With all that is happening in the world today, sometimes kids really just need to curl up with a good, fun, adventure story. There’s a need for books that are just plain fun, and here are several recent offerings:
“Double Vision” (HarperCollins, 2012, Ages 8 and Up) by first-time novelist, F.T. Bradley, is about a 12-year-old who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. While on a field trip to a chicken farm, Linc ends up in so much trouble the farmer files a lawsuit. But then two government agents show up on Linc’s doorstep. They tell him he looks exactly like one of their kid agents who has gone missing in Paris. If Linc will go with these agents to Paris for the weekend, pose as the missing kid agent and deliver a package, they can make Linc’s trouble with the farmer go away. Linc, of course, goes to Paris. This is the first in what’s likely to be a popular series for tweens. It’s fun, fast-paced, and Linc is a great character to spend time with.
“The Adventures of a South Pole Pig” (Harcourt, 2013, Ages 9 and Up) written by Chris Kurtz and illustrated by Iowa City illustrator, Jennifer Reinhardt, is a hilarious story about a pig named Flora. Flora is a dreamer. She’s never been off the farm, but she longs for adventure. What could be more amazing than pulling a sled across the snow, being part of a team, being a sled pig? When she ends up on a ship bound for the Antarctic, she finds the adventure she’s been searching for.
“In a Glass Grimmly” (Dutton, 2012, Ages 10 and Up) written by Adam Gidwitz and illustrated by Hugh D’Andrade is a companion to their ALA Notable “A Tale Dark and Grimm” (Dutton, 2010, Ages 10 and Up). While Hansel and Gretel were the heroes of “A Tale Dark and Grimm,” their grandchildren, Jack and Jill, are the heroes of “In a Glass Grimmly.” With the help of a three-legged frog, Jack and Jill make their way through the land of Marchen and a variety of fairy tales to right an ancient wrong. The story is fun, funny, and contains elements that kids love: fantasy, adventure, giants, mermaids, blood and vomit. “In a Glass Grimmly” also appears on Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Books of 2012 list.
“Here Where the Sunbeams are Green” (Delcorte, 2012, Ages 10 and Up) is about a quirky dad who will go anywhere, including the remote jungles of Central America, to study birds. While he’s in Central America, Mad and her mother and sister receive a strange message from Dad. Is Dad in trouble? The only way to find out is to get on a plane and go to Lava Bird Volcano and look for Dad themselves.
— Dori Hillestad Butler is the author of many books for children, including the Edgar award winning series, “The Buddy Files,” which is about a school therapy dog who solves mysteries.