reading into readers’ reviews. I know several other important adventure novels are missing from this list but for practical constraints, I limited my selection to 11 titles. Whether your child loves fantasy, mystery, or historical fiction, there’s an adventure book in here that will capture their attention and take them on an unforgettable journey.
I invite you to check out the list of the 11 best adventure books for kids and share with us your feedback.
Table of Contents
1. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is an action-packed adventure novel, renowned for being a popular classic amongst children. It follows the journey of Jim Hawkins, who discovers Treasure Island and sets off to find its hidden pirate treasure with a loyal crew.
Along the way they encounter Long John Silver, a one-legged sea cook with a mysterious past, who leads them to the buried treasure
2. The Land of Stories; The Wishing Spell, by Chris Colfer
The Wishing Spell, by Chris Colfer, is a fast-paced adventure story that takes place in two worlds: the real world, and The Land of Stories – a place full of wonder and magic. The story follows twins Alex and Conner Bailey, who are transported to The Land of Stories through a mysterious book of stories. In The Land of Stories, they must brave witches, wolves, goblins, trolls and more as they search for a way back home.
3. Legend of the Star Runner: A Timmi Tobbson Adventure Book for Boys and Girls, by J. I. Wagner
“The adventure is divided into 31 concise chapters, each of which ends with a puzzle to be solved by finding and interpreting visual clues concealed within a beautiful color illustration. Suited for explorers and sleuths young and old. Children under 8 years may need assistance in solving some of the puzzles. Grade level: 3rd and up.”
4. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is an imaginative and heart-warming story by acclaimed children’s author, Kate DiCamillo. The novel follows the journey of a china rabbit named Edward Tulane who goes on a remarkable journey to discover how much he is loved. The story takes Edward on a transformative path filled with danger, despair and redemption, ultimately teaching him the power of love.
5. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O’Brien
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a classic children’s novel by Robert C. O’Brien about Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse living in the meadow with her four small children.
Mrs. Frisby must quickly move her family to their summer quarters or risk death, but her youngest son Timothy is ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Mrs. Frisby meets the highly intelligent rats of NIMH, who come up with a solution to her dilemma that helps Mrs. Frisby in turn. Mrs
6. Crispin: The Cross of Lead, by Avi
Crispin: The Cross of Lead is a novel by Avi set in medieval England. It tells the story of a thirteen-year-old peasant named Crispin who has been declared a “wolf’s head,” meaning he may be killed on sight. In order to escape his tiny village, he flees with nothing but his mother’s cross of lead.
Along the way, Crispin meets a man named Bear who forces him to become his servant and encourages him to think for himself. Eventually, he is pulled into the fortress of his enemies, where he must find a way to save their lives.
7. The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, by Adam Gidwitz
Summer of The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz is an epic adventure story set in 1242 France. The story follows William, Jacob and Jeanne; three unlikely allies who are on a mission to save precious holy texts from being burned. The trio must escape prejudice and persecution as they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king and save the land from a farting dragon.
The story is told through multiple voices in a style reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales and demonstrates the power of friendship and determination to overcome any obstacle. The unforgettable finale takes place at Mont Saint-Michel as all question if these children can perform miracles like saints.
8. Rick Riordan Presents Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi
Rick Riordan Presents Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi is a gripping fantasy adventure novel featuring twelve-year-old Aru Shah.
After Aru’s classmates dare her to prove her claim that a cursed lamp in her mother’s museum is actually cursed, she reluctantly lights it with catastrophic consequences. With her classmates and mother frozen in time, Aru must go on a quest to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers and journey through the Kingdom of Death in order to save them.
9. The Star of Kazan, by Eva Ibbotson
The Star of Kazan is a children’s novel written by Eva Ibbotson. The story follows Annika, a girl adopted from an orphanage who discovers that she is descended from a wealthy aristocratic family in Austria.
The tale follows her journey to unravel the mystery of her past and uncover the truth about herself, while also taking her on an exciting adventure. The Star of Kazan is full of magic and mystery, as Annika comes to discover her true heritage and discovers that she holds the key to a powerful family heirloom—the Star of Kazan.
10. Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact, by A. J. Hartley
Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact, by A. J. Hartley, is a thrilling adventure novel that follows 11-year-old Darwen as he moves to Atlanta, Georgia from a tiny town in England to live with his aunt. Through an old mirror in his closet, he discovers a mysterious and enchanting world that has as many dangers as it does wonders.
With the help of his friends Rich and Alexandra, Darwen must use what he knows in order to protect not only himself but also his entire school from a group of creatures who are after something that only human children possess.
11. Summer of the Woods, by Steven K. Smith
Summer of the Woods is the first book in The Virginia Mysteries series by author Steven K. Smith, and it follows the adventures of two young brothers, Derek and Sam, as they move with their family to Virginia. As they explore their creaky old home and its surrounding woods, they stumble upon a sixty-year-old mystery of a valuable coin collection stolen from the local museum.
Summer of the Woods is an exciting and fast-paced adventure for readers ages 7-12, full of mystery, danger, and thrilling twists of Virginia history. Fans of Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Magic Tree House, or National Treasure will love this series!