Exciting Adventure Books for Middle Schoolers
Who’s ready for some adventure? If your tweens and teens are, add some of these adventure books for middle schoolers to their reading lists. It’s one of our favorite genres, and these are some of the best adventure books for middle school.
When kids read adventure stories, they’re transported to far-off lands, engrossed in action and intrigue, riding never-ending twists and turns, constantly sidestepping disaster, while usually enjoying every minute. It’s no wonder that many middle schoolers willingly choose to read stories of adventure.
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What are Adventure Novels?
An adventure book is a story in which the main character embarks on a journey, filled with challenges and suspense. These books are often fast-paced and filled with exciting plot twists.
While they can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, they are especially popular among young readers.
Adventure novels often have main characters who are young people, who must use their wit and courage to overcome the obstacles in their path. This makes them relatable and exciting for tweens and teens.
Whether they are facing danger in a far-off land or solving a mystery closer to home, these tales offer young readers the chance to escape into a thrilling story.
ADVENTURE BOOKS For TEENS
One way to get your tween reading more is to include good adventure books. Good books that are challenging, relevant, and interesting. Luckily, there are many great middle grade books out there, written with the interests and issues of middle schoolers in mind.
For your adventure-loving tween, these six YA books are sure to keep them engaged and foster a love of reading. They’re some of the best books for this age group.
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
Around the World in Eighty Days is a classic novel by Jules Verne that tells the story of Phileas Fogg, a man who bets a small fortune that he can travel around the world in eighty days. The novel follows Fogg and his valet Passepartout as they attempt to circumnavigate the globe, encountering many adventures along the way.
As this book is set in the Victorian era, this is no small feat. To make the trip even more difficult, a detective follows him and purposefully places obstacles in his path.
Along the way, they visit exotic locations and meet fascinating characters, all while trying to stay one step ahead of their pursuers.
Despite the challenges they face, they press on, always racing against the clock.
Readers will find themselves whisked away to faraway lands, caught in a multitude of adventures, while constantly wondering if Phileas will, in fact, win his bet.
It’s a fast-paced and thrilling tale that will entice the whole family.
Around the World in Eighty Days
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
Viji and her older sister Rukku have run away from an abusive home to Chennai, India, where they must fend for themselves on the streets. The girls are quickly befriended by Muthi and Arul, two homeless boys, and the four children create their own makeshift family. They live on a deserted bridge together.
As Viji scavenges the trash pits with the boys, Rukku creates necklaces out of beads. The little money they make goes to buying food for the four of them. Often, they’re starving and terrified, but they know they can count on each other.
Life is hard on the streets of Chennai, but the four friends stick together, determined to make the best of their situation. But when the boys become ill, Viji and Rukku must decide whether to reach out for help from adults who have always disappointed them, or keep the freedom they fought so hard for.
The Bridge Home is a heartwarming tale of friendship, hope, and resilience.
This book has quite a few heavy themes in it, but it’s an important read. It’s a great opportunity to have some deep conversations with your older kids about the challenges some kids face in life.
Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry
Mafatu, the son of the Great Chief, was a Polynesian boy who was afraid of the sea. He was one of the young boys who lived on the island of Hikueru. He had seen the sea take his mother when he was just a baby, and he was sure that the sea gods were angry with him.
Mafatu’s father had named him “Stout Heart”, but Mafatu was sure that he didn’t deserve that name. On the island, the sea is part of life, and they value courage above all else. Unfortunately, Mafatu is terrified of the ocean and this fear has made him an outsider among his people.
One day, after turning 15, Mafatu has had enough and decides to conquer his fear of the sea. He took his canoe and his little dog and set out into the open water, on a dangerous journey. Mafatu was terrified, but he did not give up. Unfortunately, his adventure does not go as planned and soon he is swept away, left with no provisions. He makes it to another island and must survive on his own.
Mafatu’s courage grew with each challenge that he overcame. Finally, Mafatu returned home to Hikueru as a brave young man. This is a legend of Mafatu’s courage, and it is still told today by the people of Hikueru.
Through this adventure novel, kids will learn what it means to face your fears.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Thanks to the popular movie, everyone knows the story of Charlie Bucket. But if your young teen hasn’t read this classic novel, now’s the time.
Although quite similar to the film, the book is told from Charlie’s point of view. Readers will encounter all of their favorite characters – Willy Wonka, Veruca Salt, Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, Mike Teavee, and the Oompa-Loompas while reading this rich fantasy adventure.
It seems like Charlie is the only person who truly understands just how special the chocolate factory is.
By the final chapter, kids will learn what it means to have a pure heart and to never give up on your dreams – they might just come true.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
Kyle Keeley is a huge fan of all types of games, especially video games, so he is naturally thrilled when his favorite game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, designs the town’s new library. Luigi is hosting a special opening night event for 12 lucky kids and Kyle is desperate to win a spot. Winners will be spending the night in the library, and the event will be full of food, fun, and games.
Kyle wins a coveted spot and quickly realizes that getting into the library may be the easiest part, it’s getting out that will be the challenge. That’s because, in the morning, the doors are still locked and the Kyle and fellow students must solve a succession of clues and puzzles to find the hidden escape route.
This library adventure is a wild ride that’s full of twists and turns. In the back of the book, tweens will also find some additional puzzles and a Q & A with the author.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles
Cousins, Otto and Sheed live in the town of Fry, in Logan County, a most peculiar place. They’re always being called upon to save the county from different disasters. The mayor has already awarded them two keys to the town for solving unique problems.
This story takes place on the last day of summer vacation. Otto is hoping this summer brings a grand adventure that will get them a third key so they can catch up to their rivals, the Epic Ellisons. While they’re writing down all the possible adventures they can have, they’re greeted by a strange man, Mr. Flux, who has a magic camera that can freeze time!
Now, Otto and Sheed have to work together to save the county from being frozen forever. They get help from a curious stranger and even get help from their rivals in order to defeat Mr. Flux. It’s a race against the clock as they try to save the county before it’s too late!
Tweens will learn to be careful what you wish for because you may get it.
Peak by Roland Smith
Fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello finds himself in a juvenile detention center after being caught climbing the walls of a New York City skyscraper. His only way out is to go live with his father, who hasn’t been a part of his life for years, in Thailand. He runs a climbing company there.
At first, Peak is excited to be reunited with his father, but is his father’s interest in him pure, or is he using him to further his own agenda?
He quickly realizes that his father has ulterior motives. As owner of Peak Expeditions, he wants his son to be the youngest person to reach the summit–regardless of the danger involved. While Peak is excited to have the opportunity to climb Everest, since his passion for climbing is clear, does it any of it matter when he can climb the highest mountain in the world?
Despite the risks, Peak is determined to tackle Mount Everest head on. Along the way, he learns about sacrifice and what it means to be part of a family.
Teens will love this action-packed adventure.
Peter and the Starcatchers by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry
Who was Peter and how did he become the childhood favorite Peter Pan? This is that story.
Stuck on the Never Land, a ship carrying him toward a life of cruelty and servitude, orphan boy Peter befriends a young girl named Molly and learns her greatest secret – that she and her father are starcatchers. They are at sea to protect this precious cargo. Along the journey, Peter encounters Black Stache as well as others who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the magical powers found in starstuff.
Pirates, sea battles, devilish mermaids, and pixie dust, what’s not to love? There are a lot of characters in this fantastical world.
It’s another great book from these writers. This is the first installment of fantasy books based on Peter and the Starcatchers. Tweens will get so invested in this first novel that they’ll want to read the entire series.
Hopefully, through this list of middle-grade books, you’ve found some new titles to introduce to your tweens who are always up for something new and exciting. They’re some of our favorite books and a great place to start for kids looking for a wild adventure.
Additional Middle School Book Lists
Aside from these adventure stories, encourage your kids to check these out:
- Newbery Medal winners
- books for tweens who love animal stories
- classic titles tweens will appreciate
- inspiring biographies
- personal growth books to challenge tweens
For your craft-loving tween, consider making some of these cute bookmarks for kids. They’re incredibly easy to make and they can use them themselves or put one in their favorite book as a gift for a friend.
Reading and Technology
Do you love the idea of expanding your child’s reading list, but getting him to sit down with a book ends up being a hassle? Or is it hard to keep up with your tween’s reading list? Consider switching over to audiobooks. They’re a lifesaver for some families, including those who love “reading” together. Kids can listen on their devices or you can play the books in the car as you run your errands.
If you haven’t ventured into eBooks with your tween yet, I encourage you to consider it, especially for your enthusiastic readers. And bonus, many titles can be downloaded for free to Kindle devices from online stores and your public library.
Around the World in Eighty DaysThe Bridge HomeCall It CourageCharlie and the Chocolate FactoryEscape from Mr. Lemoncello’s LibraryThe Last Last-Day-of-SummerPeakPeter and the Starcatchers