6 books for primary-aged kids that take you on a journey

A compass lying on a map


This month we sent our subscribers two fantastic books that vividly evoke the thrill and adventure we experience when we take a journey. Both our Parakeet and Cockatoo picks for August are books that revolve around an expedition or voyage, albeit it on very different scales and in very different, but equally exceptional, landscapes. Both stories depict journeys of discovery and courage. They explore what it means to push boundaries and to understand your sense of self, what it means to belong and what you are capable of.

Inspired by these remarkable books, we’ve put together a list of six more middle grade titles that take us on a journey, all of which we think make great book club reading for kids – and of course are perfect summer holiday reading, too!

For 5 to 8-year olds

The Travels of Ermine: Trouble in New York

The Travels of Ermine: Trouble in New York by Jennifer Gray

This is the first volume in a new series in which Ermine, a charming and very determined young stoat, sets off to explore the world. In this first book she travels to New York where her suitcase is mistakenly switched and she finds herself in the middle of the mystery of a missing diamond… Beautifully illustrated by Elisa Paganelli, these books are perfect for inspiring a love of travel and adventure.

Oliver and the Seawigs

Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

This gorgeous nautical fantasy book has long been a firm favourite in our household. Along with his new friends, a grumpy old albatross, a short-sighted mermaid, and a friendly island called Cliff, Oliver goes off in search of his missing explorer parents. But before he can put his rescue plan into action there's the evil Stacey de Lacey and an army of greasy, green sea monkeys to contend with.

The Incredible Dadventure

The Incredible Dadventure by Dave Lowe

This lovely book shows you that you don’t have to travel very far to have an epic adventure. Holly's dad is an explorer, having amazing adventures all over the world, while Holly is stuck at home with her mum, her baby brother and the dog. Now Dad's on a new expedition and he'll miss her tenth birthday. She's not happy - until she finds out that he's planned a special treasure hunt, just for her. Maybe life at home isn't quite so boring after all.

For 8 to 11-year olds

Warrior Boy

Warrior Boy by Virginia Clay

Perfect for anyone who has ever dreamed of visiting Africa, this inspiring book tells the story of Ben, who travels from London to his father's homeland of Kenya. Ben is terrified he won't be accepted by his estranged Maasai family. In a stunning, atmospheric adventure, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery as he sets out to claim his true place in the world.

The Explorer

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

This wonderful tale of adventure, mystery and survival is set in the Amazon jungle. Fred has always dreamed of becoming an explorer and of making history. When the plane he is travelling in crashes into the jungle, he and the three other children on board must overcome a terrifying situation in an untamed landscape to find their way home. Their chances seem slim … except, it seems, someone has been there before them.

The House with Chicken Legs

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

This beautifully told fantasy story, inspired by Russian folklore, explores what home really is and what it means to belong, to our families, to a community, to the world we live in. Marinka dreams of a normal life, where her house stays in one place long enough for her to make friends. But her house has chicken legs and moves on without warning…

Want a carefully chosen new children's book and accompanying activity pack delivered to you each month? Find out more about our book subscriptions here.


Children's book news straight to your inbox

Sign-up now