December 16


Seeking Adventure for the New Year? Here’s Ten #mglit Books for 2018 Adventuring! by Caitlin Lore

When I was a kid, New Years always felt like the start of an adventure. I remember watching the clock closely as the countdown neared, wondering what sort of magic might sweep me away once it struck midnight. Watching the clock click over was like opening the wardrobe–there was so much waiting on the other side of midnight, and I often hoped the new year would pull me into grand, adventurous, quests.

To this day, I still love staying up all night just to feel an inkling of the adventures the year will bring. As each new year passes by, and more and more children’s books are published, I’m beginning to live out all of those adventures I had as a child, my inner explorer/pirate/detective/magician thriving on expeditions.

As we usher in 2018, explorations and quests just around the corner, here are ten middle grade books guaranteed to set any reader off on the adventure of a lifetime (or at least of the year!)


The Explorers: The Door in the Alley by Adrienne Kress (2017)

The Explorers, the tale of two unlikely friends, Sebastian and Evie, starts with a tiny pig in a hat and leads to a mysterious society and its secret past. The ongoing adventure and action around every corner will have readers constantly turning the pages.

Perfect for adventurers looking for: danger, thugs, missing persons, famous explorers, a lost map, or a quest to save family!


Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend (2017)

Cursed Morrigan Crow is doomed to die on her eleventh birthday. But as Eventide draws near, Morrigan is swept away to a secret, magical city full of Wunder. She enters the Trials, hoping to change her life, where readers are swept away into a whimsical and enchanting world.
Perfect for adventurers looking for a little bit of enchantment and the chance to conquer obstacles!


The Uncommoners: The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell (2016)

In this read, nothing is as it seems. Especially since Ivy Sparrow discovered Lundinor, a completely uncommon world where everyday objects have amazing powers. Travel via suitcase to this underground world where some sinister magic and unlikely friendships await!
Perfect for adventurers looking for clever world-building, and an unusual and exciting journey!



The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel (2014)


The longest and most glamourous locomotive ever built is headed out on its maiden voyage, but when Will Everett finds the key to the car holding a priceless treasure and also witnesses a murder, sinister villains come after him. It’s only in a traveling circus that he can lay in wait for the adventure ahead.

Perfect for adventurers looking for the thrill ride of a lifetime!


York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby (2017)

Twins Tess and Theo Biedermann thought they’d always live in the Morningstar apartments, until some stuffy real-estate agent swipes it from underneath their family. Now, they’ve only days to crack the infamous Old York Cipher and solve the greatest mystery in the modern world.  Set in a familiar and unexpected New York, twists await around every page turn.

Perfect for adventurers looking to uncover hidden secrets, ciphers, and long lost treasure.


The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers (2016)

Both Brine and Peter,  two young fugitives, barely escape their master before being captured by pirates. Little do they know it’s only the first step in an epic quest to find the Magical North, a place shrouded in secrets, myth, and perhaps even treasure.

Perfect for adventurers who daydream about running away to a pirate ship!


The Star Thief  by Lindsey Becker (2017)

Life is fairly normal for Honorine, that is until strangers show up at the Vidalia Estate looking for a particular book, and she’s swept away with them into a world where constellations come alive! Filled with themes of friendships, revenge, and the fight for survival, this fast-paced fantasy will leave readers wanting more!

Perfect for adventurers who constantly find themselves stargazing, wishing they could dance live among the stars!



The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal (2016)


Thirteen year old Jack Ruckles has always been good at finding the things people lose, except when it matters such as with the disappearance of his father. Turns out it’s hard to find someone when they aren’t what you expected, especially if said person is a member of a secret service of detectives serving the Crown. Now, Jack must step into his inheritance in order to save his Father.  

Perfect for adventurers longing to discover secret societies, solve a mystery, and travel through history.


Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson (2017)

The year is 2213 and the solar system as we know it is dying. Liam and Phoebe should be on the last shuttle off of Mars, but when new discoveries and obstacles get in their way, it’s up to the two of them to save the future of humanity before it goes extinct. A thrilling start to a new series that has just enough what-ifs to terrify you.

Perfect for adventurers who have always wanted to travel to the outer edges of the galaxy!


The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman (2017)

The day Japan Bombs Pearl Harbor, Madge, Joe, Kiku, and Walt surprisingly end up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they stumble upon a curator seeking four brave souls to track down the Kelmsbury manuscript and stop a world war. When they jump into the quest, they have no idea how much magic–and legend–will change them.

Perfect for adventurers who enjoy getting lost in time.

Bonus adventure!  The Adventurers Guild by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos (2017)

Not many volunteer for the Adventurers Guild considering their members die young, but when fate leads friends Zed and Brock to the ranks, they realize there’s much more to their world than they can see, including dangers far beyond their reach.


If you’re a brave adventurer willing to risk it all, this might be your best adventure yet!


Caitlin Lore is a former 6-8 ELA teacher turned high school English teacher, who writes novels, loves to get lost in story, and teaches yoga in her free time. Find her at as well as on Instagram/Twitter as @caitlin_lore & also as @MsLReads where she shares and reviews books.