Fantasy and adventure stories know no age limit! That said, here are four of our new favorites, ranked by age recommendation so that the whole family can get in on the otherworldly action. Take a walk on the “what if” side—and take your kids, too!
Author: B.C.R. Fegan and illustrated by Lenny Wen
Best for ages: 2-6
Teachers have heard just about every excuse under the sun as to why the homework’s missing, but what if the letters just up and ran off? (No one could blame a kid for that one, right?) Author B.C.R. Fegan has teamed up again with illustrator Lenny Wen to bring this sweet—but not too sweet—picture book to life. Littles will have a blast finding all of the objects on each errant letter’s page … and you’ll enjoy the fact that even the most creative excuses don’t exempt kids from doing the darned work, anyway.
Author: Elaine Loeser and illustrated by Greg Arvanitakis
Best for ages: 3-10
Fans of whodunits will root for Miles and Fargo, two sweet—if under-appreciated—turtles who solve a crime through their NYC midrise apartment window. Chicagoan Loeser’s “ripped from the headlines” cred comes from her former career writing for “Law & Order,” and Arvanitakis’ comic book style makes for a quick, dialogue-heavy read. (Fun fact: Miles and Fargo, while not confirmed detectives, are real-life turtles who live with the author!)
Author: Trudi Trueit
Best for ages: 8-12
If your middle-grade readers are fans of a certain boy wizard who saves the world, then they’re going to flip for the kids who dive into the exclusive Explorer Academy. This book (the first of seven) is inspired by the real-life research and adventures of National Geographic explorers and features an utterly likable hero in 12-year-old surfer and whiz kid Cruz Coronado. The technology, the teamwork and, of course, a tantalizing mystery will have readers hooked (line and sinker) for the rest of what’s sure to be a wildly popular series.
Author: Gwendolyn Clare
Best for ages: 14 and up
Sci-fi and fantasy-loving teens are in for a treat. The Victorian-era, steampunk scriptologist Elsa is on a quest to save her mother Jumi after a power play abduction and not to mention, Jumi’s created world of Veldana and the people of Earth. Skilled with words and tinkered gadgets alike, Elsa is a fascinating yet flawed protagonist, and her tale, peppered with historical anecdotes and a crew of equally adept misfits, is impossible to put down. (Note to parents: Get your own copy.)
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