Books aren’t boring.
But you have to pick the right one.
There’s no doubt you remember at least a few great stories you dove into and could barely pull yourself away from. And you want your kiddo to have that same experience, right?
Well, we have you covered.
These are the best adventure books for kids right now: they’re exciting, the characters are rich, and the morals are solid. What more can you ask for?
11 Amazing Adventure Books for Kids
1. Grand Teton Stampede
2. Legend of the Ghost Buck
3. The Mystery on Apache Canyon Drive
4. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
5. The Extinction Trials
7. Smoky Mountain Survival
8. Lost in the Pacific, 1942
9. Scar Island
10. The Vanishing in Deception Gap
11. Monster of Farallon Islands
Frequently Asked Questions
11 Amazing Adventure Books for Kids
We tried to keep our list to a limited number -- We're guessing you’re not interested in picking up 100+ books right now...
Instead, We picked out just the best of the best. These books are ideal for readers between the ages of 8-14, though if your reader is a bit younger, they’ll still be able to tackle these books.
What these books share in common is fast-paced stories, excellent characters, exciting twists and turns, and strong moral lessons.
They’ll not only engage your kid, but they’ll teach them about the world and how they can make it a better place. To us, these books have everything you'd want in a kid's book.
1. Grand Teton Stampede by C.R. Fulton
Grand Teton Stampede is the first in a series called The Campground Kids by C.R. Fulton. This novel is riveting in its own right, but it also weaves in some history behind the Grand Teton National Park.
This page-turner teaches your young reader about the ecosystem and environment while weaving a thrilling story of bravery and curiosity.
If you’re planning on a trip to any National Park soon, it may be worth checking out the other novels in the The Campground Kids series to see if their locations match your travel destination.
Grand Teton Stampede is written with bite-sized chapters that make the book easy to pick up and read. It’s simple enough that an 8 year old can read through it, but the story makes it an exciting read for pre-teens, too.
2. Legend of the Ghost Buck by Lane Walker
There’s adventure in your backyard. If you like taking your kids out on hunting or fishing trips, you’ll love Legend of the Ghost Buck and the entire Hometown Hunters series of books by Lane Walker.
Legend of the Ghost Buck centers around a legendary, world-class size buck and 13 year old, Boone Mason’s struggle to find if he has what it takes to claim the prize.
It’s really a story of overcoming doubt and fear, and through the adventure, Boone demonstrates how to quiet doubt, take action, and capture destiny.
3. The Mystery on Apache Canyon Drive by Barry Forbes
If your kid is obsessed with the latest tech, they’ll love The Mystery on Apache Canyon Drive by Barry Forbes.
This mystery novel combines classic “who-done-it” techniques that’ll keep your kid turning the pages faster than you thought possible with GPS, drones, and webcams.
The group of young sleuths this novel revolves around are tech-savvy and they use their skills to solve impossible mysteries, all for the greater good.
But don’t worry: while the stories do involve crime, they’re wholesome and clean. Without the element of danger, where would the adventure be?
The Mystery on Apache Canyon Drive is just book one of the Mystery Searchers series, too, so once they finish this novel, they’ll be racing on to the next one.
4. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Equal parts humor, legendary excitement, epic heroism, and cultural education, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is more of a phenomenon than a novel.
The series takes a modern-day kid and places him as the hero in the middle of a riveting action plot with battles raging between the ancient Greek gods.
Percy Jackson, the title character, is relatable, fun-loving and comes up against good and evil alike. He makes mistakes and he triumphs at times.
This novel is one your younger reader will talk about with their friends for years.
5. The Extinction Trials by Susan Wilson
Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park...
What more do you need to hear?
The Extinction Trials by Susan Wilson is jam-packed with action, and it’s especially thrilling for kids who have a special place in their hearts for dinosaurs. We know we do - dinosaurs are awesome!
This novel is longer than many of the other options on this list, so if your kid loves to read, they’ll get to spend some time with this one. Plus, it’s a trilogy, so they can continue with books two and three.
6. Hatchet by Gary Paulson
Hatchet is a classic and has been for decades. Brian’s story covers survival, personal struggle, and how kids can cope with divorced parents. It’s a thrilling and personal story that any kid can relate to.
Brian is 13 and he’s going to visit his father for the first time since his parents’ divorce. But the pilot of the single propeller plane suffers a heart-attack mid-flight and the plane crashes in the wilderness.
The only thing he has to his name is the hatchet his mother gave him as a gift.
To survive, he must move past his self-pity and fend for himself. Hatchet is a wrenching story that your kid will remember for years. Our teachers recommended reading it in 5th grade, and 20 years later we still talk about it.
7. Smoky Mountain Survival by C.R. Fulton
As the second novel in the The Campground Kids collection by C.R. Fulton, Smoky Mountain Survival gives young readers a glimpse into the Smoky Mountain National Park while also weaving in a compelling tale of friendship and survival.
Isaiah has been training himself on wilderness survival for years, but will any of it actually make a difference when it counts?
Like the rest of the The Campground Kids collection, this book has a strong moral center so your kid will learn about trust, teamwork, and honesty while turning the pages.
8. Lost in the Pacific, 1942 by Tod Olson
The incredibly true story, Lost in the Pacific, 1942, is one for the record books. Tod Olson keeps the reader in suspense throughout this dramatic retelling of a true story from World War II.
If your kid considers themselves a war-buff, they’re going to absolutely love this novel.
9. Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart
Jonathan has had a troubled past. And when he considers his future, there’s not much hope there either.
That is, until a massive storm disrupts the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled boys and leaves Scar Island with no adult supervision -- completely in the hands of Jonathan and other misfits.
When the danger becomes real, Jonathan has a choice: continue with his hopeless past, or take responsibility for his life and create a new future.
Equal parts exciting and emotional, Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart is a thrilling novel with interesting characters.
10. The Vanishing in Deception Gap by Barry Forbes
When a man, surrounded by fellow workers, suddenly disappears, leaving only a cryptic text message, the mystery searchers have a case that only they can solve.
As they uncover more twists and turns in the plot, it becomes clear that not only “Beau,” the missing worker, is in trouble, but the mystery searchers themselves are in grave danger.
Like the rest of the Mystery Searchers collection, The Vanishing in Deception Gap is a clean mystery novel that uses technology like drones and GPS to solve crimes. If your young reader loves the latest high-tech gadgets, they’ll get a kick out of these novels.
11. Monster of Farallon Islands by Lane Walker
Lane Walker describes the beauty and serenity of fishing in great detail throughout this novel, but mixes the joy of casting out with suspense and mystery.
Monster of Farallon Islands centers around 14-year-old Casey, who’s father’s fishing boat receives an emergency S.O.S from a freighter just outside the Farallon Islands.
Between a mysterious billionaire’s secret and the 25-foot Great White Shark passing through the Pacific’s rich blue waters, this novel has everything a young reader could want.
Are These Good Adventure Books for 8 Year Old's?
While many of the books we recommend in our list feature characters that are much older (12-14), the beauty of these stories are that they’re written simply, with rich characters facing timeless issues.
Each novel is clean and wholesome, many with lessons that can help your young reader deal with problems in their own lives.
Some books may push your 8 year old on language and reading length, but because these stories are so riveting, it’s the perfect content to help advance your young reader. When they’re engaged, they’re much more willing to learn.
What’s Their Next Adventure?
So what will their next adventure be?
Is it a trip through the US National Parks with The Campground Kids?
Will it be a hunting or fishing trip with the Hometown Hunters or The Fishing Chronicles series?
Or will your kid be solving mysteries with the latest tech in the Mystery Searchers series?
There are a lot of adventures out in the world. And luckily they can experience them all through reading.
What books are popular with 10 year old's?
10 year old's enjoy books with shorter chapters, more simple language, and fast paced story. The characters should be relatable, and the choices between right and wrong should have some gray area. For that reason, it’s a great idea to get adventure books for your 10 year old. The stories move fast and they’re interesting.
What books are popular with 12 year old's?
12 year old's typically enjoy a little more character development (compared to 10 and 8 year old's). The novels they read should have a little more complexity and less clear lines between good and evil. The characters can be struggling with more personal issues, as this is around the age where your kids will start to look inward for answers to personal questions. But it always helps to wrap that character development in an engaging story.
How much should a 12 year old read daily?
A 12 year old should be reading between 15-30 minutes a day. If your kid isn’t reading that much, try giving them a variety of books, including action packed adventure books to see if they just haven’t been introduced to the right content yet.