There’s nothing like a little adventure to take you away from it all. Fantasy offers some of the most inspiring and heartwarming adventures out there, so it’s no surprise that these 9 middle grade novels are must-reads. The only question is: which will you read first?
Ghost Cabin, by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Brooklyn Allen
It’s impossible to think of adventure and not think of Lumberjanes. At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, the Lumberjanes are just trying to earn their badges and hang out with their best friends. But when Mal and Molly find an extra cabin at camp—that is, naturally, full of ghosts—it sets them off on an unforgettable supernatural adventure. The fourth and final book in the novel series—not to be confused with the equally read comic series—releases this month.
The Dragon Thief, by Zetta Elliott
Let’s talk about the follow-up to Zetta Elliott’s Dragons In A Bag! Dragons don’t quite belong in Brooklyn, and Jaxon has only one job: to get them back to the realm of magic. But when he arrives, he has only two of the three dragons. His best friend’s sister is a dragon thief…who has no idea how to keep a dragon a secret. It keeps growing, and her theft has upset the balance between the worlds. If the world is to stay safe, Jaxon will have to find the dragon and return it to its true home before it’s too late.
Pilu of the Woods, by Mai K. Nguyen
Sometimes, a fantasy adventure will make you feel all the things, and that’s exactly what happened when I read Pilu of the Woods. Willow’s happy place is the woods around her house, where the bullies at school can’t bother her and the pressure of her home can’t control her. When she gets into a fight with her sister, she runs into the woods and finds a lost tree spirit named Pilu. Willow is determined to help her find her way back home, but Pilu isn’t sure if she wants to go home, and as emotions bubble to the surface, both Pilu and Willow will have to face their anxieties and fears.
Cape, by Kate Hannigan and illustrated by Patrick Spaziante
It’s time for the League of Secret Heroes. The first book in this new illustrated series, releasing this August, looks absolutely spectacular. Weaving history with magic, Cape follows Josie, Akiko, and Ma—a trio of girls who love superheroes and have their own brand of brilliance. When they’re transformed into the town’s newest superheroes, they’ll have to learn how to master their skills to fight shapeshifters, take down Hitler, and find the superheroes who have gone missing. Think of this as DC’s Bombshells for a younger crowd.
Over the Moon, by Natalie Lloyd
Look, every child secretly wants to train flying horses. It’s just a fact. And in Over the Moon by Natalie Lloyd, that dream is possible…if you’re willing to abandon your life and enter a dangerous competition. Mallie should stay working as a servant, because her family needs her wages, but when she’s chosen for a competition in which she can train a flying horse, she can’t say no. Maybe it can bring back the magic in her life! But something isn’t quite right with the competition or her city of Coal Top, and Mallie’s prying could put her—and those she loves—in danger.
The Library of Ever, by Zeno Alexander
Looking for an adventure story for book lovers? Try The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander, perfect for the Hermiones in your life. While her parents are traveling across the globe, Lenora is bored—until she finds a door into a secret library. It contains every book ever written, and Lenora’s new job as Assistant Apprentice Librarian will keep her too busy to be bored. But when danger strikes, Lenora will have to uncover the secrets hidden in the stacks if she wants to save the library.
Just South of Home, by Karen Strong
Let’s mix some mystery into our fantastical adventure. Karen Strong’s Just South of Home takes elements of Southern culture, creepy magic, and an unsolved mystery to weave together a heartfelt novel. Sarah doesn’t want to spend her summer hanging out with her cousin Janie—she’d rather be reading her favorite science books. When troublemaker Janie sneaks Sarah into the supposedly haunted Creek Church, it unveils a magical creature…and a truth about her small Southern town’s history that the adults want forgotten.
Sanity and Tallulah, by Molly Brooks
Want a science fantasy adventure involving two girls and a three-headed cat? Sanity and Tallulah live in Wilnick, a nearly abandoned space station at the end of the galaxy. Nearly. When their science experiment creates a three-headed kitten, the kitten escapes, almost destroying the ship and forcing an evacuation. If they don’t find the cat, their home could be destroyed… and the adorable kitten along with it. The sequel to Sanity and Tallulah, called Sanity and Tallulah: Field Trip, hits shelves this October.
Diana, Princess Of The Amazons, by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale and illustrated by Victoria Ying
Nothing says “fantasy adventure” like Wonder Woman. It’s not too soon to pre-order the next Wonder Woman story coming in early 2020 from Shannon and Dean Hale, the delightful duo behind my beloved Princess in Black series. The only child on Themyscira, Diana increasingly feels more and more alone, unable to live up to the Amazonian standard. What she needs is a friend. But what she makes may be a monster.
Which action and adventure story will your young reader adore?