Looking for something action-packed? Dive into these books that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landry
You may not like this book if: The idea of skeletons creeps you out
What happens when you pair a debonair, wise-cracking skeleton-sleuth-wizard and a 12-year-old heiress who has to save the world? A cracking good noir-ish detective story that manages to keep you laughing even when evil threatens to overtake the world.
Jake the Dreaming by Adam Freeman and Marc Bernadin
You may not like this book if: You don’t like to think about bad dreams
Daydreaming Jake is the outcast of the 4th grade — until he learns that his constant drifting off in class (and at dinner, and at Little League games …) is a side effect of his unexpected super power: Jake can enter dreams to defeat the monsters of nightmares, which are more real than you might think. (This one's hard to get a hold of now, but if it sounds like it's up your reader's alley, it's totally worth the effort of tracking it down.)
The Recruit by Robert Muchamore
You may not like this book if: You try to avoid violence and kids in peril
Kids can go places grown-ups can’t — which is why parentless children like James and his sister end up at CHERUB, a government agency that uses 10- to 17-year-old spies to infiltrate places adults can’t go.
The Boy at the End of the World by Greg Van Eekhout
You may not like this book if: You’re not a fan of futuristic dystopias, or kids in peril stress you out
Fisher may be the last human alive—at least, that’s how it seems when he wakes up in a pod, the only survivor in a strange, robot-run facility called the Ark. But the possibility of another Ark, far from his own, sets him off on an adventure of survival across a very different Earth from the one we know.
Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix
You may not like this book if: You don’t like suspense
The closer Bethany gets to her thirteenth birthday, the weirder her parents get. Still, she’s not expecting to get hustled out of her familiar life one morning and left with her Aunt Myrlie, whom she’s never even met. Something is going on, and Bethany wants to know what it is — even if finding out puts her in danger.
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
You may not like this book if: You don’t like putting together the pieces of a somewhat complicated plot
The king’s son and heir to the kingdom has been missing for years, and a scheming nobleman spies an opportunity: If he can install a pretender on the throne, he can rule the kingdom through the imposter prince. Orphaned Sage will play along to escape his grim reality — but the situation may be more treacherous than anyone could have expected.
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein
You may not like this book if: You don’t like stories about real people
When Philippe Petit decided to walk across a tightrope connecting the two towers of New York City’s World Trade Center in 1974, he broke at least a dozen laws and captivated millions of people. The Twin Towers may be gone, but the memory of Petit’s madman walk lives on.
Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon
You may not like this book if: You’re put off by over-the-top adventure stories
If your teen thinks Pulitzer Prize-winning novels are boring, this swashbuckling tale just may make him change his mind. Just a few years before AD 1000, itinerant physician Zelikman and his comrade-in-arms, ex-soldier Amram, travel through the Caucus Mountains, finding adventure, peril, princes-in-disguise, vengeful elephants, and even revolution along their way.
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
You may not like this book if: You don’t like having to wait for the story to get started or you’re not a fan of fantasy books
Orphaned girl Harry Crewe is living a perfectly ordinary life — until the day she is kidnapped by the king of the Hillfolk to fulfill a destiny she never imagined. Is Harry really a true warrior who can wield the legendary blue sword? And even if she is, will she believe in herself enough to seize her fate?
The Farwalker’s Quest by Joni Sensel
You may not like this book if: You'd rather avoid any political overtones (however mild) in your adventure stories
After the Blind War ended, leaving everyone on Earth sightless, the war’s survivors had to find new ways know the world — and so the Farwalkers were born. But much time has passed since those days — children are born seeing, and the Farwalkers haven’t been heard from in years. When Ariel and her friend Zeke discover a relic of their world’s almost-forgotten past, it sets them off on a quest that might change the world forever.