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...

Voyage to Magical North

By Claire Fayers,

Book cover of 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.

The books I picked & why

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The Train to Impossible Places: A Cursed Delivery

By P.G. Bell,

Book cover of The Train to Impossible Places: A Cursed Delivery

Why 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 Jennifer Bell,

Book cover of Wonderscape

Why 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.

Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Book cover of Treasure Island

Why 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.

Voyage of the Frostheart

By Jamie Littler,

Book cover of Voyage of the Frostheart

Why 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 Sf Said,

Book cover of Phoenix

Why 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.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Pirates, virtual reality, and piracy?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Pirates, virtual reality, and piracy.

Pirates Explore 53 books about Pirates
Virtual Reality Explore 19 books about virtual reality
Piracy Explore 91 books about piracy

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Daughter of the Pirate King, One Piece, and Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy if you like this list.