The beginning of a new school year doesn’t have to put a stop to your adventures. The beauty of reading is that you can travel the world around, to a new, fantastical world, get a taste for a different kind of life, all without having to step foot out your front door. Ideal for the school year, escape the homework and responsibility for just a little while. There are countless books waiting for you at the library to take you on your next grand adventure.
Check out some of these books for your next dose of adventure:
- Lion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words by Margarita Engle (YA F Engle)
Asia, Africa, Europe–Antonio Chuffat’s ancestors clashed and blended on the beautiful island of Cuba. Yet for most Cubans in the nineteenth century, life is anything but beautiful. The country is fighting for freedom from Spain. Enslaved Africans and nearly-enslaved Chinese indentured servants are forced to work long, backbreaking hours in the fields.
So Antonio feels lucky to have found a good job as a messenger, where his richly blended cultural background is an asset. Through his work he meets Wing, a young Chinese fruit seller who barely escaped the anti-Asian riots in San Francisco, and his sister Fan, a talented singer. With injustice all around them, the three friends are determined that violence will not be the only way to gain liberty. Novel in verse.
- Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt (YA F Schmidt)
As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. So begins a coming-of-age masterwork full of equal parts comedy and tragedy from Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt. As Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer–a fiery young lady who “smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain.” In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon’s birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage. In this stunning novel, Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.
- Paint the Wind by Pam Munoz Ryan (YA F Ryan)
Maya is a captive. In Grandmother’s house in California, every word and action is strictly monitored, and even Maya’s memories of her mother have been erased — except within the imaginary world she has created. A world away, in the rugged Wyoming wilderness, a tobiano Paint horse called Artemisia runs free, belonging only to the stars. She embodies the spirit of the wild — and she holds the key to Maya’s memories. How Maya’s and Artemisia’s lives intertwine, like a braided rein, is at the heart of this richly drawn adventure about captivity and freedom, about holding on and letting go.
- Hunter Moran Saves the Universe by Patricia Reilly Giff (YA Giff)
Twins Hunter and Zack have a small problem to solve: they must save their town from a diabolical dentist who is planning to blow it to smithereens. But first they have to hold a funeral for an incriminating report card before it breaks their mother’s heart, hide a cello that has been demolished, and keep their father from finding out what they did to his laptop. None of this is going to be easy with their busybody older sister, Linny, watching their every move; older brother, William, just waiting to get them in trouble; five-year-old brother, Steadman, tailing them; and baby Mary banging her spoon like a maniac so no one can think. Before the book is over, a vintage airplane, a hot-air balloon, and a borrowed fire engine will all play parts in the unfolding mystery. This novel is filled with whimsical characters, lots of mischief, and plenty of heart.
- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (YA F Funke)
Meggie lives a quiet life alone with her father, a book-binder. But her father has a deep secret– he posseses an extraordinary magical power. One day a mysterious stranger arrives who seems linked to her father’s past. Who is this sinister character and what does he want? Suddenly Meggie is involved in a breathless game of escape and intrigue as her father’s life is put in danger. Will she be able to save him in time?
- Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff (YA F Rosoff)
Mila has an exceptional talent for reading a room–sensing hidden facts and unspoken emotions from clues that others overlook. So when her father’s best friend, Matthew, goes missing from his upstate New York home, Mila and her beloved father travel from London to find him. She collects information about Matthew from his belongings, from his wife and baby, from the dog he left behind and from the ghosts of his past–slowly piecing together the story everyone else has missed. But just when she’s closest to solving the mystery, a shocking betrayal calls into question her trust in the one person she thought she could read best.
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London (YA F London)
First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild brought Jack London critical acclaim, instant celebrity, and a readership that would span generations across the globe.Stolen from the comfortable California home of Judge Miller, Buck — a powerful half-St. Bernard, half-Scottish sheepdog — is shipped to the Klondike and pressed into service as a sled dog. So begins an odyssey in which Buck experiences cruelty and neglect, learns the brutal skills of a survivor, finds a gentle master that he can respect and love, and eventually leaves civilization behind to become the legendary leader of a wolf pack.
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (YA F Lin)
In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life’s questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.
- Crispin: the Cross of Lead by Avi (YA F Avi)
Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.
- Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi (YA F Mafi)
There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.
But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. It will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself–and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.
- The Devil and His Boy by Anthony Horowitz (YA F Horowitz)
Tom Falconer is in trouble. Pursued by the notorious criminal Ratsey, Tom soon finds himself alone and hungry on the streets of London. Luckily enough, the mysterious Dr. Mobius soon recruits Tom to play an important role in a play to be performed in front of Queen Elizabeth. Tom knows there’s something not right about Mobius, but he’s willing to take a risk in order to keep his neck out of Ratsey’s murderous hands. Little does Tom realize that Mobius’s dark secret will trap him in the middle of an international conspiracy, holding the fate of the English empire in his hands.
- Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes (YA F Hughes)
Italy, 1944: Florence is occupied by Nazi forces. The Italian resistance movement has not given up hope, though — and neither have thirteen-year- old Paolo and his sister, Costanza. As their mother is pressured into harboring escaping POWs, Paolo and Costanza each find a part to play in opposing the German forces. Both are desperate to fight the occupation, but what can two siblings — with only a bicycle to help them — do against a whole army?
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (YA F Jones)
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl-and herself-than first meets the eye.
- The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel (YA F Oppel)
The Boundless, the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life.
When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past.
In order to survive, Will must join a traveling circus, enlisting the aid of Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster and leader of the troupe, and Maren, a girl his age who is an expert escape artist. With villains fast on their heels, can Will and Maren reach Will’s father and save The Boundless before someone winds up dead?
- Fair Weather by Richard Peck (YA F Peck)
Thirteen-year-old Rosie Beckett has never strayed further from her family’s farm than a horse can pull a cart. Then a letter from her Aunt Euterpe arrives, and everything changes. It’s 1893, the year of the World’s Columbian Exposition-the “wonder of the age”-a.k.a. the Chicago World’s Fair. Aunt Euterpe is inviting the Becketts to come for a visit and go to the fair!
- Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce (YA F Boyce)
After their mother dies, two brothers find a huge amount of money which they must spend quickly before England switches to the new European currency, but they disagree on what to do with it.
It was a one-in-a-million chance. A bag crammed with cash comes tumbling out of the air and lands right at Damian’s feet. Suddenly the Cunningham brothers are rich. Very rich. They can buy anything they want. There’s just one problem — they have only seventeen days to spend all the money before it becomes worthless. And the crooks who stole the cash in the first place are closing in — fast.
- Last of the Gullivers by Carter Crocker (YA F Crocker)
Michael Pine is a boy with no direction in life. Mixed up in gangs, he is headed straight for a juvenile detention center. Until he is given a second chance and discovers a world beyond his imagination. A world of Lilliputians – people the mere size of a thumb. But this is a world in terrible danger, and they need Michael’s help. But Michael has some trouble of his own – he’s been framed for theft and it appears his second chance is about to expire. He needs to do what he can to save the Lilliputians from certain death. But how can he save them if he’s locked up for a crime he didn’t commit?