An image showing a selection of adventure stories for 9-12 year olds on a bright yellow background with orange doodles that include a hashtag, flag, danger sign and speech bubble

Image: Flynn Shore/Penguin

Frankie Best Hates Quests by Chris Smith & Kenneth Anderson (2022)

Frankie Best likes watching YouTube and eating Pot Noodles. She doesn’t like being forced to embark on mega-dangerous quests. Nope, no thank you. But that’s exactly what she has to do when what was supposed to be a quiet weekend at her Grandad’s house turns into an epic rescue mission. It’s down to Frankie and her brother Joel to save their Grandad when he is kidnapped by gnoblins (yes, gnoblins!). The pair head off to a magical realm where they encounter creatures, terrifying enemies, and worst of all – no Wi-Fi!

Eternity Engine by Struan Murray & Manuel Sumberac (2022)

This is the final breath-taking instalment in the hugely successful Orphans of the Tide trilogy. Ellie Lancaster and her orphan friends have a huge challenge ahead of them. Now that the seas have parted to open a path from Shipwreck Island to the Enemy’s City, the crew are the only ones who can prevent a terrible war. As Kate leads her army north, panic begins in the City as the Enemy appears to grow stronger. The parting of the seas has uncovered the Eternity Engine – a dreadful machine from before the Drowning. Will the machine use its power to remake the world, or will it destroy it, and everyone who lives there, forever? Perfect reading for fans of His Dark Materials or Vashti Hardy.

The Soul Prophecy by Chris Bradford (2022)

This is the second title in Chris Bradford’s popular The Soul Series and it’s guaranteed to have young readers hooked. When Genna’s parents are killed, the police conclude it was a burglary gone wrong, but Genna knows the real truth. She is convinced the Soul Hunters are back and knows her only option is to flee. She travels to America to find Phoenix, the only person who can protect her, or that’s what she believes. As she begins her search for her Soul Protector, Genna meets other First Ascendants and Soul Warriors who must protect the Light. But Genna hasn’t managed to evade the Hunters and before long she finds herself face-to-face with their leader. Can she defeat Tanas who is hungry for her soul? Is there really any way to survive when evil never dies?

The Midnighters by Hana Tooke & Ayesha L. Rubio (2022)

Ema Vašková has never felt like she fits in, even with her own family. While they are all famous scientists, she seems to have been born with some extraordinary powers, including the ability to predict events before they happen. But with this power, also comes a fear – a fear of shadows… When Ema is sent to stay with her uncle in Prague she meets a girl called Silvie who helps her realise how special she really is. The pair are soon embarking on secret midnight adventures. But when Silvie suddenly goes missing it’s down to Ema to find her. Has she got the courage to face her fear and solve the one clue Silvie left as to where she could be? And what is inside the mysterious Midnight Guild?

High Rhulain by Brian Jacques (2005)

This is the eighteenth book in Brian Jacques' beloved Redwall saga which is coming to the small screen in a Netflix movie soon. Tiria Wildlough is an otter maid who has been touched by the paw of Destiny. This book follows her as she ventures from Redwall Abbey, across the wild Western Sea to the mysterious Green Isle – the rightful home of the Otterclans. But when she arrives, she finds that Green Isle has been besieged by Wildcat warlord Riggu Felis and his murderous catguard slave masters. Tiria joins forces with the outlaw Leatho Shellhound and his Otterclan to continue her quest to become the warrior queen of Green Isle – the true High Rhulain!

The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green (2013)

This is the classic tale about the legendary outlaw who steals from the rich to help the poor. Joined by his Merry Men in Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood finds himself in all kinds of scrapes as he tries to outwit the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham. But can he also evade the evil and greedy King John and his henchmen who are never far behind?

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan (2021)

Rick Riordan, the creator of Percy Jackson, is on fine form in this fast-paced undersea adventure that follows Ana Dakkar, a student at Harding-Pencroft Academy. Ana’s school trains the best marine scientists, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. When she is sent on the sea trials which mark the end of her first year, she makes some huge discoveries. Ana and her friends witness a terrible tragedy and learn that their school has been in a deadly battle with their rival school, Land Institute, for over 150 years. Will life ever be the same again?

Frostheart: Rise of The World Eater by Jamie Littler (2021)

This bestselling trilogy concludes with another icy tale of bravery, loyalty, and friendship. Ash is faced with his greatest challenge when the evil Wraith leader Shaard frees the dreaded Devourer. Can he unite the people of the Snow Sea to defeat the monster and protect the stronghold of Aurora? Ash and the crew of the Frostheart are forced to voyage to the yeti lands, where humans are forbidden, in search of the one weakness which may prove the Devourer’s undoing.

Pony by R. J. Palacio (2021)

The author of the award-winning Wonder is back with this incredible story about courage, love, and family. When Silas Bird’s father is taken away by three strangers in the night, he is left terrified and alone. Alone, except for his companion, a ghost called Mittenwool. When a mysterious Pony arrives at his home, Silas knows what he must do. Join Silas as he embarks on a perilous journey of discovery to find his father and much, much more.

Brother Wulf: Wulf's Bane by Joseph Delaney (2021)

This is the next adventure in the thrilling A Spook’s Apprentice fantasy series. Wulf has left behind his life in the monastery and is now an apprentice to Spook Johnson who is tasked with protecting the Country. But Wulf’s main role seems to be acting as bait to the dangerous figures who inhabit the darkness. Wulf is captured by a giant called Hrothgar who can conjure subservient creatures from his imagination. He believes Wulf has the same magical power. As Wulf reluctantly begins to train with his new master, he discovers there is mortal danger in the Country. Wulf’s friends Tom and Alice have been captured by an all-powerful witch and her brain-sucking minions. Can he, along with their daughter Tilda, rescue them from Circe’s enchanted lair before it’s too late?

The Secret Dragon by Ed Clarke (2019)

Despite being only 11 years old, Mari Jones is certain that she will be a scientist when she grows up. And so she can't believe it when she makes a discovery that will change everything; a baby dragon on the beach! As any good scientist would, Mari knows she needs to conduct a thorough study on the fascinating creature. However, this little dragon doesn't want to be studied... This enchanting adventure was shortlisted for the 2020 Tir na n-Og Awards.

George and the Blue Moon by Lucy Hawking & Stephen Hawking (2017)

Space-obsessed George and his best friend Annie have been selected as junior astronauts and sent off to be trained up for a trip to Mars. It’s their dream come true. Except things aren’t quite what they seem at space camp – strange things keep happening, and astronaut training is pretty scary. Co-authored by Lucy Hawking and her father, scientist Stephen Hawking, the George series also features up-to-the-minute facts and exciting scientific discoveries.

The Smoking Hourglass by Jennifer Bell & Karl James Mountford (2017)

An incredible city, hidden miles below London, with an uncommonly magical market full of uncommonly magical goods – that’s the Lundinor. Ivy Sparrow and her brother Seb discovered it in the first of Jennifer Bell’s Uncommoners trilogy. In The Smoking Hourglass, the second book in the series, Ivy and Seb are back, but things have changed. Something dark is stirring in the spaces between the Lundinor’s enchanted shops, and the traders are uneasy. Can Ivy and Seb, together with their extraordinary friend Valian, put a stop to it?

The Forever Court by Dave Rudden (2017)

Orphan Denizen Hardwick is getting used to being part of The Order of the Borrowed Dark, a society sworn to protect the Earth from a multitude of otherworldly monsters – although having to contain the new powers he’s been given by Mercy, daughter of the Endless King, is a bit of a struggle. But those powers are about to become pretty important, as the Tenebrous are stirring and there are other threats looming in this second instalment of the Knights of the Borrowed Dark trilogy.

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett & Laura Ellen Andersen (2003)

Illustrated by Laura Ellen Andersen, the first book in Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series introduces the unforgettable Tiffany. She’s the 20th granddaughter of shepherdess extraordinaire and protector of the land, Granny Aching, and she wants to be a witch. The only thing standing in her way is her name – it’s not very witch-like. Still, with a horde of fairies at her disposal and a brother to save from the nightmares, she’s going to give it a go.

The Young Magicians and the Thieves’ Almanac by Nick Mohammed (2017)

Hidden behind an unassuming blue door, the Magic Circle is a conjuring club of international fame. Four young magicians – Alex, Zack, Sophie, and Jonny – are about to set foot inside. Secret books, seemingly impossible crimes, and confused pigeons await, but with a combined magical talent that includes hypnosis, card tricks, scientific know-how, and the ability to pick a pocket (and put things right back), the four friends are well equipped to deal with whatever the Magic Circle is about to throw at them.

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