Adventure Can Get Kids Reading!

Adventure - for the adventurous child!



















Adventure fiction books are a popular item in my library, especially for the boys (girls also like it, but boys more so). Adventure books that keep kids swept up in the story can help kids read more because they can't put the book down.  I've had quite a few boys who were non-readers get hooked on adventure series books and they actually wanted to read more! Adventure books can definitely get kids reading!

One of my favorites to "sell" to the kids is the "I Survived Series" by Lauren Tarshis and Scott Dawson. After my students have finished that series I can usually get them to read more books by suggesting the Shipwreck series by Gordon Korman. Just like adults, kids have their own taste of books and genres and the trick is getting them hooked on a book or series. They need to explore different genres to find out which one they like the best. After they love one genre they will usually want to venture out and try other ones. Exploring and experimenting with different genres and series can get kids reading!

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen: Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present.  But now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity, or despair—it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.

Shipwreck by Gordon Korman: Luke, J.J. Will, Lyssa, Charla, and Ian. They didn't want to be on the boat in the first place. And they did not want to be stuck at sea with a bunch of strangers. But when you're in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there's no easy way out. And when a terrifying storm hits, there's no way to fully prepare. It's all about survival.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell: This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.


Shipwreck! by Jake Maddox: When their whale-watching trip goes horribly wrong, Skylar, Gabby, and Miles find themselves on an inflatable raft in the middle of the ocean. With no food, a small amount of water, and only a small first-aid kit to help them, they must spend three treacherous days on the waves. They are tired and hungry as they are hoping desperately for help to arrive. Sharks circle, their water supply dwindles, and Gabby begins to hallucinate. Will they survive, or are they lost at sea forever?

I Survived by Lauren Tarshis and Scott Dawson: Ten-year-old George Calder can't believe his luck! He and his little sister, Phoebe, are on the famous Titanic, crossing the ocean with their Aunt Daisy. The ship is full of exciting places to explore, but when George ventures into the first class storage cabin, a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Suddenly, water is everywhere, and George's life changes forever.

Nim's Island by Wendy Orr and Kerry Millard: In the Pacific, there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. Once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind.

Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo: When Michael's father loses his job, he buys a boat and convinces Michael and his mother to sail around the world. It's an ideal trip - even Michael's sheepdog can come along. It starts out as the perfect family adventure - until Michael is swept overboard. He's washed up on an island, where he struggles to survive. Then he discovers that he's not alone. His fellow-castaway, Kensuke, is wary of him. But when Michael's life is threatened, Kensuke slowly lets the boy into his world. The two develop a close understanding in this remote place, but the question of rescue continues to divide them.

Escaping the Giant Wave by Peg Kehret: Thirteen-year-old Kyle thought spending a vacation on the Oregon coast with his family would be great, but one evening Kyle is left in charge of his younger sister, BeeBee, while his parents attend an adults-only Salesman of the Year dinner on an elegant yacht. Then the earthquake comes -- starting a fire in their hotel The next thing you know Kyle and his sister are running for their lives trying desperately to outwit nature's fury!

If your child still doesn't have the reading bug, there is a book out there that will turn the key to the love of reading. Sometimes you just have to give it time! Try to be patient as there are lots of resources available to you.  What works for one child may not work for another one, and sometimes when you try a book, product or technique and it doesn't work, the timing could have been off - try it again! Try different genres and series to get kids reading!

And these are some of my favorite posts below with more ideas to get your child reading:

If there's a specific book or other reading product you're looking for,  or a question about reading, just leave a comment or question below or email me at I'd love to hear from you!