If you and your kids have an incurable sense of adventure, but don’t have, say, talking animals or epic journeys available at your fingertips, a good book is your next best option. Reading can transport you to faraway lands, imaginary worlds, or dangerous quests, all from the comfort of your home.
Whether you are reading to the kiddos or they are sneaking some extra reading time under the covers, it will feel good to know that they’ve caught the book bug. No screens necessary. #MomProud.
Ahead are 15 books for kids and teens that will provide an exciting escape at any age. Once you fill their shelves with these exciting, fantastic, mystical books, they might not even know they’re punished next time you send them to their rooms.
Adventure Books for Kids
This classic story follows rambunctious Max who is sent to bed without supper. He gets transported to a land full of magical creatures where he becomes king of the Wild Things and gets to make the rules, before realizing he misses home.
A curious little primate named George travels from Africa to America where monkey business ensues — he accidentally calls the fire department, escapes from jail, and floats up into the air with a bunch of balloons.
Kids are always heroes in Roald Dahl’s wonderful worlds. In The BFG, a little girl named Sophie befriends a Big Friendly Giant and they travel from Dream County to Buckingham Palace to rid the world of man-eating giants.
Four animal friends — Mole, Rat, Toad, and Badger — embark on a number of different adventures like getting lost in the woods and recklessly driving cars. (Disneyland’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is loosely based on Disney’s film adaptation of the book).
After a family discovers a friendly bear wearing a hat and coat and carrying a suitcase on a railway platform, they take him home. Soon, everyday experiences become bear-y adventurous when Paddington is involved.
This iconic Dr. Suess book will capture imaginations young and old as it celebrates heading out into a big world of possibilities (with a 98 and 3/4 percent guarantee of success).
Even the smallest creatures can have big adventures. In Stuart Little, the titular mouse is born to a family of humans in New York City. After his friend, a bird named Margalo, disappears, Stuart leaves his home on a journey to find her.
Adventure Books for Teens
A young girl named Meg and her friends travel through space and time to rescue Meg’s father, a scientist who mysteriously disappears. Along the way, they encounter different planets and supernatural beings.
The Neverending Story is for any young reader who has dreamt about escaping into the pages of a good book. A boy named Bastian starts reading a story and is transported into the land of Fantastica, where he becomes a hero.
Percy Jackson is a demigod, the son of Poseidon and a human woman, whose powers develop over time. Rick Riordan’s series of books follows Percy and his friends on various quests and battles.
An epic tale of good vs. evil, this magical story takes us on treacherous journeys to fantastic worlds. Here you’ll meet a band of unlikely heroes — the Lord of the Rings trilogy (along with The Hobbit) are dense reads, but they are timeless works of adventure and fantasy. Definitely worth the effort.
Four siblings discover a wardrobe in their house that opens up into the world of Narnia — full of talking animals, an evil witch, and a great lion — where they become kings and queens.
This fantasy trilogy features two children, Lyra and Will, who travel across parallel universes and run across witches, armoured polar bears, and shape-shifting demons.
Magic is very much alive in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Over the series’ seven books, Harry, Ron, and Hermione attend school, fight dark forces, and experience both love and loss. It’s a thrilling adventure for all ages, muggles and wizards alike.
In the future, where hostile alien attacks are a threat, children are trained for battle. A particularly gifted boy named Ender rises through the ranks to help save humankind.
See more great ideas for capturing imaginations with our kids gear picks here.