12 Awesome Books to Inspire Any Kid to Be Adventurous

Wendy Robinson | Apr 13, 2016 Big Kid

Child readingThere's nothing like the power of a good book to inspire kids. Lately, I've been loving books that help my kids feel a sense of adventure and exploration.

I've gathered a small collection of books, both classics and newer releases, that are perfect for empowering kids to want to explore, dream, and have old-fashioned adventures of their very own. Long live the power of books!


Image via iStock.com/Imgorthand

  • The Harry Potter Series


    A wizard, a magical school, spells and magical creatures, broomsticks that can fly, and one very bad guy -- these books have it all. What kid can resist the chance to pretend to go on their own magical adventures after reading any Harry Potter book?

  • Iron Hearted Violet


    Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill is the story of a princess who is definitely NOT waiting for Prince Charming to rescue her. Violet is smart, clever, and loves to read. Your reader will be inspired by the power of stories and maybe even be empowered to bravely search for dragons.

  • Hatchet


    A 13-year-old boy is the sole survivor of a plane crash in Gary Paulsen's Hatchet. The book is a totally gripping account of how he survives. It will inspire bigger kids to want to learn survival skills and to see the wilderness in a whole new way.

    More from The Stir: 25 Top Chapter Books to Read With Your Child at Bedtime

  • The Egypt Game


    The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder is the spellbinding story of six children who create their own game and then their own imaginary world. There is a mystery that will keep kids on the edge of their seats. Don't be surprised if your child wants to make his or her own mysteries after reading this classic.

  • El Deafo


    El Deafo by Cece Bell is a totally engaging graphic novel about growing up and becoming the hero of your own story. Readers will love the story of Cece, who is deaf and trying to find her place in a brand-new school. This story is sweet and funny and will inspire any kid to become an everyday super hero.

  • Maniac Magee


    The Newberry Award–winning Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli tells the story of an orphaned boy who becomes a legend and unites a town. This is a story that reminds kids that you don't have to be an adult to change the world. Who wouldn't want to lace up their running shoes after reading this?

  • The Birchbark House


    Fans of the Little House series of books will love The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. A little girl name Omakayas is a wonderfully strong character with unique talents. Mid-elementary-age kids will be absorbed in her world. This is a perfect book to read before a long, technology-free walk in the woods.

  • Pippi Longstocking


    No list of books to inspire adventure would be complete without Pippi Longstocking! This classic is still winning kids over with tales of adventure, including a pet monkey and a horse that lives on the porch. Pippi is the ultimate child hero who helps kids see that there is nothing wrong with being a little bit different. Not only is she the strongest girl in the world, but she is also a great friend. Pippi makes you want to PLAY.

    More from The Stir: 10 Fun, Fabulous Book Characters That Every Girl Should Meet

  • From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler


    No kid will ever think of a trip to the museum in the same way after reading From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Koningsburg. When Claudia and her brother decide to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, they have no idea the adventure awaits them. Readers will devour this classic tale and then want to explore their own surroundings.

  • I Survived


    The I Survived series from Lauren Tarish describes how kids survived major events from history -- everything from the Hindenburg disaster to Pearl Harbor to the sinking of the Titanic. Kids will be awestruck by the stories of regular kids who survive unthinkable events and will even learn a little history along the way.

  • The Phantom Tollbooth


    Any child complaining of boredom should immediately be given a copy of The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. This book is clever, funny, and tells the story of a very bored Milo who discovers a mysterious toll booth that takes him to another world. The real world will never look quite the same after your kid finishes this book!

  • A Wrinkle in Time


    A Wrinkle in Time is a must for an adventurous kid! Kids ages 10 and up will love this story of three kids who have an adventure that bends the rules of time and space. As the characters discover their strength and courage, readers will be inspired to think of the universe in a totally different way.

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