The best children’s books to send you on fantastic adventures

Who am I?

I grew up in a small Welsh town and I read to escape into other worlds. My love of myth and legend began when I came across a book of Greek myth in the library. I fell in love with the great voyages, the larger-than-life characters, the snake-haired monsters, and flying horses. I’ve been collecting legends ever since. I studied comparative literature at university, which included epic tales from all over the world and I was struck by how the same motifs come up again and again – quests, battles, magic. I love any story that takes you out of your everyday surroundings and into adventure.


I wrote...

Book cover of The Voyage to Magical North

What is my book about?

Abandoned as a child, Brine Seaborne has been keeping house for an irritable magician and his apprentice, Peter. Until the day she and Peter run away to sea, straight into the path of the legendary pirate ship The Onion.

Before you can say “pieces of eight” the pair are up to their necks in the pirates’ quest to find Magical North, a place so shrouded in secrets and myth that most people don’t even think it exists.  If Brine is lucky, she’ll finally find out who she is.  And if she’s unlucky, everyone on the ship will be eaten by sea monsters. It could really go either way.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Train to Impossible Places

Claire Fayers Why did I love this book?

This book takes you on an incredible adventure through a series of strange magical lands. It’s full of humour, imagination, and great characters – Lady Crepuscular is a particularly terrifying and memorable villain. I love the twists and turns in the plot and the friendships that develop between the crew of the Impossible Postal Express. If you like to laugh out loud while you’re reading, this book is for you.

By P.G. Bell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Train to Impossible Places as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

All aboard for the first journey in the bestselling Train to Impossible Places Adventures, with magic at every stop.

Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, the Branford Boase Award and the IBW Book Awards, with dazzling illustrations from Flavia Sorrentino, join Suzy on this magical adventure, where the journey will never, ever take you where you expect it to.

When Suzy hears a strange noise in the middle of the night, she creeps downstairs to find a train roaring through her house. But this is no ordinary train. This is the magical delivery express for The Union of Impossible…


Book cover of Wonderscape

Claire Fayers Why did I love this book?

This book combines time travel, computer games, and some very thorny puzzles as a group of friends are trapped in a virtual reality game from the future. This isn’t just a simple ‘solve the puzzles to get home’ story, though: there’s something darker going on behind the scenes and as more and more was revealed, I found myself dying to know what was happening. The story is fast-paced, great fun, and different from anything I’d read before.

By Jennifer Bell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wonderscape as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Gaming and time travel collide in this exhilarating middle-grade adventure, from bestselling author Jennifer Bell.

THE GAME IS ON. TRAVEL WITH WONDER.

When Arthur, Ren and Cecily investigate a mysterious explosion on their way to school, they find themselves trapped aboard The Principia - a scientific research ship sailing through hazardous waters, captained by one Isaac Newton.

Lost in the year 2473 in the Wonderscape, an epic in-reality adventure game, they must call on the help of some unlikely historical heroes, to play their way home before time runs out.

Jumanji meets Ready Player One in this fast-paced adventure featuring…


Book cover of Treasure Island

Claire Fayers Why did I love this book?

I used to be put off classic books thinking they’d be a bit old-fashioned, but Treasure Island is a tremendous tale. There are pirates, treasure, exciting fights and escapes, and every chapter ends on such a cliff-hanger that I had to keep reading to find out what happened next. And who can forget the character of Long John Silver – surely the most famous pirate in fiction.

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Treasure Island as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Penguin presents the audio CD edition of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Following the demise of bloodthirsty buccaneer Captain Flint, young Jim Hawkins finds himself with the key to a fortune. For he has discovered a map that will lead him to the fabled Treasure Island. But a host of villains, wild beasts and deadly savages stand between him and the stash of gold. Not to mention the most infamous pirate ever to sail the high seas . . .


Book cover of Voyage of the Frostheart

Claire Fayers Why did I love this book?

I was given this book as part of Christmas book exchange. My friend thought I’d love it, and she was right. It’s a pirate story at heart, but the action takes place on a frozen landscape and instead of a ship, the Frostheart is a sleigh. The characters are great, especially Ash and his Yeti friend. The pages are packed with danger, magic, and laughs. All my favourite things.

By Jamie Littler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Voyage of the Frostheart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

The whimsy of Nevermoor meets the mythical world-building of Neil Gaiman in this unlikely hero's quest to find his parents--and find the home he's always longed for.

In a snow-covered land where monsters rule the icy tundra, only song weavers hold the power to control these vicious giants. But for centuries song weavers have been the subject of suspicion--how can those who hold so much power be trusted?

Ever since his parents were lost on a pathfinding expedition, Ash has spent his life as an outcast. As a budding song weaver, his village marked him as a potential threat, even…


Book cover of Phoenix

Claire Fayers Why did I love this book?

This book took my breath away when I first read it. An adventure travelling across galaxies, weaving ancient mythology with aliens and spaceships and stars that may literally be singing. I have the hardback edition and the illustrations are stunning. Parts of the book have a graphic novel feel, with the illustrations picking up the storyline and taking it forward. It’s an unforgettable journey.

By Sf Said,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Phoenix as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A BOY WITH THE POWER OF A STAR . . .

Lucky thinks he's an ordinary Human boy. But one night, he dreams that the stars are singing to him, and wakes to find an uncontrollable power rising inside him.

Now he's on the run, racing through space, searching for answers. In a galaxy at war, where Humans and Aliens are deadly enemies, the only people who can help him are an Alien starship crew - and an Alien warrior girl, with neon needles in her hair . . .


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The City Sings Green & Other Poems About Welcoming Wildlife

By Erica Silverman, Ginnie Hsu (illustrator),

Book cover of The City Sings Green & Other Poems About Welcoming Wildlife

Erica Silverman Author Of Wake Up, City!

New book alert!

Who am I?

I am an award-winning author of picture books and early readers. I have set my stories in many kinds of locations, including a haunted house, an Eastern European shtetl, an English Renaissance village, and a working cattle ranch. For Wake Up, City, I turned to the setting I know best, the city. I drew on memories of walking to kindergarten in early morning Brooklyn. This book is my love song to cities everywhere. As a lifelong city dweller, I worry about the impact of urban spread on the planet, but I feel hopeful, too, because many cities are becoming more nature and wildlife-friendly. The books I'm excited to share celebrate city wildlife. 

Erica's book list on celebrating cities

What is my book about?

A unique and artful blend of poetry, science, and activism, this picture book shows how city dwellers can intervene so that nature can work her magic.

In Oslo, Norway: citizens create a honeybee highway that stretches from one side of the city to the other, offering flowerpots, resting spots, bee boxes, and beehives—even water fountains—every eight hundred feet.

In the Bronx, New York: a community rallies to clean their river and cheers at the return of the long-lost beaver population.

In Busselton, Australia: people make a rope bridge that swings high above speeding cars, creating a safe path for tree-hopping possums and squirrels alike.

Through a mix of lyrical poems, real-life success stories, and bouquet-bright artwork, The City Sings Green explores the environmental impact of humans and showcases the many ways that we can rewild cities across the globe. Together, we can welcome nature back!

The City Sings Green & Other Poems About Welcoming Wildlife

By Erica Silverman, Ginnie Hsu (illustrator),

What is this book about?

A unique and artful blend of poetry, science, and activism, this picture book shows how city dwellers can intervene so that nature can work her magic. Perfect for fans of The Curious Garden and Harlem Grown.

In Oslo, Norway: citizens create a honey-bee highway that stretches from one side of the city to the other, offering flowerpots, resting spots, bee boxes and beehives-even water fountains-every 800 feet.

In the Bronx, New York: a community rallies to clean their river and cheers at the return of the long-lost beaver population.

In Busselton, Australia: people make a rope bridge that swings high…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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