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Summer Reading: Adventure and Suspense

Summer Reading: Adventure and Suspense

 Exciting summer reading books

Looking for something action-packed? Dive into these books that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landry

You may like this book if: You liked A Series of Unfortunate Events, Black Butler, the Pals in Peril series

You may not like this book if: The idea of skeletons creeps you out

What happens when you pair a debonair, wise-cracking skeleton-sleuth-wizard and a 12-year-old heiress who has to save the world? A cracking good noir-ish detective story that manages to keep you laughing even when evil threatens to overtake the world.

(Middle grades)


Jake the Dreaming by Adam Freeman and Marc Bernadin

You may like this book if: You liked Coraline, the Percy Jackson series

You may not like this book if: You don’t like to think about bad dreams

Daydreaming Jake is the outcast of the 4th grade — until he learns that his constant drifting off in class (and at dinner, and at Little League games …) is a side effect of his unexpected super power: Jake can enter dreams to defeat the monsters of nightmares, which are more real than you might think. (This one's hard to get a hold of now, but if it sounds like it's up your reader's alley, it's totally worth the effort of tracking it down.)

(Middle grades)


The Recruit by Robert Muchamore

You may like this book if: You liked Spy Kids, the Hardy Boys, Alex Rider

You may not like this book if: You try to avoid violence and kids in peril

Kids can go places grown-ups can’t — which is why parentless children like James and his sister end up at CHERUB, a government agency that uses 10- to 17-year-old spies to infiltrate places adults can’t go.

(Middle grades)


The Boy at the End of the World by Greg Van Eekhout

You may like this book if: You liked Gregor the Overlander, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Hatchet, The Search for Wondla

You may not like this book if: You’re not a fan of futuristic dystopias, or kids in peril stress you out

Fisher may be the last human alive—at least, that’s how it seems when he wakes up in a pod, the only survivor in a strange, robot-run facility called the Ark. But the possibility of another Ark, far from his own, sets him off on an adventure of survival across a very different Earth from the one we know.

(Middle grades)


Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix

You may like this book if: You liked Caroline B. Cooney, Lois Duncan, Running Out of Time

You may not like this book if: You don’t like suspense

The closer Bethany gets to her thirteenth birthday, the weirder her parents get. Still, she’s not expecting to get hustled out of her familiar life one morning and left with her Aunt Myrlie, whom she’s never even met. Something is going on, and Bethany wants to know what it is — even if finding out puts her in danger.

(Middle grades)


The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

You may like this book if: You liked the Hero’s Guide series, Magyk, the Dark and Grimm series

You may not like this book if: You don’t like putting together the pieces of a somewhat complicated plot

The king’s son and heir to the kingdom has been missing for years, and a scheming nobleman spies an opportunity: If he can install a pretender on the throne, he can rule the kingdom through the imposter prince. Orphaned Sage will play along to escape his grim reality — but the situation may be more treacherous than anyone could have expected.

(Middle grades)


The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein

You may like this book if: You liked Balloons Over Broadway, Snowflake Bentley, The Boy Who Loved Math

You may not like this book if: You don’t like stories about real people

When Philippe Petit decided to walk across a tightrope connecting the two towers of New York City’s World Trade Center in 1974, he broke at least a dozen laws and captivated millions of people. The Twin Towers may be gone, but the memory of Petit’s madman walk lives on.

(Elementary)


Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon

You may like this book if: You liked McSweeney’s, The Hobbit, Game of Thrones

You may not like this book if: You’re put off by over-the-top adventure stories

If your teen thinks Pulitzer Prize-winning novels are boring, this swashbuckling tale just may make him change his mind. Just a few years before AD 1000, itinerant physician Zelikman and his comrade-in-arms, ex-soldier Amram, travel through the Caucus Mountains, finding adventure, peril, princes-in-disguise, vengeful elephants, and even revolution along their way.

(High school)


The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

You may like this book if: You liked The Dark Lord of Derkholm, Tamora Pierce, Lloyd Alexander

You may not like this book if: You don’t like having to wait for the story to get started or you’re not a fan of fantasy books

Orphaned girl Harry Crewe is living a perfectly ordinary life — until the day she is kidnapped by the king of the Hillfolk to fulfill a destiny she never imagined. Is Harry really a true warrior who can wield the legendary blue sword? And even if she is, will she believe in herself enough to seize her fate? 

(High school)


The Farwalker’s Quest by Joni Sensel

You may like this book if: You liked How to Slay a Dragon, The Giver, Sea of Trolls

You may not like this book if: You'd rather avoid any political overtones (however mild) in your adventure stories

After the Blind War ended, leaving everyone on Earth sightless, the war’s survivors had to find new ways know the world — and so the Farwalkers were born. But much time has passed since those days — children are born seeing, and the Farwalkers haven’t been heard from in years. When Ariel and her friend Zeke discover a relic of their world’s almost-forgotten past, it sets them off on a quest that might change the world forever.

(Middle grades)


More Summer Reading Ideas

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