Adventures lead the way in books for this age! The characters express curiosity alongside a desire to explore the unknown. Teamwork and quirky humor lead the way through the mazes often tackled in the following selections.
This Book Is Not Good for You by Pseudonymous Bosch
Cass's mom is kidnapped by the evil dessert chef, Señor Hugo, who requests the legendary tuning fork as ransom, leading Cass and Max-Ernest to try finding the magical instrument in time. 394 p.
M Is For Mama’s Boy – NERDS #2 by Michael Buckley
Led by Duncan "Gluestick" Dewey, the NERDS team uses brain power and courage rather than gadgets when they face off against supervillian Simon, his band of savage squirrels, and Albert, a middle-aged computer genius who lives with his mother. 240 p.
Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone
Traveling to the New World in 1606 as the page to Captain John Smith, twelve-year-old orphan Samuel Collier settles in the new colony of James Town, where he must quickly learn to distinguish between friend and foe. 237 p.
No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko
With their house in foreclosure, sisters India and Mouse and brother Finn are sent to stay with an uncle in Colorado until their mother can join them, but when the plane lands, the children are welcomed by cheering crowds to a strange place where each of them has a perfect house and a clock that is ticking down the time. 244 p.
Alchemy and Meggy Swam by Karen Cushman
In 1573, the crippled, scorned, and destitute Meggy Swann goes to London, where she meets her father, an impoverished alchemist, and eventually discovers that although her legs are bent and weak, she has many other strengths. 166p.
The Talent Show by Dan Gutman
After a devastating tornado destroys much of Cape Bluff, Kansas, residents come together as a community to put on a talent show as a fund-raiser. 211p.
Sabotaged by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Time-travelers Jonah and Katherine are summoned to help another missing child from history, this time Virginia Dare from the Roanoke Colony, but their journey is sabotaged and goes dangerously awry, leaving them in the wrong time period. Includes author's note about the history of Roanoke Colony and Virginia Dare. 377p.
Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn
In the nineteenth century, ten-year-old Florence Crutchfield leaves a London orphanage to live with her great-uncle, great-aunt, and sickly cousin James, but she soon realizes the home has another resident, who means to do her and James harm. 153p.
Part of Me by Kimberly Holt
Ten stories trace the connections between four generations of one Louisiana family from 1939 when a young girl leaves school to help support her family to 2006 when an eighty-year-old woman embarks on a book tour. 208p.
White Sands, Red Menace by Ellen Klages
It is 1946, and Dewey Kerrigan is now living near the Whitte Sands Missile Range in New Mexico with the Gordon family. Dewey and her "sister," Suze, share secrets, art, and science as they adjust to high school in an isolated desert town. Then, Dewey's long-lost mother, Rita Gallucci, reappears in their lives. 337 p.
The Batboy by Mike Lupica
Even though his mother feels baseball ruined her marriage to his father, she allows 14-year-old Brian to become a bat boy for the Detroit Tigers, who have just drafted his favorite player back onto the team. 247p.
11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their 10th and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again. 267p.
Dawn and Dusk by Alice Mead
As 13-year-old Azad tries desperately to cling to the life he has known, the political situation in Iran during the war with Iraq finally forces his family to flee their home and seek safety elsewhere. 151p.
Lucky Breaks by Susan Patron
Having reached the mature age of eleven in the tiny California town of Hard Pan (population 43), Lucky discovers that there is still much to learn about friendship, parental trust and the Milky Way galaxy. 181p.
A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck
Relates the surprising gifts bestowed on 12-year-old Bob Barnhart and his family. who have recently moved to a small Illinois town is 1958, by their larger-than-life neighbor, Mrs. Dowdel. 164p.
Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
In New Orleans' Ninth Ward, twelve-year-old Lanesha, who can see spirits, and her adopted grandmother have no choice but to stay and weather the storm as Hurricane Katrina bears down upon them. 217p.
Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles) by Rick Riordan
After their father's research experiment at the British Museum unleashes the Egyptian god Set, Carter and Sadie Kane embark on a dangerous journey across the globe. 516p.
The Last Leopard by Lauren St. John
A third prophecy, this time involving a leopard, comes true for eleven-year-old Martine, an orphaned South African girl who has mystical healing powers over animals, when she travels with her grandmother and best friend Ben to Zimbabwe. 199p.
Timekeeper’s Moon by Joni Sensel
Summoned by the moon to embark on a dangerous journey, 13-year-old Ariel Farwalker, knowing she must obey or risk destruction, sets out with her guardian, Scarl, to follow a mysterious map to an unknown entity called “Timekeeper.” Sequel to The Farwalkers. 339p.
Elephant Run by Roland Smith
Nick endures servitude, beatings, and more after his British father's plantation in Burma is invaded by the Japanese in 1941, and when his father and others are taken prisoner and Nick is stranded with his friend Mya, they plan a daring escape on elephants, risking their lives to save Nick's father and Mya's brother from a Japanese prisoner of war camp. 318p.
Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell In Love by Lauren Tarshis
Seventh-grader Emma-Jean Lazarus uses her logical, scientific mind to navigate the mysteries of the upcoming Spring Fling, her friend Colleen's secret admirer, and other love-related dilemmas. 169p.
Listen! by Stephanie Tolan
During her solitary convalescence from a crippling accident, twelve-year-old Charley finds a wild dog, and the arduous process of training him leads her to explore her feelings about her mother’s death two years earlier. 197p.
Hound Dog True by Linda Urban
Mattie, a shy fifth-grader, wants to hide out at her new school by acting as apprentice to her Uncle Potluck, the custodian, but her plan falls apart when she summons the courage to speak about what matters most and finds a true friend. 152p.
Stolen by Vivian Vande Velde
A girl finds herself running through the forest at the edge of a village with no memory of anything, even her own name, and later learns that she might be twelve-year-old Isabelle, believed to be stolen by a witch six years before. 158p.
Cookie by Jacqueline Wilson
Beauty Cookson and her mother run away from her father, whose temper was out of control, and find a new lease on life at a seaside resort where they learn to cook and start to become more self-confident. 320p.
The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler
Zita, cast aside by her father and raised as a kitchen maid, learns when she is nearly twelve that she is a princess and that her twelve sisters love her, and so when she discovers they are victims of an evil enchantment, she desperately tries to save them. 243p.
DK Eyewitness Mummy by Andrew Nahum
Documents the history and significance of mummies, both natural and man-made, and describes the principles and ceremonies associated with them. 72p.
DK Eyewitness Flight by David Lambert
Be an eyewitness to how humans first realized the dream of taking flight, and see the remarkable and stunningly different machines that have whisked us up, up, and away. 72p.
Mission Control, This is Apollo by Andrew Chaikin
Mission Control, This Is Apollo, recounts space history from the Mercury missions through Apollo 17 and beyond. It is illustrated with stunning full-color paintings by astronaut Alan Bean, who walked on the moonwith Pete Conrad on Apollo 12 and has devoted his post-NASA life to creating art. 114p.
Scholastic Ultimate Guide to Baseball by James Buckley
A collection of fun facts about baseball. 160p.
Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting by Jim Murphy
Describes the Christmas truce that occurred along Western Front trenches in 1914 and features quotations from young men on both sides, a timeline, and additional source material. 116p.