The most exciting middle-grade adventure novels you’ll ever read

Mark Cheverton Author Of Gameknight999 in Adopt Me meets Jailbreak
By Mark Cheverton

Who am I?

I’ve been writing middle-grade action/adventure novels since 2007. My first four books were fairly terrible, but I continued to write and learn the craft until I saw success in 2014 with my Minecraft-inspired novels. Throughout my entire writing career, I have read other middle-grade novels, many of them I loved and some of them I hated. I probably read 10 novels a year since I started writing (my bookcase in the basement is getting kinda full), and I’ve come to realize that there are some books that stand out far above the rest. I’m still writing, and of course, still reading, but I continue to read this genre that I love so much.

I wrote...

Gameknight999 in Adopt Me meets Jailbreak

By Mark Cheverton,

Book cover of Gameknight999 in Adopt Me meets Jailbreak

What is my book about?

Gameknight999 faces his fiercest battle yet in the latest adventure by New York Times bestselling author Mark Cheverton.

Gameknight999 is accidentally pulled into his favorite game, Roblox . . . but something came with him. The spirits of evil demons entered the Roblox Multiverse and tried to destroy everything in hopes of escaping to the physical world. One of the strongest demons, Valafar, pulled Adopt Me and Jailbreak together into one merged world. This stress could rip the Multiverse apart, letting the demons escape. Gameknight999 is not going to let that happen. When he enters the distorted world, he realizes there is a war of good vs. evil raging, and evil is winning. Gameknight999 will do whatever it takes to stop Valafar and protect Roblox.

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The books I picked & why

The Ruins of Gorlan

By John Flanagan,

Book cover of The Ruins of Gorlan

Why did I love this book?

You can’t go wrong with any of the Ranger’s Apprentice books or the following series, The Path of the Ranger. They are fantastic, imaginative, and exciting times a hundred. Flanagan writes them in such a way that you could really start on any book in the series and understand what is going on, of course reading them in order is a better choice. I found that I couldn’t put these books down, I just loved them. I loved the world Flanagan created, but more importantly, I related to the main character, Will. I was bullied as a child, as is Will, and his struggles seemed far too familiar to me. If you like high-suspense, action/adventure fantasy, then this book is for you.

By John Flanagan,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Ruins of Gorlan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Ruins of Gorlan is the first thrilling book in John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series - over eight million sold worldwide.

They have always scared him in the past - the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practise magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice.

What he doesn't yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles…

The Graveyard Book

By Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (illustrator),

Book cover of The Graveyard Book

Why did I love this book?

I love the creativity of this book. Gaiman weaves an incredible story around gravestones and the land of the dead. This concept drew me to this novel. The Graveyard Book follows Bod as he grows up in a graveyard with the spirits of the dead raising him as one of their own. None of this happened on purpose. As a child, Bod narrowly escapes when a killer named Jack murdered his family. The spirits of the dead took him in and introduced Bod to the many secrets of the graveyard like the city of the ghouls, and the many different gravestone entrances to other lands. But there is danger in the land of the dead as well as the land of the living, for Jack still hunts the boy who got away. A great read that will keep you turning the pages.

By Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked The Graveyard Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing his entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?

Book cover of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Why did I love this book?

As a Newberry Medal winner, you know Kelly Barnhill’s book will be fantastic, and it is. I originally bought this book because of the Newberry award, wondering what it takes to win this prestigious award. I was stunned by the level of creativity, world-building, and characters that you’ll feel you’ve known for years. Barnhill creates an incredibly imaginative world for her story. The story follows Luna who was given to the evil witch of the forest, Xan, (she isn’t so evil). Instead of giving Luna to a family, she raises the young girl in the forest. Through a series of fascinating circumstances exciting revelations, the real story emerges with Luna at the center of the intrigue.

This is an exciting, incredibly creative, and heartwarming story that you’ll want to read again and again. I actually read the ending of this book multiple times, just to experience what happens to Luna and the other characters in the story.

By Kelly Barnhill,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Girl Who Drank the Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'This beautifully written, darkly funny coming-of-age story will enchant and entertain' Daily Mail

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is in fact a good witch who shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest,…

The Golden Compass

By Philip Pullman,

Book cover of The Golden Compass

Why did I love this book?

If you like middle-grade adventure, then you’ve probably heard of The Golden Compass. This is an epic story which follows precocious Lyra as she uncovers the mystery of missing children, some of which are her friends. But the story is much bigger than just this. You’ll find that you’ll love rooting for Lyra, as I did, as well as love to hate the villain (I won’t say who). I loved how Pullman had the main story of missing children, but Lyra’s adventure quickly revealed a conspiracy and a much larger story that pulled me into the next books in the series. This first book is nothing short of breathtaking, and anyone looking for an adventure to keep you on the edge of your seat will not be disappointed.

By Philip Pullman,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked The Golden Compass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first volume in Philip Pullman's groundbreaking
HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy, now a thrilling, critically
acclaimed BBC/HBO television series. First published
in 1995, and acclaimed as a modern masterpiece, this first
book in the series won the UK's top awards for children's literature.

"Without this child, we shall all

Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live
half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford.

The destiny that awaits her will take her to the frozen lands
of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight.

Her extraordinary journey will have immeasurable consequences
far beyond her own world...



By Jake Halpern, Peter Kujawinski,

Book cover of Edgeland

Why did I love this book?

I found Edgeland after hearing an interview with the authors. Their book sounded so incredibly creative that I had to pick up a copy. The story is about an orphan, Wren, banished from the House of Aron and left to live on the streets. Wren struggles to find safety and security while her friend, Alec, both age 12, has risen from apprentice to a high-ranking position within House Aron. The comparison of their lives are in stark contrast from Alec living with safety and security, to Wren seeking to find her place with the banished and forgotten. But the really interesting thing about Edgeland is the Drain.

It is a large, circular waterfall where the dead are sent in hopes of an afterlife. The story starts to accelerate at a fever pitch when Wren and Alec end up going over the edge of the Drain. They will uncover secrets about the world they inhabit, some of which change everything they have come to understand. With the incredible world-building, fantastic characters, and spine-tingling excitement, Edgeland will keep you turning the page into the wee- hours of the night.

By Jake Halpern, Peter Kujawinski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Edgeland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The companion novel to the New York Times bestselling NIGHTFALL

Thousands of miles due south from the Polar North is is the island of Edgeland. Here, day and night last for 72 hours. And here is one of the natural wonders of this world: a whirlpool thirty miles wide and a hundred miles around. This is the Drain. Anything sucked into its frothing, turbulent waters is never seen again.

Wren has spent most of her life on Edgeland, watching people bring their dead to the island's famous bone houses to be blessed and prepared for the afterlife. There the dead…

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