Dramatic middle grade adventure novels – fantastic to read aloud

Highlighting the adventure genre:

One of the many interesting things about having boy/girl twins is selecting books that will have read aloud appeal for both of them. The books below are selections from recent read alouds that we have particularly enjoyed together.

In the mood for . . . Adventure? Suspense? Mystery? These titles will capture you!

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby

Hugely suspenseful yet beautifully lyrical, Kirby’s tale pulls the reader into a frozen land cut off from the world by ice. It is a landscape that protects and threatens Solveig, her siblings and those warriors sent to protect them while their father battles an enemy on a distant battlefield. When it is clear that a traitor resides amongst them, everyone becomes suspect. Solveig navigates the world through observation and a mystical connection to her dreams and possible prophecies. Not beautiful like her sister, or valuable as the future king, like her younger brother, Solveig slowly discovers that her talent lies in the power of words. She apprentices with Alric to be a skald (storyteller) and ends up wielding as much power as the weapons of war with her carefully crafted tales. Nuances of old Nordic tales with suspicions of treachery, much mystery and beautiful prose, Icefall held us spellbound.

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Kenneth Oppel has crafted a story full of adventure, fantasy, suspense and high drama aboard the Aurora, an airship sailing through some sort of alternate history. Matt Cruse is a cabin boy who is more at home in the air than on the ground and calls the Aurora home.  He meets passenger Kate de Vries who has come aboard to find out if the mysterious creatures her grandfather spotted from his hot air balloon might exist. Matt is intrigued by the possibility and attracted to Kate’s independent spirit. These two characters find themselves beginning a quest of proportions they would never have dreamed about. Pirates. Mysterious creatures never before discovered. Storms. Seemingly deserted islands. Shipwrecks. And villians you would never want to encounter. Airborn is the first book in a trilogy.

Alabama Moon by Watt Key

Moon is 10 years old and for as long as he can remember, has lived in the forest with his father who is determined that they have minimal contact with the outside world. They need to avoid the government, depend on no one and always be prepared for “someone coming for them.” When Moon’s father dies, Moon tries to carry out his father’s wishes and head to Alaska to find others who will be like him. But getting to Alaska from Alabama alone is not an easy feat. Along the way, Moon is caught and placed into the system – a boy’s home on lock down. His escape attempt is successful but nothing else is simple. Friends and enemies enter into this new world in ways he is not at all prepared for. He can make a shelter, eat from the forest, “whip up on anybody” but how does he deal with this outside world that he might in fact need?  A real story of survival. Compelling.

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