Summer is a great time to dig into fun reading with kids. Adventure books are a wonderful way to let children explore the world and imagine all the possibilities it holds. Below are some of our favorite new books for letting kids imagine themselves as adventures and explorers. Don’t miss also last summer’s list of Global Adventure Books for kids!
Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of the books below for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.
Adventure Books for Kids
Even the youngest readers will enjoy the adventures of the brave Blue Boat. This “rough, tough” little tugboat must fight the stormy seas to rescue a family on a stranded boat. This has become a real favorite with my preschooler. It is part of a primary colors series for young readers, including Red Truck and Yellow Copter.
Creep along with a brother and sister through a “dark, dark cave” in this just-a-little-spooky book. The wind howls and strange things climb the walls, but they are brave and keep going long enough to reveal the true nature of this “cave.” A Dark, Dark Cave has just the right touches to add a little thrill to your story time without being too scary for younger readers. It makes wonderful use of repetition to create the spooky atmosphere and is super fun to read out loud. It is also great for imaginative play – as you can see below it inspired my kids to build their own “dark, dark cave”!
Indian Boyhood: The True Story of a Sioux Upbringing from Wisdom Tales Press is the amazing true story of Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa) and his traditional Dakota Sioux upbringing in the 19th century. A wonderful book for kids who like to imagine playing with forest creatures or riding horses and hunting. It is also great for a history class or to introduce topics like the devastation of Native cultures in the 19th century, as Eastman was orphaned as a young child and forced off his family’s land by US soldiers. This is one that I enjoyed reading with my son but also sat down and pored over myself.
For kids who’d like to dig into this history more, Red Cloud’s War: Brave Eagle’s Account of the Fetterman Fight (also from Wisdom Tales Press) is a beautifully illustrated work about the clash between the Oglala Lakota and the US Army over the construction of the Bozeman Trail just after the end of the US Civil War. This commemorative edition honors the 150th anniversary of War Chief Red Cloud’s war to protect his people’s land against this intrusion, as told by a fictional young Lakota warrior. With rich detail and digitally enhanced artwork, this is a wonderful book for young history buffs or any curious about what it would have been like to take part in this struggle.
A great new series of adventure books for kids is the Mailbox Adventures from Splashing Cow Books. They tell about a young boy who finds an old mailbox in his attic. To his surprise, later that evening the mailbox starts to glow, and inside he finds a letter addressed to him! Before he knows it a mysterious blue light has whisked him half a world away to Bolivia, where he begins the first of his mailbox adventures. In Treasure from Lake Titicaca he must help protect an ancient artifact from thieves, while in Tempest Over Tahiti he and his sister help rescue a boat caught in a fierce storm in the Pacific. I love that this series of chapter books features countries that are appear less often in children’s stories (especially Bolivia, which is very dear to my heart), and that they focus on positive qualities like friendship, bravery, and trusting yourself. A very cool feature is that kids can send a letter to the characters in the book – and get one back in their own mailbox!
A wonderful chapter book for middle graders (and grown ups!) is Naji and the mystery of the dig. This is a double adventure because readers not only have the delightful mystery of the giant hole being built in Naji’s yard (where she is sure that monsters live) but also the the adventure of being immersed in the world of 1940s Iran, as experienced by a young girl. Naji’s world is populated by the dangerous creatures of her imagination, who lurk just outside (and underneath?) the family compound. Throughout the story Naji learns to overcome her fears to feed her curiosity about the hole the workers are digging and what might lie beneath. I love all of the intimate details of family life from this period but also the character of Naji, whose mischievous curiosity often gets her in trouble but ultimately leads to the discovery of a treasure beyond her wildest imagination.
Cosmos Ignites is the sequel to the fabulous middle grade adventure Marie’s Atlas (see my review of Marie’s Atlas). Marie and her cosmic friend Atlas once again work together through challenges of their spirits and minds to help humanity. Great way for kids that are interested in math and science – or even if they are not, since this book is sure to spark their curiosity as problem solving is elevated to a kind of super power (in a cool, not cheesy way) that helps Marie work through the obstacles that she confronts. And I love that character strength is once again front and center as necessary to facing challenges.
Find more recommendations on my Books for Kids Pinterest board!