As the days get longer – but the weather is still cold – what better time than to curl up with a wonderful book that takes you on an adventure?  These books have different genres and are good for ages nine through adult.  However, some would be perfect to read out-loud and I will specify which books fit that description.

City Spies, by James Ponti, is the first book in a planned series.  This exciting detective mystery is rich with adventure and with an interesting and unique plot.  Sara is a hacker and just got caught!  But instead of going to a juvenile detention facility she ends up being offered a different place to use her abilities: a secret MI6 agency.  She meets four other kids at the agency that have unique abilities that help them in the world of espionage.  This terrific book is a page turner as you follow Sara into this new world where you won’t stop reading until the very end!

Lola Benko, Treasure Hunter, by Beth McMullen, is another fast-paced mystery.  In this story, Lola’s father has suddenly disappeared.  Her archeologist father was always searching for unusual items and Lola was able to accompany him on those quests.  But now that he’s missing, she wonders if it has to do with a mysterious stone he was studying that seemed to have strong mystical powers.  Lola and her friends go on a quest to find her father and the mysterious adventure begins.  This is the first book in a planned series.

Knock Out, by K. A. Holt, is a compelling realistic fiction showcasing a tween who was born with respiratory problems but eventually overcame them.  However, his family continues to treat him like he might break, and his classmates see him in a way that isn’t great either.  He feels like he is stuck until his dad suggests that he take up boxing.  He feels like he has found something he can succeed in, but his mom is completely opposed to this sport.  This amazing book, told in verse, will hold you all the way to the end.  The precise and minimal text propels a “knock-out” approach, making this book a winner all the way to the end.

The Mouse Watch, by J. J. Gilbert, is a thrilling adventure featuring a tiny mouse, Bernadette, who has been hoping to join “Mouse Watch”.  This rodent group features highly intelligent mice and rats who solve big problems by using very small, but highly inventive, gadgets to help save the world.  When Bernadette is selected, she finds herself wrapped up in the center of an evil plot.  Her one salvation is another rodent, a very smart rat, to help her and help Mouse Watch before all is dissolved.  What a terrific book, especially as a read-out loud!

My Life in the Fish Tank, by Barbara Dee, takes a deep dive into twelve-year-old Zinny and her family. Her older brother was recently diagnosed with a mental illness.  Her parents desire for Zinny, along with her other siblings, to keep this information private.  However, she feels like this “secret” is making her life very difficult at school – and with her best friends.  This realistic fiction deals with this difficult situation in a heart-felt way.  There is also humor found throughout the book helping lighten this touching story.  The complexities woven into the story are wonderfully well written.

The Beast and the Bethany, by Jack Meggitt-Phillips, and with marvelous drawings sprinkled throughout by Isabelle Follath, is a very unusual and very interesting story.  Ebenezer has been alive for five hundred and eleven years, yet he still looks like he’s in his prime.  How does he manage this?  He feeds the beast who lives in his attic!  The beast requires different assortments like cactus or statues of Churchill.  But the beast is growing greedier than ever and now requires a child.  Ebenezer must keep his youth even though this bothers him. So, he finds a very unlikeable child with a nasty temper: Bethany.  But the big surprise in the story is what happens when you meet Bethany.  Ebenezer is quite surprised as well.  Get ready for this page turner!

Delphine and the Silver Needle, by Alyssa Moon, is a magical adventure that begins in Cinderella’s castle. Delphine is a tiny mouse who sews beautiful dresses inside the walls of this great fortress.  But when she discovers a hidden secret she’s not sure what to do with this amazing information.  Thus begins an adventure of magic that will take Delphine, and you, way beyond the walls of her familiar home.  You will soon discover that this small mouse will become much bigger and greater than anyone might suspect.  This book would make a nice read-out loud.

The Way to Rio Luna, by Zoraida Cordova, is a fantasy adventure featuring Danny as he searches for his missing older sister, Pili.  He knows she didn’t run away from her foster home.  He knows she is waiting for him in Rio Luna, which is an enchanted land from their favorite fairytales.  But he can’t find her and is just about to give up when he locates a favorite fairytale book.  Inside this book is a map telling where Rio Luna can be found.  Now he must figure out how to leave his foster home and find his sister.  This is a fast-moving story that will keep you engaged to the very end!