Action & Adventure Reads (Middle Grade)

Find the next stop on your literary journey in our Action and Adventure Collection. Packed with energy and the spirit of embarking into the unknown, these selections highlight journeys of survival, risk, and exploration in both real-life settings and fantasy realms.

Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

First published in 2006, Alabama Moon by Watt Key is a realistic middle grade novel set in 1980 in rural Alabama. After being raised by his survivalist father, 10-year-old Moon Blake knows he can acquire anything he needs from the forest. When his father dies, Moon sets out for Alaska as Pap instructed. On his journey, Moon finds conflict with authorities, peers, “the system,” and a constable intent on breaking his spirit. This guide follows... Read Alabama Moon Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Society: WarTags Fantasy, Romance, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (Razorbill, 2015) is the first in the An Ember in the Ashes series, followed by A Torch Against the Night. This young adult fantasy novel follows an elite warrior and a peasant girl as they find what it means to be free in a brutal world. An Ember in the Ashes debuted at number two on the young adult New York Times bestsellers list and was also... Read An Ember in the Ashes Summary


Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Relationships: Teams, Natural World: Environment, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FamilyTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Mythology

Artemis Fowl (2001) is the first of 11 fantasy novels in the Fowl Adventures series. It was written by Eoin Colfer, an Irish writer, and details the titular character’s attempt to restore his family’s fortune by kidnapping an elf named Holly Short. Taking place in Colfer’s home country of Ireland, the novel is also his first foray into the fantasy genre. The novel explores themes of community, environmentalism, and the line between magic and science.In... Read Artemis Fowl Summary


Publication year 1999Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Climate, Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags History: U.S., Health / Medicine, Animals, Action / Adventure

Publication year 1740Genre Novella, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Marriage, Society: ClassTags Fairy Tale / Folklore, Classic Fiction, Fantasy, Love / Sexuality, Relationships

Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanna Barbot De Villeneuve first appeared in her collection of fairy tales La jeune américaine, et les contes marins (The Young American and Marine Tales) in 1740 and was abridged into a Christian moral tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1756. As a fairy-tale classic, Beauty and the Beast has been retold around the globe and in several mediums, including books, film, theater, and opera. The most well-known adaptations... Read Beauty and the Beast Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: FriendshipTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Action / Adventure, Arts / Culture, Relationships

Book Scavenger (2015) is the debut novel by children’s author Jennifer Chambliss Bertman. Upon publication, it immediately became a New York Times bestseller and soon after the book was named an Amazon Book of the Year, Indie Top Ten Pick, and received more than 20 state awards and nominations. Book Scavenger has since been translated into 12 languages. Book Scavenger is the first volume in a Middle Grade Detective series of the same name. Other... Read Book Scavenger Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Nation, Society: Class, Society: Politics & Government, Society: Community, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Realistic Fiction, Social Justice, Poverty, Indian Literature, Class, Politics / Government, Incarceration

Publication year 1999Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Science / Nature, Action / Adventure

Brian's Return (1999) is a young adult fiction novel and the fourth book in author Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet series. Paulsen draws on his personal experiences from the wilderness to create Brian’s outdoor adventure and survival narrative throughout the series, stating in the author note, “Virtually all that happens to Brian in these books has happened to me at some point in my life” (112). Paulsen was awarded the Newberry Honor in 1988 for Hatchet, the first... Read Brian's Return Summary


Publication year 1963Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: ClassTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Humor

Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Chasing Vermeer is the debut novel of children’s author Blue Balliett. First published in 2004, the book is a children’s art mystery novel. The novel won several awards, including the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Novel, the Agatha Award for Best YA Novel, and the Chicago Tribune Prize for Young Adult Fiction. An interactive experience, the novel uses maps, pentominoes (or Tetris-like puzzles), and coded graphics by illustrator Brett Helquist, to hide secret messages.The novel’s... Read Chasing Vermeer Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Teams, Relationships: Family, Natural World: Climate, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Environment, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Order & ChaosTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Literature, Life/Time: The PastTags Children's Literature, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Siblings, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Family, Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Music, Identity: Gender, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Relationships: GrandparentsTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature, Magical Realism

Fablehaven was written by Brandon Mull and first published in 2006. It is the first in a series about an ecological preserve for magical creatures. In the novel, middle-school-aged siblings Kendra and Seth take a trip to their grandparents’ land in rural Connecticut, which they soon realize is hiding magic of all types. The siblings explore the magical world they have discovered while learning how to be both brave and responsible.Fablehaven deals with themes concerning... Read Fablehaven Summary


Publication year 1970Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Animals, Children's Literature, Action / Adventure

Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970) is a children’s novel by British author Roald Dahl. One of Dahl’s most acclaimed and enduring titles, the novel follows an anthropomorphic fox—the titular Mr. Fox—and his animal friends, who live near three cruel farmers. Although the farmers continually attempt to kill the animals, Mr. Fox and his friends are able to outsmart them and steal all the food they want. Fantastic Mr. Fox, like many of Dahl’s works, is a... Read Fantastic Mr Fox Summary


Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Natural World: FoodTags Action / Adventure, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Realistic Fiction

Set in Canada, American author Will Hobbs’s young-adult novel Far North (1996) follows Gabe Rogers, who lives with his grandparents in Austin, Texas. When Gabe tells his father that he wants to live with him in Canada, his father tells him he may on two conditions. First, Gabe must travel up north to experience the severe cold of the Northwest Territories for one year. Second, he must attend boarding school. While flying through Canada with... Read Far North Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Relationships: Friendship, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Natural World: Food, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Society: Education, Society: Globalization, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Self Discovery, Life/Time: The Future, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Survival Fiction, Natural Disaster, Science / Nature

In Newbery medalist Louis Sachar’s sci-fi thriller Fuzzy Mud (2015), Tamaya and Marshall cut through the restricted woods behind their school to avoid a bully—but encounter a strange mud that has the potential to destroy nearly all life on Earth. While Marshall struggles with the emotional effects of being bullied, Tamaya develops an unusually aggressive rash from the mud and worries that in protecting Marshall she has gravely injured Chad. Each character faces difficult ethical... Read Fuzzy Mud Summary


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Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Society: War, Relationships: Siblings, Natural World: Place, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, WWII / World War II, Military / War, Grief / Death, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, History: Asian, History: U.S., Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 1997Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Fate, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

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Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Natural World: AnimalsTags Realistic Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Humor

Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen, is a humorous adventure novel for middle-grade readers in which a group of children tries to save the habitat of a colony of owls from being bulldozed. Published in 2002, the book became a New York Times bestseller, won a Newbery Medal, and has been made into a motion picture. Author Hiaasen is an award-winning journalist and columnist for the Miami Herald. He has written nearly three dozen books, including six... Read Hoot Summary


Publication year 1941Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Society: WarTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Auto/Biographical Fiction, History: U.S., Colonial America

Publication year 1935Genre Novel, FictionTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Gothic Literature, British Literature

Jamaica Inn (1936) is a period piece thriller written by Daphne du Maurier. Inspired by her stay at the eponymous inn—which still stands and hosts visitors today—du Maurier’s novel is set in the early 1800s and centers on the infamous underbelly of smuggling in Cornwall, United Kingdom. Jamaica Inn follows the protagonist, Mary Yellan, as she navigates the unfamiliar world of the moorlands, where life is harsh, and the ever-present proximity of the moors and... Read Jamaica Inn Summary


Publication year 1961Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Fantasy, Classic Fiction, Humor, Children's Literature, Magical Realism, Animals, Action / Adventure

James and the Giant Peach, by British author Roald Dahl was first published in 1961. This critically acclaimed children’s novel was made into an award-winning film in 1996. Dahl was born in 1916 in Wales and, in addition to writing both children and adult literature, he was a poet, screenwriter, and wartime fighter pilot. He is known as one of the 20th century’s greatest storytellers and has sold more than 250 million copies of his... Read James And The Giant Peach Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Historical Fiction, Survival Fiction, WWII / World War II, Action / Adventure

Publication year 1891Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Identity: Masculinity, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Friendship, Self Discovery, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Action / Adventure, Medieval Literature / Middle Ages, Politics / Government

Men of Iron is an 1891 young adult novel written and illustrated by Howard Pyle. Pyle was born in Delaware in 1853, and after years of training—beginning with a childhood passion for art—he taught illustration at Drexel University before establishing his own institute, the Howard Pyle School of Illustration Art. His style of art, which he himself was instrumental in developing, was named the Brandywine School after the mid-Atlantic region from which the artists in... Read Men of Iron Summary


Publication year 1970Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Friendship, Society: Community, Society: Economics, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Relationships: Family, Identity: Masculinity, Self DiscoveryTags Historical Fiction, Great Depression, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Food

No Promises in the Wind is a young-adult historical novel that takes place at the height of the Great Depression. The first-person narrative tells the coming-of-age story of a 15-year-old boy who leaves home with his younger brother because their family doesn’t have enough to eat. Josh and Joey Grondowski use their musical talents to survive on their own as they travel through a country of angry and impoverished people. First published in 1970, the... Read No Promises In The Wind Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionTags Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Pax is a heartwarming Children’s book by Sara Pennypacker showcasing the friendship between a young boy named Peter and his Fox, Pax. Pax is illustrated by Jon Klassen and was on the National Book Award Longlist. Sara Pennypacker has published 19 books, including Pax (2016), Summer of the Gypsy Moths, as well as the bestselling Clementine and Stuart series.Plot SummaryIn Pax, war brews at an unknown time in an unknown place, and Peter’s father forces... Read Pax Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Relationships: Teams, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: CommunityTags Fantasy, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Action / Adventure, Humor, Children's Literature, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Relationships, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Poverty, American Literature

Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Disability, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Fantasy, Children's Literature, Action / Adventure, Disability, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Animals, American Literature

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is a middle grade novel by Jonathan Auxier originally published in 2011. The novel encompasses a variety of genres: fantasy, the heroic quest, and even some Dickensian orphan flourishes, for good measure. It was a BookPage Magazine Best Book of the year, an ABA New Voices selection (2011), and a finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for science fiction and fantasy.This study guide references the edition published by Amulet... Read Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes Summary


Publication year 1911Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Fairy Tale / Folklore, Classic Fiction, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Author James Matthew Barrie adapted his 1904 play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up to novel in 1911 with the hit Wendy and Peter, known today simply as the timeless classic Peter Pan. The mischievous character Peter Pan first appeared in Barrie's 1902 novel The Little White Bird and later in the 1906 novel Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. Barrie's works explore themes of coming-of-age, the importance of imagination, the clash of... Read Peter Pan Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Animals, Action / Adventure

Publication year 24Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Identity: Disability, Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Gender / Feminism, Disability, Relationships

American author, educator, filmmaker, and civil rights activist Toni Cade Bambara published her short story “Raymond’s Run” in 1971. It first appeared in a collection edited by Bambara, Tales and Short Stories for Black Folks, and later in her first short story collection, Gorilla, My Love in 1972. During this time, Bambara became prominent in the contemporary Black women’s literature space, emerging as a notable writer and editor alongside contemporaries such as Toni Morrison and... Read Raymond's Run Summary


Publication year 1986Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Fantasy, Animals, Action / Adventure

Redwall is a middle-grade fantasy novel by British author Brian Jacques. It is the first book in a series of the same name that spans 22 volumes. The initial book was originally published in 1986, while the final installment, entitled Rogue Crew, wasn’t published until 2011, after the author’s death. Redwall was named to Time Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time. Aside from the Redwall Series proper, Jacques also published a three-book series... Read Redwall Summary


Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionTags Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Riding Freedom, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan, was originally published in 1998 and won several awards, including the 2000 California Young Reader Medal. This fictionalized biography of the real Charlotte Parkhurst, better known as One-eyed Charley, tells the story of the first female to vote in the United States. She became a famous stagecoach driver and a property owner. How she accomplished these things before women were granted suffrage is detailed in this fast-paced narrative... Read Riding Freedom Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: CommunityTags Children's Literature, Action / Adventure, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 1997Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Teams, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Animals, Relationships

Kenneth Oppel’s 1997 award-winning middle-grade novel Silverwing is a high-fantasy work that follows a young bat’s journey to find his colony. The novel has sold over a million copies and been adapted for television as an animated children’s series. This book is the first of four in The Silverwing Book Series.Plot SummaryThe novel is divided into three parts, and it shifts point of view between Shade, a runt newborn Silverwing bat, and Goth, a cannibalistic... Read Silverwing Summary


Publication year 1942Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Society: Nation, Emotions/Behavior: courageTags Historical Fiction, Children's Literature, Action / Adventure, WWII / World War II

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: Friendship, Society: Community, Relationships: Teams, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: Education, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Politics & Government, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Relationships: Fathers, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Publication year 1980Genre Novel, FictionTags Action / Adventure, Sports, Children's Literature

Published in 1980, John Reynolds Gardiner’s debut children’s novel, Stone Fox is a beloved children’s story. Included on the 1980 New York Times Notable Books of the Year listing, Stone Fox sold millions of copies and was even adapted into a television show in 1987. The short children’s novel tells the story of Little Willy, a young boy who lives on a farm in Wyoming with his grandfather and his dog, Searchlight. The story follows... Read Stone Fox Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Swindle is a middle-grade novel published in 2008 by Canadian American author Gordon Korman. In the story, 6th-grader Griffin Bing enlists a group of his classmates to retrieve a rare Babe Ruth baseball card from an unscrupulous collector known as Swindle, who has conned Griffin out of the card. The book is the first of eight books, as of 2019, in the popular Swindle series. Nickelodeon made a film of the same name based on the novel in... Read Swindle Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: FamilyTags Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Watt Key’s 2016 children’s adventure novel, Terror at Bottle Creek, follows a group of children as they attempt to survive a hurricane that strikes the swamps and rivers of Alabama. This study guide uses the first edition published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers in 2016. Plot SummaryCort is 13 years old and lives with his father on a riverboat in Alabama, along with his cherished dog, Catfish. His father works as a... Read Terror at Bottle Creek Summary


Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Fate, Society: Community, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Humor, Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, History: World

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Environment, Relationships: TeamsTags Mythology, Fantasy, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals, Arts / Culture, Climate Change, History: European, American Literature

The Battle of the Labyrinth is a fantasy-adventure novel inspired Greek mythology and written in 2008 by Rick Riordan. It is the fourth in the Percy Jackson series.The novel begins with Percy Jackson is at his freshman orientation at Good High School. Rachel Elizabeth Dare helps him fight two empousai, spectres who were disguised as cheerleaders. Percy flees to Camp Half-Blood, but Rachel remains. Percy is reunited with Annabeth, and they learn Grover is in... Read The Battle of the Labyrinth Summary


Publication year 1941Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Classic Fiction, Children's Literature, Action / Adventure, Realism, Animals

Walter Farley was only 26 years old when he published The Black Stallion, the fictional adventure story of the friendship between a boy and a majestic, powerful horse. Farley’s book, first available in 1941, was an instant bestseller. The Black Stallion and its 20 sequels have sold more than 12 million copies. The novel won the 1944 Young Reader’s Choice Award and inspired three Black Stallion movies and a TV series. At the heart of... Read The Black Stallion Summary


Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Publication year 1960Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Music, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Self Discovery, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: PlaceTags Children's Literature, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Animals, Diversity, Science / Nature

Trapped in a picnic basket, Chester Cricket travels from his peaceful Connecticut home to the bustling Times Square subway station in George Selden’s classic children’s novel, The Cricket in Times Square (1960). There, Chester makes three good friends who help him navigate—and enjoy—his new city life: Mario Bellini, a young boy whose parents run a struggling newsstand; Tucker, a sociable mouse; and Tucker’s best friend, the cultured Harry Cat. Mishaps in the newsstand set Mama... Read The Cricket In Times Square Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Society: War, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Family, Relationships: TeamsTags Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Action / Adventure, Humor, Children's Literature

Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: JoyTags Fantasy, Animals, Classic Fiction, Humor

Publication year 1975Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure, Food, Grief / Death, Sociology, Relationships, American Literature

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Friendship, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Fantasy, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Children's Literature

In The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, an orphan boy is raised by ghosts in a cemetery, where he learns how to become invisible, haunt people’s dreams, and face his destiny against those who want to kill him.Published in 2008, this fantasy-adventure novel for middle-grade and young-adult readers became a #1 New York Times best seller. It won the Newbery and Carnegie medals for best children’s book, the first time a work has received both... Read The Graveyard Book Summary


Publication year 1984Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Femininity, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Family, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Fantasy, Romance, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Disability

Written by Robin McKinley, The Hero and the Crown is a 1984 fantasy novel that acts as a prequel to McKinley’s 1982 novel, The Blue Sword. The Hero and the Crown focuses on the life and exploits of Aerin Dragon-Killer, the legendary wielder of the titular blue sword Gonturan, which first appeared in the previous novel. The Hero and the Crown focuses on Aerin’s personal development into a hero and a queen, emphasizing the physical... Read The Hero and the Crown Summary


Publication year 1960Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

The Incredible Journey was written by Sheila Burnford and published in 1960. It is a children’s title—although Burnford has asserted that it was not meant for children exclusively. The novel began to enjoy cultural prominence when it was adapted into a Disney film in 1963. It was also re-made in a 1993 film. Plot SummaryIt is the beginning of an Indian summer in northwest Ontario at the outset of the story. The writer John Longridge... Read The Incredible Journey Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionTags Children's Literature

The Inquisitor’s Tale is a 2016 work of historical fiction for children, written by Adam Gidwitz and illustrated by Hatem Aly. It received a 2017 Newbery Honor. This guide refers to the 2016 Penguin edition.Plot SummaryThe story begins in a medieval French inn, where a mysterious narrator is asking questions about the three mysterious outlaw children with magical powers and their holy dog.Nearly everyone in this tavern has a part of the story to tell... Read The Inquisitor’s Tale Summary


Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Humor, Politics / Government, Satire, Children's Literature

Publication year 1965Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FriendshipTags Fantasy, Animals, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Relationships: FriendshipTags Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Action / Adventure

The Name of This Book Is Secret (2007) is the first book in the middle grade fantasy series The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch, the pen name of writer Raphael Simon. The book is told by an intrusive narrator, the author, Pseudonymous Bosch. The narrator frequently breaks the fourth wall to address the reader directly and interrupts the story to warn the reader of the dangerous nature of the story he is telling, sometimes considering... Read The Name of This Book Is Secret Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Fantasy, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Historical Fiction

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction, Action / Adventure, Philosophy, Children's Literature, Grief / Death

Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Fame, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: The Past, Society: Education, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Society: War, Relationships: Fathers, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Society: Nation, Self DiscoveryTags Fantasy, Children's Literature, Action / Adventure, Class

In The Ruins of Gorlan, a Medieval adventure-fantasy novel for middle-grade readers, young Will learns the arts of the secretive Ranger tracker-warriors and defends his kingdom against an evil baron. Released in 2004 by author John Flanagan, The Ruins of Gorlan won multiple awards, spawned the bestselling Ranger Apprentice book series, and has been published in 18 countries. A television adaptation is in the works.Following a long career in advertising, author Flanagan shifted to book... Read The Ruins of Gorlan Summary


Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Self DiscoveryTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Historical Fiction

Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Order & ChaosTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology, Relationships, Arts / Culture, Parenting, American Literature

The Sea of Monsters (Miramax Books, 2006) is the second installment of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians fantasy adventure series for young readers. The book picks up the summer after the prequel, The Lightning Thief, ends and follows returning heroes Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase on a quest to save Camp Half Blood. The Sea of Monsters was a New York Times and Book Sense National Childrens bestseller, and it won such awards... Read The Sea of Monsters Summary


Publication year 1983Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Masculinity, Self Discovery, Society: ColonialismTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, History: U.S., Race / Racism, American Literature

Published in 1983, The Sign of the Beaver is a historical adventure novel for middle grade readers written by Elizabeth George Speare. Based on a true story that took place in 1760s Colonial America, the book follows the adventures of a young English boy who, while living alone in the Maine wilderness, befriends a local Penobscot boy who teaches him how to survive. The experience changes his views of himself, his family and fellow colonists... Read The Sign of the Beaver Summary


Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Teams, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Natural World: Objects, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Relationships: Fathers, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Mythology, Fantasy, Children's Literature

The Son of Neptune is the second novel in Rick Riordan’s The Heroes of Olympus series. Released in 2011, this novel continues the story begun in The Lost Hero, following Percy Jackson as he stumbles into the Roman demigod camp, Camp Jupiter, after losing his memory and eight months of his life. At the camp, Percy meets Hazel, daughter of Pluto, and Frank, son of Mars. Together, Percy, Hazel, and Frank are charged with a... Read The Son of Neptune Summary


Publication year 1903Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Masculinity, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Win & LoseTags Classic Fiction, Action / Adventure, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Children's Literature, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Fairy Tale / Folklore

The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, written and illustrated by Howard Pyle, was originally published in 1903. Pyle’s Book 1s part of the Arthurian romance genre, which begins with Geoffrey of Monmouth’s introduction of the Arthur character in The History of the Kings of Britain, written in the twelfth century. The Arthurian, or chivalric, romance genre includes texts from many different eras and in many different languages. Pyle’s novel offers an American perspective... Read The Story of King Arthur and His Knights Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Flora/plants, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Fantasy, Mythology, Romance, Action / Adventure, Children's Literature, LGBTQ, Depression / Suicide, Mental Illness, Grief / Death, Love / Sexuality, Psychology, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1812Genre Novel, FictionTags Action / Adventure, Children's Literature

The Swiss Family Robinson is a fiction novel published in 1812 by Swiss author Johann Wyss. It chronicles the adventures of a family of Swiss immigrants shipwrecked in the East Indies. According to the Afterword of the 2014 Townsend edition, the story was conceived by Wyss, a Swiss minister, as an entertaining life lesson for his four sons, which he told them orally before eventually writing it down. Years later, Wyss’s son edited and published... Read The Swiss Family Robinson Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Relationships: Teams, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Relationships: Family, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: EducationTags Action / Adventure, Humor, Realistic Fiction, Children's Literature

Publication year 1992Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Action / Adventure, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Fantasy

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: courageTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure

Published in 1990, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by children’s book writer Avi, tells the story of a teenage girl who travels from England to America aboard a sailing ship filled with intrigue, mutiny, and murder; she learns to be a sailor, withstands a hurricane, and thwarts the captain’s attempts to kill her. Written for middle-grade readers, the book won several awards, including the Newbery in 1991. Plot SummaryThirteen-year-old Charlotte Doyle, at school in... Read The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Flora/plants, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: BeautyTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Animals, Science / Nature

Publication year 1952Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Self Discovery, Relationships: FriendshipTags Fantasy, Classic Fiction, Action / Adventure, Christian literature

C. S. Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a fantasy novel for children originally published in 1952 as the third installment of The Chronicles of Narnia series. However, because recent editions of the series tend to number the books in chronological order of storytelling rather than the original order of publication, it is most often counted as the fifth volume in modern printings. The Chronicles of Narnia includes seven novels: The Lion, the... Read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Summary


Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Values/Ideas: FateTags Fantasy, Mythology, Ancient Greece, Historical Fiction

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Fantasy, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Children's Literature, History: African , Race / Racism, African American Literature, Action / Adventure

Publication year 1870Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Place, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Classic Fiction, Action / Adventure, French Literature, Animals, Technology, Science / Nature

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a science fiction adventure novel by French author Jules Verne. It was originally published in serialized form in 1869 under the title Vingt mille lieues sous les mers, and later as a book in 1870. In 1873, the first English-language translation was released. The book was highly acclaimed at the time of its publication and was one of several successful novels by Verne. Others include Journey to the... Read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: Indigenous, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Teams, Relationships: Mothers, Natural World: Animals, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Place, Society: Politics & Government, Society: CommunityTags Action / Adventure, Survival Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Children's Literature, Natural Disaster

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Realistic Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Humor, Action / Adventure