Book list

Adventure books

What is an adventure? I put books in this list if the action of the story is the result of a deliberate decision to go off and do something. They might be real or they might be imaginary adventures. Books in this list might also appear in the Real Life list or, indeed, any other list.

Books for younger readers

The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

Dr Dolittle adventures to Africa to cure the monkeys of a terrible illness.

Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy

Arthur and Maudie Brightstorm venture to the most remote corner of the world to clear their explorer father's name. A sky-ship adventure.

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

In the beginning we were a group of nine. Three are gone, dead. There are six of us left. They are hunting us, and they won't stop until they've killed us all. I am Number Four. I know that I am next.

The Children of Castle Rock by Natasha Farrant

Boarding school Great Orienteering Challenge offers multiple opportunities to argue, fall out and make as a team, earn a magnificent Finder’s Fee for a stolen artwork, and save the school from closure.

Tin by Pádraig Kenny

Christopher is a real boy and his friends are mechanicals. But if it turns out that Christopher isn’t actually a real boy after all...what difference does that make?

The Polar Bear Explorers' Club by Alex Bell

Junior Explorer Stella Starflake Pearl encounters wild, weird and downright dangerous magic in the Icelands.

Beetle Boy by M G Leonard

Darkus tracks down his lost father...with the help of his uncle, friends and a vast beetle army. But he makes a serious enemy out of Lucretia Cutter, beetle collector.

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Callum can’t even flunk magic school. His Dad’s always told him magic is dangerous, and Call is about to find out the truth. (It is).

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

Courage, resourcefulness and teamwork...yes obviously, required to survive in the Amazon jungle. But also a sense of passing wonder at the beauty of it all.

The Last Wild by Piers Torday

There are wild animals out there to be saved and whatever you think of him, Kester Jaynes really is the man for the job...unless you know

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

Epic fairytale set in the grim starving forests of Russia. Feo and her wolves set out to rescue her mother from prison.

Stung by Joss Stirling

Is there a mole in the Young Detective Agency? Are Kate and Nathan on the same side? And can they find the answers?

The Secret of the Black Moon Moth by John Fardell

Archaeology adventure on tropical island with deadly enemy lurking within.

Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz

Matt is the first of The Five to be found. He has to find the other four. He's in a battle against the Old Ones. It's a race against time. And he doesn't even know it yet.

Barnaby Grimes: Return of the Emerald Skull by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

More adventures with Barnaby Grimes as he runs errands across the city, through the alleys and over the rooftops. But there are dark forces to match himself against.

Barnaby Grimes: Curse of the Night Wolf by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

Quick-witted tick-tock boy meets wolf on rooftops. Disposes of same. Solves wicked mystery. Unsung hero.

Monster Blood Tattoo: Lamplighter by D M Cornish

Rossamund, fresh out of the foundlingery, makes his way in a world where monsters roam.

Sebastian Darke, Prince of Fools by Philip Caveney

Sebastian Darke, Prince of Fools. Not a prince. Not much of a fool. Seeks employment. Finds adventure...and a princess.

Troll Mill by Katherine Langrish

Peer Ulfsson, fighting to find his own place in the world, learns that everything actually has to come second to loyalty and love for friends and family. Plenty of trolls and strong magic.

The Palace of Laughter by Jon Berkeley

Miles Wednesday, orphaned, unwashed and living in a barrel - sneaks into the circus, helps a little someone, gets into a big adventure, and ends up very much happier...

Flash Flood by Chris Ryan

Ben finds himself in dangerous waters when London floods.

Corby Flood by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

Corby Flood solves mysteries, mends broken lives, and is loved by everyone, except the five unamusing clowns in bottle green bowler hats...

Arthur and the Forbidden City by Luc Besson

Arthur goes in search of the Minimoys, and his Grandpa, and the family fortune, all in his own backgarden. But the garden is a big place when you're only three quarters of an inch tall.

Arthur and the Minimoys by Luc Besson

Arthur goes in search of the Minimoys, and his Grandpa, and the family fortune, all in his own backgarden. But the garden is a big place when you're only three quarters of an inch tall.

Storlax by Robert Jackson and Bubbi Morthens

Swim with the Hofsin as they make the Great Journey from their feeding grounds in the North Atlantic all the way upriver to the Home Pool.

Ark Angel by Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider's back! 'The nearest thing the Brits have to a lethal weapon!'

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember is built to last, but the once bulging store rooms are empty now. What will the people do to help themselves?

The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea

Pidge and Bridget set out to save the world from destruction, with all the hounds of the evil Morrigan on their trail.

The Scarecrow and his Servant by Philip Pullman

A scarecrow needs a servant if he's really going to get out and see a bit of the world.

Troll Fell by Katherine Langrish

Down, but not out, Peer Ulfsson survives his ghastly uncles, cold, hunger and loneliness, only to face the Troll King. He could save himself, but goes back for his friend...

Mister Monday by Garth Nix

Arthur's come by a key, by mistake. But now he's got it, he might as well have a go with it. It belongs to the House. A very magical place.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Evil times bring forth great leaders, but Eragon never expected to be a great leader. Nobody can plan to be a Dragon Rider. It just happens...

The Fire-Eaters by David Almond

Another beautiful hymn to humanity from David Almond.

Predator's Gold by Philip Reeve

Compelling sequel to Mortal Engines. Love, jealousy, betrayal, anger, loyalty and bravery. Brilliant!

Yoss by Odo Hirsch

Yoss leaves his remote mountain village and goes off in search of adventure in the world outside. But he has a lot to learn about human nature.

The Smugglers by Iain Lawrence

The pretty little Dragon harbours many secrets . . .

The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence

Surviving the shipwreck but still at the mercy of the wreckers in the village, John Spencer must rescue his father who is being held captive somewhere.

Death and the Arrow by Chris Priestley

Gruesome murder in eighteenth century London needs investigation.

The Last Wolf by Michael Morpurgo

Boy and wolf, befriended, escape the murderous English redcoats after the Jacobite Rebellion.

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

Exotic adventure deep in the heart of the Brazilian rainforest.

The Last of the Sky Pirates by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

Lowly, insignificant under-librarian dreams of becoming great Librarian Knight . . .

Otto and the Flying Twins by Charlotte Haptie

In the beautiful City of Trees, in the divided world of magicos and normals,Otto learns, to his surprise, that he might actually belong to the other side. . .

Firewing by Kenneth Oppel

Adventures in the Underworld. Superhero bats, unlikely hero bats, deadly enemy bats. Fluffy beasties, human emotions.

The Malifex by Steve Alton

Merlin lies under a stone enchanted, waiting for another great hero to rise up and fight the powers of darkness with him. But when he awakes from the enchantment, it isn't Merlin at all, just Merlin's apprentice, and nor is there a great hero to fight the powers of darkness - just Sam, and his friend Charly.

Dimanche Diller by Henrietta Branford

Orphaned heiress Dimanche is in deadly danger from her evil guardian. Who can save her? Well, Polly Pugh, her super-nanny will help.

Toro! Toro! by Michael Morpurgo

Antonio and his little bull calf caught up in the dreadful events of the Spanish Civil War.

When Marnie Was There by Joan G Robinson

Is Marnie an imaginary friend? Or is she real? Perhaps it doesn't really matter. Anna and Marnie share a wonderful friendship, but when Marnie has to leave, Anna finds she is better able to make new friends . . .

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

It's a town eat town world. The great traction city of London is prowling round the Great Hunting Ground looking for prey. But, if London hopes to use re-created weapons of mass destruction in its bid for superiority, then London must expect to have enemies - Tom, Third Class Apprentice of the Guild of Historians, and the dreadfully disfigured Hester Shaw, for a start . . .

Fly, Cherokee, Fly by Chris d'Lacey

Darryl finds an injured racing pigeon hiding under a bush in the local park, and takes it home. As he cherishes the damaged bird, he learns a lot about life, bullies, pigeon fanciers and pigeons.

The Ropemaker by Peter Dickinson

Tilja and Tahl set out, with their grandparents and a bad-tempered horse, on a great quest to find the mysterious magician who alone has the power to renew the magic barrier which surrounds their valley and keeps the occupants safe from attack by invading armies.

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

It's easy to be carried away by a good book! Bastian Balthazar Bux is drawn into the amazing world of Fantastica, and finds it hard to escape.

The Curse of the Gloamglozer by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

Times are difficult in the ancient and learned sky city of Sanctaphrax. But when Maris and Quint join forces to help her father with his important research, they unwittingly unleash the ancient curse of the gloamglozer . . .

The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean

Haoyou rides his magnificent kite into the skies for the travelling JadeCircus.

Slaves of the Mastery by William Nicholson

The Manth people are overwhelmed by the forces of the Mastery and enslaved. Only Kestrel Hath is left behind, and she vows revenge.

The Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo

Every day is a struggle for survival on the tiny island of Bryher in the Scilly Isles, but storms and wrecks can bring bounty as well as hardship.

Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones

In a divided kingdom Clennen the Singer travels from village to village carrying news. But when he agrees to take a passenger up to the north things begin to go wrong.

Music on the Bamboo Radio by Martin Booth

Hiding out with Chinese friends for the duration of the war after Hong Kong surrenders to the Japanese Army, Nicholas Holford becomes useful both to the Chinese Communist guerrillas and the British Army, who are working together against the Japanese.

Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones

David meant to say the curse, but he never expected it to work! Now he's got a rather strange kind of friend who doesn't live by the same rules as everyone else . . .

Stig of the Dump by Clive King

Stig is a caveman and he lives in a den at the bottom of the old quarry. He's Barney's secret friend. But where does Stig really come from?

I Am David by Anne Holm

Escaping from a concentration camp, David learns to live life as he tramps across Europe.

Holes by Louis Sachar

How Stanley Yelnats manages to redeem the curse which has dogged the fortunes of his family for four generations.

The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

The silver sword, a little paper-knife, is a symbol of hope to four children as they make their way across the wastes of post-war Europe from Warsaw to Switzerland in search of their parents.

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins, timid hobbit of The Shire, finds that he can indeed bring about the prophecies of the old songs, as he riddles with Smaug the Great Worm in the halls of the old King Under the Mountain.

Peter Duck by Arthur Ransome

Two schooners race across the Atlantic in search of buried treasure. Can the children from the Wild Cat beat Black Jake to it?

Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

Michael is washed up onto a lonely desert island, only to find it is already occupied . . .

The Third-Class Genie by Robert Leeson

A genie from the days of Aladdin pops out of an old beer can to help Alec with his school bully problem. But Alec ends up having to help the genie out.

Elephant Ben by Geoffrey Malone

Real-life safari adventure. Ben and his gamewarden father rescue a baby elephant from a swamp. One good deed deserves another . . .