Adventure Books for 8-13 year olds

Check out our selection of 7 Awesome Adventure Books guaranteed to get your middle school children reading. Let the adventures begin!

Getting children to read is often a challenge when they have so much competing for their interest.  The one theme most children love is ADVENTURE books. We’ve rounded up 7 awesome books guaranteed to spark their interest.

If you can hook your child into a great book with thrills, spills and adventure – you are set! Age 8 up is a great age to solidify interest in reading as children begin to read on their own. We’ve put together a quick selection to start with below. Visit your local library or book store and browse, letting your child read a few paragraphs of the various books with you, to gauge their interest before you buy.

If they’re battling to read on their own, read more picture books or graphic novels and build up their confidence. Also do paired reading to build their skills. If they read well, it’s a good idea to still keep some reading time to do together so you can monitor how well they understand the book.

  1. Bear Grylls Series 


My son absolutely loved the Bear Grylls series of fiction and non-fiction books.  They are not brilliantly written but if they get your child reading that’s a win as far as we are concerned. Based on the true stories of adventurer and reality show host, Bear Grylls, whose own life story is fittingly inspirational and exciting, these adventure books are aimed at a variety of ages – select the book series according to your child’s age.

2. The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon

For a classic adventure series, look at options like The Hardy Boys.  Originally written in the 1920’s, the books have aged and, accordingly they have been updated in many good ways. The originals contained  ingrained racism, sexism and stereotypical views of the world. What still remains is the feeling that young children can question adults and have an active role in living their lives.  The feeling that an adventure is always round the corner is liberating for children living in our closely monitored world.  Read this view of the update to make your own mind up.

3. Addison Cooke series by Jonathan W Stokes

This funny, action-filled series is described as perfect for adventure-loving fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.  This fits the bill for so many young readers! Follow the adventures of 12-year-old Addison Cooke when his aunt and uncle, both world-famous researchers, are kidnapped after unearthing the first ancient Incan clue needed to find a vast trove of lost treasure.  Full of laugh-out-loud moments, danger, excitement, and nonstop action – these adventure books have a loyal following.

4. The I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis 

Kids love this re-enactment of historical events seen through the eyes of a child who experienced it. Who isn’t fascinated by what is must have been like to experience a disaster and survive it? These stories are fictional but carefully researched to accurately reflect what it must have been like to be there. Teaching resilience and courage, children love the real life aspect and end up learning a bit of history too.  Also available in graphic novel format.

5. The Why Not? series by Crispin Boyer (National Geographic)

While not strictly speaking an adventure series, this factual book answers questions about the world in a thrilling way and it’s really good at getting children to read. Most 7 + year olds love fact books like this as it’s easy to dip into when they don’t have the concentration to read a full book or chapter.  This series comes from the team that brought you WHY? and offers more than 1,111 more awesome answers, brain-bending breakdowns, and epic explanations to all kinds of burning questions about how the world works.  Why don’t you keep growing your whole life? Check out the human body section. Why aren’t we traveling by jetpack yet? Tech has your answer. Why aren’t school busses red? Flip to the pop culture chapter. Why aren’t dinosaurs still alive? Why can’t you walk on clouds? Perfect gift book.

6. The Dangerous Book for Boys by Con and Hal Igguldin


This bestselling book covers all those essential childhood skills such as building tree houses, learning how to fish, finding true north, and even answering the age old question of what is the big deal with girls.  I would argue that these are just as applicable to girls, so don’t hold back on keeping it for boys only.  There is a girl’s version, The Daring Book For Girls reviewed below, if you prefer.

Discover the solar system, learn about famous battles and read inspiring stories of incredible courage and bravery. Teach your old dog new tricks. Make a pinhole camera. Understand the laws of cricket. Chapters include: The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, Conkers, Laws of Football, Dinosaurs, Fishing, Juggling, Timers and Tripwires, Kings and Queens, Famous Battles, Spies, Making Crystals, Insects and Spiders, Astronomy, Girls, The Golden Age of Piracy, Secret Inks, Patron Saints of Britain, Skimming Stones, Dog Tricks, Making a Periscope, Coin Tricks, Marbles, Artillery, The Origin of Words and The Solar System.

News flash: The Dangerous Book for Boys has inspired an Amazon Original Series that looks amazing!  The series follows a heartwarming story of a family overcoming loss with the help of a book filled with life lessons that was handed down from a father to his three boys.  The book inspires adventurous fantasies in the youngest son, Wyatt, that teaches him how to bring his family closer and move forward.

7. The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J Buchanon and Miriam Peskowitz

This book is billed as a manual for everything that girls need to know and the authors specify that doesn’t just mean sewing button holes! It covers female heroes in history, secret note-passing skills, science projects, friendship bracelets, double dutch, cat’s cradle, the perfect cartwheel and the eternal mystery of what boys are thinking.

As mentioned in the review of The Dangerous Book for Boys above, I would prefer a general childhood manual, not specifically a boy’s or girl’s book, but this is a fun and fact-filled book.  There is a scary sleep over party game called Bloody Mary where you can (playfully) summon up the spirit of the dead queen by shining a flashlight on your face in front of a mirror in the dark (Eek – why would anyone want to do this!). This may be too scary for younger kids, so read it yourself first to judge whether it’s a good fit for your child.


We’d love to hear what adventure books your child is enjoying – let us know in the comments below. And if you’re happy to do a review for us, please join the Book Tree Club and find out about all the latest releases, competitions and author interviews.


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