Adventure and Sports

Longing for thrills and excitement? Want to take a great escape? These books can lead the way. As part of the its Lifelong Literacy campaign, the Library of Congress invites you to brave the wild, sail uncharted courses and explore new worlds and places.

“Hoot” by Carl Hiaasen
Unfortunately, Roy’s first acquaintance in Florida is Dana Matherson, a well-known bully. Then again, if Dana hadn’t been sinking his thumbs into Roy’s temples and mashing his face against the school-bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is intriguing: he was running away from the school bus, carried no books and wore no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy’s trail.

  • Newbery Honor Book (2003)

“A Dog's Life” by Ann M. Martin
In this "autobiography" of a dog named Squirrel, a stray separated from its family in puppyhood finds its way in the world.

  • KIND Children’s Book Award (Humane Society of the United States) (2007)

“Call It Courage” by Armstrong Sperry
Ever since his mother was killed in a hurricane, Mafatu, the son of the Great Chief of the people of Hikueru, an island in the southern Pacific Ocean, has feared that Moana, the Sea God, would kill him, too. Tired of being called a coward and saddened by the shame he has brought his father, 12-year-old Mafatu decides to face and conquer Moana on his own.

“Fortune's Journey” by Bruce Coville
In 1853, 16-year-old Fortune Plunkett is leading her late father's six-person itinerant acting troupe westward in hopes of building a permanent theater in San Francisco. Along the way, the group picks up another player, Jamie, a handsome young fellow who strikes Fortune’s fancy. As their wagon rolls along-often, the heroine finds herself torn between her growing affection for Jamie and her long-standing attraction to another actor in her group. Before reaching their destination, the players endure some harrowing, convincingly relayed moments.

“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 his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother has given him as a present. But now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity or despair—it will take all his know-how, determination and courage to survive.

“Moccasin Trail” by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
A pioneer boy, brought up by Crow Indians, is reunited with his family and attempts to orient himself in the white man's culture.

  • Newbery Honor Book (1953)

“The Sign of the Beaver” by Elizabeth George Speare
Twelve-year-old Matt is left on his own in the Maine wilderness while his father leaves to bring the rest of the family to their new settlement. When he befriends Attean, an Indian chief’s grandson, he is invited to join the Beaver tribe and move north. Should Matt abandon his hopes of ever seeing his family again and go on to a new life?

  • Newbery Honor Bok (1984)

“Stop the Train!” By Geraldine McCaughrean
In 1893, Oklahoma's northwest is opened up to settlers by government decree, and Cissy Sissney and her family rush to join the tens of thousands of land runners intent on staking a new claim to their future. The Sissneys and two dozen other folk are the first settlers to arrive at the map-born town of Florence—nothing but an empty space waiting to be filled. To their dismay, the president of Red Rock Railroad Company threatens to strand the settlers unless they sell their claims.

  • Nestlé Smarties Bronze Award (2002)

“Baby-Sitters Club” (series) by Ann M. Martin
This series is about a group of middle school students living in the fictional town of Stoneybrook, Conn. They run a business called The Baby-Sitters Club, in which parents call during their club meetings and schedule a babysitter for a certain day/time. The club runs financially on dues and fundraising, and the babysitters write diaries of their jobs to help each other. The members of the club are also best friends, although they go through many conflicts throughout the series.

“The Castaways” (series) by Brian Jacques
A young boy, Nebuchadnezzar and his dog, Denmark are the lone survivors of the infamous Flying Dutchman, fated to wander the earth forever immortal and youthful, helping those who need aid.

“Dear America” (series) by various authors
“Dear America” is a series of historical novels for older children published by Scholastic Press between 1996 and 2004. Each book is written in the form of the diary of a fictional young woman living during an important event or time period in American history.

  • Jefferson Cup Award from the Virginia Library Association (1996)

“Don't You Know There's a War On?” by Avi
In 1943, Howie Crisper’s pop is in the merchant marines, dodging Nazi U-boat wolf packs on the brutal North Atlantic sea. Denny, Howie's best friend, has a father in the Eighth Army, battling Nazi general Rommel in North Africa. During the week, Howie and Denny depend on Miss Rolanda Gossim, their teacher. She occupies the boys' fantasies and makes the war bearable for Class Five-B at Brooklyn's P.S. 8. When Howie discovers she's about to be fired, he needs to find out why, and—with the help of Denny and the rest of their class—he makes plans to keep her on the job.

“Geronimo Stilton” (series) by Geronimo Stilton
In the series, the title character is a talking mouse who lives in New Mouse City on Mouse Island. A best-selling author, Geronimo Stilton works as a journalist for the fictional newspaper The Rodent's Gazette. Geronimo is a nervous, mild-mannered mouse who would like nothing better than to live a quiet life, but he keeps getting involved in far-away adventures with his family.

“Kidnapped” (series) by Gordon Korman
Where is Meg Falconer? Everybody wants to know. Her brother Aiden, who saw her kidnapped and is now trying to track her down, wants to know. The FBI, led by the very serious Agent Harris, wants to know. Her parents, who fear their pasts have something to do with why Meg was taken, want to know.

“Land of Elyon” (series) by Patrick Carman
The trilogy follows Alexa Daley, a 12-year-old child living in the fictional Land of Elyon. Every summer, Alexa comes to the city of Bridewell with her father and visits Renny Lodge. However, this summer was different. The famous architect Thomas Warvold is killed, and Alexa follows a mysterious short man called Yipes, who leads her to the Dark Hills, where dangers are on the loose. The Land of Elyon is in danger of being destroyed, and Alexa is destined to save it.

  • Lamplighter Award (2007)

“Main Street” (series) by Ann M. Martin
When Flora and Ruby Northrop’s parents died in a car accident, they were sent to live with their grandmother, Min, in Camden Falls, Mass. It’s a strange place—where new friendships and new adventures are found around every corner.

“Matt Christopher Sports Stories” (series) by Matt Christopher
More than 100 books make up the sports fiction series based on Matt Christopher’s own life experiences playing baseball, football and soccer as a teen.

“The Penderwicks” by Jeanne Birdsall
This summer, the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. The best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures. The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. One thing’s for sure, it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.

  • National Book Award (2005)

“The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo
Despereaux Tilling is a mouse who loves music, stories and a princess named Pea. Roscuro the rat lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. Miggery Sow is a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle and, ultimately, into each other’s lives.