July 16

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The best adventure books for kids

By Martina

July 16, 2021

adventure, top picks

School's out for summer....or nearly. We've had a year of lockdowns, partial lockdowns, going nowhere and seeing no-one. Which means that most of us haven't ventured much further than to put out the bins. But you can still keep their imagination alive with our pick of the best adventure books for kids.

Adventure books have always been popular with children. A well-written story by a great writer can transport them to other countries, worlds and even places in time! Want to lift your kids from their normal life and give them a glimpse of life on a deserted island, in an abandoned house or even on another planet? Pop one of the best adventure books for kids in their hands and let them live out their dreams! So, all you need to do is choose where and when you want to go!

...go back in time adventure books for kids

We love a good adventure, where fiction meets historical fact. Your child gets to explore danger and bravery from the safety of their own bedroom and learn about life in another time period. If you're trying to encourage your fact-book fan to try fiction, this genre is a great starting point. My boy is really keen on history, especially World War history, and was reluctant to branch into 'stories'. Yet, give him an adventure book set in 1944 and he'll devour it. He'll pick it up, read cover to cover, thrilled to spot the historical facts and to bring his knowledge of various battles to the story.

We're loving the Maisie Hitchens series of adventures, written by Holly Webb and set on the streets of Victorian London. Twelve-year old Maisie longs to be a detective and comes across a mystery to solve in each book. Non-scary and non-threatening, these gentle adventure books are perfectly pitched for kids aged 6 to 8. Want to check out the reading level? Head over to our shop where we have sample pages of every book.

We're also popping An Escape in Time by Sally Nicholls on our list of the best adventure books for kids. A classic time-slip story where a magic mirror transports Alex and Ruby through time into adventure! In this one, the children discover there's a secret behind the mirror's time-travelling powers. And it's to do with an aristocrat fleeing the French Revolution!

...fast-paced spy action

If you're in the mood for some fast-paced thrills and action, a bit of smooth-talking and some gadgets, you can't beat Alex Rider. Imagine James Bond, but as a reluctant orphan teen spy. The Alex Rider series has sold over 20 million copies worldwide and has been made into movies. We love that these are fast-paced and well-written with a relatable character. But, most of all, we love that Alex Rider has done so much to encourage otherwise reluctant boys to devour book after book. And, in my opinion, anything that encourages kids to pop their screen down and disappear into a book has got to be a good thing. And is reason enough to give the Alex Rider series a place on our pick of the best adventure books for kids.

Alex Rider Stormbreaker first book in the teen spy series

...the best in fantasy adventure books for kids

From explosions, subterfuge and world domination, to buzzing noises and injured rabbits in forests. But The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke more than makes up for its lack of gadgets and high-speed chases. Right from the first page, it's filled with the kind of tension that makes you hold your breath. Lonny has the ability to save dying creatures just with the touch of this hand. Great, eh? But...wait. Each time he does it, he ages a little. I literally can't tell you anymore without ruining what we are calling one of the best adventure books for kids published this year! All we can say is breathe. Don't forget to breathe!

The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke book cover

...the best of the whodunnits

Fleur Hitchcock has cornered the market in hard-boiled crime novels for beginners.

the times

....well, with a write-up like that, how could we not put Waiting for Murder on our pick of the best adventure books for kids?! It's a long, hot summer and the heat is draining the village reservoir dry. As it does, something weird is revealed in the leftover murk. Who, or what, has been lying there all this time? And who is trying to stop Dan getting to the bottom of the mystery? Find out by popping a copy in your basket! 

Waiting for Murder by Fleur Hitchcock

And why not a copy of The Secret Detectives by Ella Risbridger too? My daughter was gripped by this historical mystery right from the first page. When Isobel Petty witnesses somebody being thrown overboard the S.S. Mariana, she has a mystery to solve. Actually, she has two mysteries to solve as the ship's captain insists that nobody is missing! So, who is the murderer? And who is the victim?

The Secret Detectives by Ella Risbridger book cover

...friendship, personal growth and adventure

Think adventure books are just bangs, explosions and high-speed chases?Think again! We've chosen a couple of crackers that offer a whole lot more! Firstly, there's The Night Bus Hero by Onjali Q Rauf. The main character is an unlikeable bully who has been getting into trouble for longer than he can remember. Then, when he plays a prank on a homeless man in the park, things get even worse. And then he uncovers a sinister plot. Can Hector the bully become Hector the hero?

Next up, Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth has heart, friendship and adventure in spades! Twelve-year old Tash and her friend have to escape Tibet when her parents are seized by Chinese soldiers. So they embark on a great adventure across the Himalayan mountains. This is a superb tale of survival, adventure, hope and deep friendship. A must-read for all 9+ readers and young teens.

Running on the roof of the world by Jess Butterworth

Are you going on a vacation? Are you planning a staycation? Or perhaps even a no-cation (not sure if this is a thing)? Wherever your travels take you, or not, pop a couple of adventure books in your basket. That way, whether it's too hot, too wet or too cold to go out, they can still let their imagination soar.

....if you're not sure which of our best adventure books for kids to choose, get in touch and we'll be happy to make recommendations.

Bonnes vacances! Happy adventuring!

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