The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Action Adventure - January 2006

Selected and annotated by Ata Claussen


Abrahams, Peter. Down the Rabbit Hole: An Echo Falls Mystery. Geringer/Harper Collins, 2005 Gr. 6-9
Thirteen-year-old Ingrid attempts to solve the mystery of who murdered crazy woman Katie, the woman who called a cab for Ingrid just before Katie was murdered.

Anderson, M. T. Whales on Stilts; illus. by Kurt Cyrus. Harcourt, 2005 Gr. 3-6
Ten-year-old Lily's father works for a mad scientist who plans on taking over the world with an army of whales on stilts wearing laser beams. Unfortunately, Lily's father doesn't realize anything is wrong, so Lily relies on her friends Jasper Dash and Katie Mulligan to help her.

Bateman, Colin. Running with the Reservoir Pups. Delacorte, 2005 Gr. 6-9
Twelve-year-old Eddie is loitering on the Belfast hospital grounds where his mother works when he gets blamed for scams run by a local youth gang. He is invited to join the gang, but first he has to break into the hospital to steal some codes. During the break-in, however, things go wrong and the adventure begins.

Boyce, Frank Cottrell. Millions. HarperCollins, 2004 Gr. 6-10
Fourth-grader Damien finds a bag full of large notes of pounds, but because of the European Monetary Union this money has to be exchanged or spent in only weeks. Damien and his older brother must find a way to use the money, all while the crooks that lost the money chase after them.

Cross, Gillian. The Dark Ground. Dutton, 2004 Gr. 6-10
Robert finds himself transformed, tiny, naked, and away from home in a strange forest. He is taken in by a colony of humans who teach him how to survive off of seeds and beetles. Although every winter, a number of the humans die of starvation, prompting Robert to question how he can help both himself and his new friends.

Fagan, Cary. The Fortress of Kaspar Snit. Tundra, 2004 Gr. 4-6
An evil genius plans to steal Rome's fountains, but one family has an amulet hidden in their fountain, giving them the ability to fly. They use this ability to battle the evil genius, Kaspar Snit.

Falcone, L. M. Walking with the Dead. Kids Can, 2005 Gr. 4-7
Twelve-year-old Alex's father is trying to reopen the family business- a museum of freakish curiosities. After a two thousand-year-old Greek corpse springs to life in the basement, Alex and his cousin travel to ancient Greece to help the corpse out.

Farmer, Nancy. The Sea of Trolls. Atheneum, 2004 Gr. 5-8
In an eighth-century Saxon village, eleven-year-old Jack had been chosen by the bard to become his apprentice when Jack and his sister Lucy are kidnapped by Viking raiders. Jack seizes a chance to travel to the land of the trolls where he may be able to save his sister and himself.

Funke, Cornelia. Inkheart; tr. from the German by Anthea Bell. Chicken House/Scholastic, 2003 Gr. 5-8
Twelve-year-old Meggie is at home with her father, Mo, a bookbinder, when someone arrives at the door looking for the mysterious book, Inkheart. Meggie and Mo flee to Meggie's Aunt Elinor's where Elinor switches volumes. Mo, however, is kidnapped, and the real book must be used for ransom.

Goobie, Beth. Flux. Orca, 2004 Gr. 8-12
Twelve-year-old Nellie used to live with her mother in the Interior, but they fled two years ago to the Outbacks. Unfortunately, Nellie's mother disappeared less than a year after that. Now, with children disappearing and the discovering of strange scars on Nellie's skull, Nellie must travel the levels between parallel realities to try to find out what's happening.

Grant, K. M. Blood Red Horse. Walker, 2005 Gr. 5-8
Two brothers go off to fight in the crusades with the horse Hosanna. Through plots and intrigue, the horse unites enemies in battle.

Hill, Elizabeth Starr. Wildfire!; illus. by Rob Shepperson. Farrar, 2004 Gr. 2-4
Ben lives in the Florida woods, but this year it is too dry to have Independence Day Fireworks. However, on a dare from a girl, Ben sets off a Rocket in the brush.

Hobbs, Will. Leaving Protection. HarperCollins, 2004 Gr. 5-9
Robbie is broke in Alaska, so he signs up with Tor Torsonto go fishing for the season and soon finds out that Tor has more than fishing planned.

Jones, Diana Wynne. Conrad's Fate. Greenwillow, 2005 Gr. 7-12
In an alternative universe, Conrad has been forced to leave school by his uncle and work as a domestic servant for aristocrats until he fulfills what uncle Alfred tells him is Conrad's karmic mission-killing someone-or else Conrad will die before the year is out.

McKernan, Victoria. Shackleton's Stowaway. Knopf, 2005 Gr. 6-10
When Shackleton sailed off in 1914, there was a stowaway on board. Eighteen-year-old Perce Blackborrow describes his Artic Adventure on the ship.

McNish, Cliff. The Silver Child. Carolrhoda, 2005 Gr. 5-8
Thomas has been sent to Coldharbour yet he does not know why--until he meets other children who have gone through transformations. Thomas must then use his own strength to keep another child, Milo, alive while they wait for Milo's new body to be completed.

Patterson, James. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment. Little, 2005 Gr. 6-10
Fourteen-year-old Max and the other kids in her "family" aren't ordinary kids at all-- they are the result of scientific experiments that have given them wings and the ability to fly. When one of the children is kidnapped, Max and the other kids must rescue her and try to figure out what is true and who to trust.

Paulsen, Gary. The Time Hackers. Lamb, 2005 Gr. 5-9
Twelve-year-old Dorso is used to Holograms of the past that don't do anything except briefly smell up his locker. But one day he sees General Custer, and this time, General Custer sees Dorso too. Dorso and his friend Frank find themselves traveling throughout time, trying to stay alive.

Reeve, Philip. Mortal Engines. EOS/HarperCollins, 2003 Gr. 7-10
All the great cities of the world are mobile, eating up the resources of smaller towns in order to get the fuel they constantly need. Tom Natsworthy is a fifteen-year-old Third Class Apprentice at the London Museum when he saves his boss from a strange girl who jumps into a waste chute to escape. After Tom's boss pushes him into the waste chute, Tom and the strange girl must become allies.

Reuter, Bjarne. The Ring of the Slave Prince; tr. from the Danish by Tiina Nunnally. Dutton, 2004 Gr. 5-10
When Tom discovers that he has been swindled, he takes off after the con man responsible, and in the process ends up as an overseer on a Jamaican sugarcane plantation. Tom becomes involved with both slaves and pirates in his quest.

Smith, Roland. Cryptid Hunters. Hyperion, 2005 Gr. 5-9
Thirteen-year-old twins Marty and Grace go to stay with their uncle after their parents disappear. Their uncle, interested in animal protection, must soon go to the Congo to stop an unethical scientist.

Spradlin, Michael P. Spy Goddess: Live and Let Shop. HarperCollins, 2005 Gr. 6-9
Fifteen-year-old Rachel is caught riding in a stolen car, so she is sent to Blackthorn Academy for a year. Rachel soon realizes that this is not a normal school and that her new headmaster is on the trail of thief-and headed into a trap.

Taylor, Theodore. Ice Drift. Harcourt, 2005 Gr. 5-8
Two Inuit brothers were stranded on an ice floe that drifted off to sea in 1868. After six months at sea and many perils they finally reach land and begin the journey home.

Torrey, Michele. Voyage of Ice. Knopf, 2004 Gr. 5-9
Nicholas and Dexter Robbins are quick to sign on the whaling ship, Sea Hawk. Unfortunately, the captain turns out to rougher than expected, as does life on the sea.

Watts, Leander. Ten Thousand Charms. Houghton, 2005 Gr. 5-7
After King Ivar's eleven-year-old daughter, Thea, is kidnapped by a shape shifter, the king rides after them with eleven-year-old rope apprentice Roddy as his companion.

Whitesel, Cheryl. Aylward Blue Fingers: A Ninja's Tale. Clarion, 2004 Gr. 5-8
In mid sixteenth century Japan, Koji runs away from his family after failing as a dyemaker's apprentice. He is then captured by a band of ninjas who wish to undermine Lord Udo and remove all European muskets from the land.

Wooding, Chris. The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray. Orchard/Scholastic, 2004 Gr. 8-12
Thaniel Fox is a seventeen-year-old wych-hunter, someone dedicated to ridding Victorian London of the wych-kin, those who kill and haunt. Alaizabel Cray is an amnesiac girl that seems to have been possessed and holds the key to stopping the wych-kin.

Wright, Randall. Hunchback. Holt, 2004 Gr. 5-8
Hodge is a hunchback who starts to deliver the prince's meals once the prince arrives at Castle Marlby. However, no one knows if the prince is under guard because he is in danger or because he is dangerous, and once the prince escapes, Hodge's loyalties become divided.

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