Can a twelve-year-old save the world? Maybe not, but it is a lot of fun for kids to imagine. Here are three action fantasies that feature genius kids with hyper skills and inexhaustible resources who can defeat dangerous forces.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, a fantasy/adventure for ages 10+ (also in audiobook and graphic novel format)
Artemis Fowl, criminal mastermind, techie millionaire, 12-year-old genius, decides to steal the gold of a secret, a dangerous race of fairies. Lots of trouble ensues. Essentially parentless Artemis teams up with a pixie and a dwarf, and his adult protector named Butler. There are nearly non-stop battles and peril for Artemis and his sidekicks, with the use of clever machinery on both sides.
Disney has come out with a PG movie based on the book series.
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, a fantasy/adventure for ages 9+ (also in audiobook format)
This adventure series features four precocious gifted kids who are recruited and trained by a mysterious millionaire (Mr. Benedict) for a secret mission. They are sent to infiltrate a secret boarding school run by an evil genius who wants to take over the world. Their special skills and their teamwork will be tested in various ways throughout the series. Ethical behavior and pooling talents are portrayed as important as cleverness in this series.
A TV series has been developed based on the books, available on Hulu.
Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs, a spy thriller/adventure for ages 10+
Twelve-year-old math prodigy, thief, code-breaker. and super athlete Charlie Thorne is recruited by CIA agents for a vital mission. She needs to find and solve the final secret equation of Albert Einstein that unlocks the secret of unlimited power that can either save or destroy the world. She must use her ability to see the world in terms of calculations and probabilities to defeat a secret group out to get the equation first.