Middle Grade Adventure Stories

Let’s go on an adventure! From magical medieval Europe to a monstrous post-apocalypse town, these stories will take you on a journey and escape from the restrictions of quarantine for a bit. Even if it’s only in your imagination.

*All book descriptions are from the publishers.

The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz

1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.

Join William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne’s loyal greyhound, Gwenforte… recently brought back from the dead. 

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook

The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier and illustrated by Douglas Holgate

Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he’s armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hordes of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack’s loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack’s crush, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer! Can he do it?

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.

Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace 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.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook.

The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart

When Reuben discovers an extraordinary antique watch with a secret power, his life takes an intriguing turn. As one secret leads to another, Reuben finds himself torn between his honest nature and the lure to be a hero.

Now he is on a dangerous adventure—full of curious characters, treacherous traps, and hairsbreadth escapes—as he races to solve the mystery before it is too late. With fearless Penny, mighty Jack, and the wise Mrs. Genevieve on his side, can Reuben outwit a sly villain called The Smoke and save the city from a terrible fate?

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook.

Humor and the Apocalypse

Humor and apocalypse – do they go together?

The Last Kids on Earth series of graphic novels, written by Max Brallier and illustrated by Douglas Holgate, is an action-packed comic for ages 8-12 with lots of slimy, squelchy, icky monsters that need to be dispatched in time-honored snarky hero style. Enter 13-year-old Jack Sullivan and his three best friends who might just be the last kids on earth due to a “Monster Apocalypse.” One way to deal with anxiety is to frame a comic with gamer-style action and comedy with kids saving the world.

Reluctant readers have been grabbing this series even before it was rumored to be turned into a Netflix offering soon. Lots of humor, over-the-top villains, and tight friendships.

Read this series on Overdrive or with the Libby app!

Book 1: The Last Kids on Earth
Book 2: The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade
Book 3: The Last Kids on Earth and the Nightmare King
Book 4: The Last Kids on Earth and the Cosmic Beyond
Book 5: The Last Kids on Earth and the Midnight Blade