The best books to send your kid on an unforgettable adventure

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer, I strive to create stories that I wish I had found on shelves when I was younger. In that same way, every title on this list not only brings new ways to find adventures through reading, but will hopefully leave young readers with new skills to face the world around them. We often think just cause a story has fantastical elements that it makes them detached from reality, but give any of these a read and you'll find, the farther it is from real life, the brighter the common themes we all share shine through.

I co-wrote...

The Cardboard Kingdom

By Chad Sell,

Book cover of The Cardboard Kingdom

What is my book about?

Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters--and their own inner demons--on one last quest before school starts again.

In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be--imagine that!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Star Knights

Barbara Perez Marquez Why did I love this book?

For any kids that are looking for their next space adventure. Davault's art style is welcoming and the story is a delight. I found Star Knights to hit that string of what it means to stand for our friends and how, as a kid, I too was looking for ways to connect with others. 

By Kay Davault,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A simple frog who wants to become a legendary knight finds himself on a magical journey. From the comic artist behind Oddity Woods comes a fantasy graphic novel with a lot of heart, adventure, and hijinks!

What makes a hero?

Brave Star Knights are heroes who go on adventures. But Tad is just a frog, and frogs can’t save the day. Can they? Determined to out-hop his mud-dweller fate and pursue his dream of being a knight, Tad finds himself on a quest with a surprise group of adventurers, including the Star King!

It’s a race against time as Tad…

Book cover of The Legend of Brightblade

Barbara Perez Marquez Why did I love this book?

As an avid tabletop roleplay games player, Aldridge's latest book was a no-brainer to add to my own shelves. This great story explores found family, while following a group of young bards looking to make their mark in the world. Give this to any kid that likes music, fantasy, or just needs an idea to start their own band with their friends.

By Ethan M. Aldridge,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Legend of Brightblade 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?

A young prince must learn to be his own kind of hero in this stand-alone graphic novel from the acclaimed creator of the Estranged duology. Perfect for fans of the Amulet series and The Witch Boy.

Young Prince Alto dreams of being a hero like his mother, the Lady Brightblade. Her well-known legend was woven into stories by the magical bard who fought by her side.

The kingdom may be at peace now, but Alto believes that the world still needs heroes. He has been learning the bard's magic, and has grown restless with royal life. Determined to have an…

Book cover of Another Kind

Barbara Perez Marquez Why did I love this book?

Got a kid with a want for the supernatural? May and Bream's heartfelt approach to cryptids and the supernatural make a perfect mix to carry this compelling and page-turning book. Perfect to share among friend groups and explore what it is to belong and how we can all help each other even past our differences.

By Cait May, Trevor Bream,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Another Kind 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?

Six kids search for a new place to call home in this middle grade graphic novel debut by comic creators Cait May and Trevor Bream, for fans of Marvel's Runaways and The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag. Another Kind is not your average monster story.

Tucked away in a government facility nicknamed the Playroom, six not-quite-human kids learn to control their strange and unpredictable abilities. Life is good-or safe, at least-hidden from the prying eyes of a judgmental world.

That is, until a security breach forces them out of their home and into the path of the Collector, a…

Book cover of Agents of S.L.A.M.

Barbara Perez Marquez Why did I love this book?

If you got any wrestling fans or superhero fans in your life, this is for them. Scheidt, McMahon, and Black created an awesome story about standing up for what is right, even if it means standing up to our role models. I love a book with good humor that has an even better message!

By Dave Scheidt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Agents of S.L.A.M. 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?

DING DING DING! Enter the wrestling ring in this all-new graphic novel from Wrapped Up creators Dave Scheidt and Scoot McMahon!

The Agents of S.L.A.M. aren’t your average professional wrestlers. They’re led by the fearless and famous Bruno Bravado and work for the president of the United States to protect people from all kinds of threats—both on Earth and in space! And they’ve just been joined by their newest recruit, Katie Jones, a twelve-year-old wrestling vlogger who just might know more about wrestling than the wrestlers themselves. S.L.A.M. will need Katie’s knowledge and skills if they’re going to keep protecting…

Book cover of Shy Ninja

Barbara Perez Marquez Why did I love this book?

Not just a great adventure book, but also an inspiration for any creative kids in your life! The concept was initiated by a daughter/dad team and even beyond the awesome ninja tricks, any readers will find a heartfelt story about finding one's voice and navigating anxiety.

By Adara Sanchez, Ricardo Sanchez, Arianna Florean (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Written by father and daughter duo Riacardo and Adara Sanchez, Shy Ninja is a heart warming tale of a young girl who finds her inner potential while combating the realities of a social anxiety disorder.

When a shy adolescent girl enrolls at a local School for Ninjas on a lark, she discovers she may actually be the heir to an ancient prophecy that will return the Ninja to prominence-if she can conquer her fears.

Young Rena suffers from social anxiety disorder. It keeps her from engaging at school, from hanging out with her best friend in person, or participating in…

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Brigitta of the White Forest

By Danika Dinsmore,

Book cover of Brigitta of the White Forest

Danika Dinsmore Author Of Brigitta of the White Forest

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Teacher Poet Tree whisperer Bird lover World builder

Danika's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

For those who enjoy fantasy adventure, the Faerie Tales from the White Forest series offers a new twist on the traditional faerie tales so loved by young readers.

From devastating curses to death-defying quests, Brigitta and her growing collective of misfit friends face greater and greater challenges when destiny calls upon them to “make the balance right again” after the Great World Cry has left their world in elemental chaos.

Brigitta of the White Forest

By Danika Dinsmore,

What is this book about?

Briggy, what happens when the Hourglass runs out?

Brigitta wished she had paid more attention to her Auntie Ferna's lessons. Being able to string a thunder-bug symphony wasn't going to help them now. She didn't know exactly what would happen when the Hourglass ran out, since no living faerie knew a time when the Hourglass didn't protect the forest . . . But even though she couldn't remember the details, she did know that without the Hourglass there would be no White Forest . . . A charming middle-grade fantasy series, "Faerie Tales from the White Forest" watches the journey…

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Interested in knights, wizards, and spies?

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