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Kidnapping: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about kidnapping?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to kidnapping. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about kidnapping.

Our list includes chapter books. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about kidnapping, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Power Play to popular sellers like The Golden Compass to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Templeton Twins Have An Idea.

We hope this list of kids books about kidnapping can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Top 10 Books About Kidnapping

#1
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The Templeton Twins Have An Idea
Written by Ellis Weiner & illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let’s say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic crosswords. Now suppose their father was a brilliant, if sometime confused, inventor. And suppose that another set of twins—adults—named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, kidnapped the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog in order to get their father to turn over one of his genius (sort of) inventions. Yes, kidnapped. Wouldn’t it be fun to read about that? Oh please. It would so. Now in paperback, this is just the first in a series perfect for boys and girls who are smart, clever, and funny (just like the twins), and enjoy reading adventurous stories (who doesn’t?!). And now, there’s more!

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#2
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Basil of Baker Street
Written by Eve Titus & illustrated by Paul Galdone
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Named one of “13 Detective Book Series You Obsessed over as a Kid” by Buzzfeed.com and the inspiration for a hit Disney film, the masterful Great Mouse Detective series is now available to a whole new generation of readers!

Basil—the famous sleuth of mousedom—lives in the cellar of Sherlock Holmes’s house. A devoted admirer of the great detective, he has learned his craft by listening at the feet of Holmes himself. But will it be enough to help Basil solve his most baffling mystery yet?

The Mystery of the Missing Twins is one of the strangest cases in Basil’s career. With only a few crumbs of clues with which to find answers, how is he ever going to figure out where Angela and Agatha are being kept—and, of course, who mouse-napped them! Will Basil’s mouse sleuthing skills be up to the task of finding the twins before it’s too late?

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#3
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The Great Shelby Holmes
Written by Elizabeth Eulberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Sherlock Holmes gets a fun, sweet twist with two irresistible young heroes and black & white illustrations throughout, in this middle grade debut from internationally bestselling YA author Elizabeth Eulberg.

Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen–always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes.

When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. The easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that’ll take both their talents to crack.

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#4
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Nadya Skylung and the Masked Kidnapper
Written by Jeff Seymour & illustrated by Brett Helquist
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nadya Skylung paid a high price when she defeated the pirates on the cloudship Remora- She lost her leg. But has she lost her nerve too? When Nadya and the rest of the crew of the cloudship Orion reach the port of Far Agondy, they have a lot to do, including a visit to Machinist Gossner’s workshop to have a prosthetic made for Nadya. But though the pirates are far away across the Cloud Sea, Nadya and her friends are still not safe. A gang leader called Silvermask is kidnapping skylung and cloudling children in Far Agondy. When Nadya’s friend Aaron is abducted, Nayda will stop at nothing to save him and the other missing kids, and put a stop to Silvermask once and for all.

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#5
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Tristan Strong Destroys the World
Written by Kwame Mbalia
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Bestselling author Rick Riordan presents the second book in the New York Times best-selling and award-winning Tristan Strong trilogy by Kwame Mbalia.
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#6
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The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo!
Written by Stephen Bramucci & illustrated by Arree Chung
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Indiana Jones meets Lemony Snicket in this hilarious new series–fully illustrated by picture book talent Arree Chung–that’s a must-have for all aspiring adventurers. “The ride of a lifetime.” –Matt de la Peña, Newbery Award-winning author Ronald Zupan is a daring master adventurer! But he actually hasn’t experienced any grand adventures . . . YET! When his world-traveling parents are kidnapped on his twelfth birthday, Ronald seizes the chance to prove himself with a dazzling, danger-defying rescue operation. Teaming up with his trusty butler Jeeves, his quick-witted fencing nemesis Julianne Sato, and his pet cobra Carter, Ronald sets course for the jungle of Borneo where his parents were last sighted. If they can crash-land a plane and outrun a hungry snow leopard, surely they can find the secret lair of Zeetan Z, the world’s most ruthless pirate! But as their adventure becomes more and more dangerous, can Ronald and his companions muster enough courage to see this adventure through?

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#7
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Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery
Written by R. A. Spratt & illustrated by Phil Gosier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The mystery hits close to home when Friday learns her mother has been kidnapped. But she’s distracted by other happenings at school: a new VIP student (a Norwegian princess!) has just arrived and a master thief called the Pimpernel is causing chaos across campus. Can Friday crack the case of her missing mother, reign in a royal brat, and unmask the elusive Pimpernel?

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#8
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Addison Cooke and the Tomb of the Khan
Written by Jonathan W. Stokes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"Addison Cooke is Indiana Jones and James Bond rolled into one for the middle-grades set."--Booklist

Addison Cooke's second laugh-out-loud adventure--a journey through Asia in pursuit of the legendary tomb of Genghis Khan!

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#9
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Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince
Written by Liz Kessler & illustrated by Erin Farley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Emily Windsnap ends up surrounded by pirates – and on a life-changing adventure – in the eighth installment of the New York Times best-selling series. Traveling home by cruise ship should be a relaxing break after Emily’s latest adventure, but things take a turn when the ship is overtaken by a pirate king and his crew. After the pirates collect everyone’s riches, they steal something even more valuable: Aaron. The pirate king’s eldest son takes Aaron captive, forcing him to help guide the pirates to the mythical Trident’s Treasure. So Emily dives into action and joins the younger son’s crew in hopes of saving Aaron. But while experiencing life on the waves, Emily is surprised to find herself not only enjoying the pirate life, but actually bonding with the crew – especially Sam, the pirate king’s son. Between helping Sam unravel riddles to beat his brother to the treasure and making sure that her friends are safe, Emily realizes that she needs to be true to herself. Will she cast aside her mermaid life to join her new friends, or will she find a way to follow her own path?

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#10
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When the Sea Turned to Silver
Written by Grace Lin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
This breathtaking, full-color illustrated fantasy is inspired by Chinese folklore, and is a companion to the Newbery Honor winner Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.
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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Kidnapping and...

Books About Kidnapping and Friendship

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The Great Shelby Holmes
Written by Elizabeth Eulberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Sherlock Holmes gets a fun, sweet twist with two irresistible young heroes and black & white illustrations throughout, in this middle grade debut from internationally bestselling YA author Elizabeth Eulberg.

Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen–always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes.

When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. The easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that’ll take both their talents to crack.

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Add to list
Tristan Strong Destroys the World
Written by Kwame Mbalia
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Bestselling author Rick Riordan presents the second book in the New York Times best-selling and award-winning Tristan Strong trilogy by Kwame Mbalia.
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Dog-Gone Danger
Written & illustrated by Linda Joy Singleton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

When Kelsey and her friends find an abandoned pug puppy, it looks like another case for the Curious Cat Spy Club. But shortly thereafter, Kelsey’s mother goes missing—possibly in the line of duty as an Animal Control officer—and it’s up to the CCSC to discover what happened. As they search for Kelsey’s mom, they start to wonder if her disappearance is somehow linked to the puppy they found. The fifth book in the Curious Cat Spy Club series is filled with twists and turns and, of course, tons of animal adventures!

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Hamster Princess: Little Red Rodent Hood - A little girl in a red cape asks for Princess Harriet Hamsterbone’s help with a pack of weasel-wolves who want to eat her grandmother, but after meeting everyone, Harriet is not sure who to trust.

  2. Race to the Sun - Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents critically acclaimed indigenous fantasy writer Rebecca Roanhorse's thrilling adventure about a Navajo girl who discovers she's a monsterslayer.

  3. Marabel and the Book of Fate - Free-spirited Marabel must defy expectations to rescue her brother–and their kingdom–in this charming, action-packed, and magical story perfect for fans of Ella Enchanted and Dealing with Dragons. In Magikos, life is dictated by the Book of Fate’s ancient predictions, including the birth of a royal Chosen One who will save the realm. Princess Marabel has grown up in the shadow of her twin brother, Marco, who everyone assumes is the true Chosen One. While Marco is adored and given every opportunity, Marabel is overlooked and has to practice her sword fighting in secret. But on the night of their thirteenth birthday, Marco is kidnapped by an evil queen, and Marabel runs to his rescue. Outside the castle walls for the first time, accompanied by her best friend and a very smug unicorn, Marabel embarks on a daring mission that brings her face-to-face with fairies, trolls, giants–and the possibility that all is not as it seems in Magikos.

  4. Bad Moooove! - Princess Pulverizer may not be a knight yet, but she won’t let that stop her from saving the day! The village of Ire-Mire-Briar-Shire has a problem: every single cow, goat, and sheep has vanished! That means no milk, no butter, no cheese. As an aspiring chef and grilled cheese lover, Dribble the dragon is outraged. Princess Pulverizer is less concerned, but she knows an opportunity when she sees it–they’ll simply find the missing herds, save the day, and get even closer to completing her Quest of Kindness! But when an angry pink-haired troll captures Princess Pulverizer and her timid friend Lucas, doing her good deed might not be quite so easy!

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Books About Kidnapping and Rescues And Rescuing

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Nadya Skylung and the Masked Kidnapper
Written by Jeff Seymour & illustrated by Brett Helquist
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nadya Skylung paid a high price when she defeated the pirates on the cloudship Remora- She lost her leg. But has she lost her nerve too? When Nadya and the rest of the crew of the cloudship Orion reach the port of Far Agondy, they have a lot to do, including a visit to Machinist Gossner’s workshop to have a prosthetic made for Nadya. But though the pirates are far away across the Cloud Sea, Nadya and her friends are still not safe. A gang leader called Silvermask is kidnapping skylung and cloudling children in Far Agondy. When Nadya’s friend Aaron is abducted, Nayda will stop at nothing to save him and the other missing kids, and put a stop to Silvermask once and for all.

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$17.99
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$15.29
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$15.14
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Add to list
The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo!
Written by Stephen Bramucci & illustrated by Arree Chung
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Indiana Jones meets Lemony Snicket in this hilarious new series–fully illustrated by picture book talent Arree Chung–that’s a must-have for all aspiring adventurers. “The ride of a lifetime.” –Matt de la Peña, Newbery Award-winning author Ronald Zupan is a daring master adventurer! But he actually hasn’t experienced any grand adventures . . . YET! When his world-traveling parents are kidnapped on his twelfth birthday, Ronald seizes the chance to prove himself with a dazzling, danger-defying rescue operation. Teaming up with his trusty butler Jeeves, his quick-witted fencing nemesis Julianne Sato, and his pet cobra Carter, Ronald sets course for the jungle of Borneo where his parents were last sighted. If they can crash-land a plane and outrun a hungry snow leopard, surely they can find the secret lair of Zeetan Z, the world’s most ruthless pirate! But as their adventure becomes more and more dangerous, can Ronald and his companions muster enough courage to see this adventure through?

Buy book
$7.99
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$6.79
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$7.99
Used $7.99
Prices as of Jan 18
Add to list
Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery
Written by R. A. Spratt & illustrated by Phil Gosier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The mystery hits close to home when Friday learns her mother has been kidnapped. But she’s distracted by other happenings at school: a new VIP student (a Norwegian princess!) has just arrived and a master thief called the Pimpernel is causing chaos across campus. Can Friday crack the case of her missing mother, reign in a royal brat, and unmask the elusive Pimpernel?

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$8.49
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Prices as of Jan 18
Honorable Mentions
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  1. When the Sea Turned to Silver - This breathtaking, full-color illustrated fantasy is inspired by Chinese folklore, and is a companion to the Newbery Honor winner Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

  2. A Fairy's Courage - Being a fairy is a lot more dangerous than you think… Ever since Rowan was transformed into a fairy, her life has been filled with perilous adventure. And when her mom is kidnapped by an evil fairy called Vulpes and his army of foxes, Rowan sets off on her most dangerous mission yet. With the help of her fairy friends—plus a tiger released from London Zoo!—she’s sure she can rescue her mom and save the fairy realms. But Vulpes is cunning and sly. And he’s luring Rowan right into a trap.

  3. The Danger Gang and the Isle of Feral Beasts! - Ronald Zupan and the rest of the Danger Gang are back for their second rip-roaring adventure, perfect for fans of Indiana Jones and Lemony Snicket, fully illustrated by Arree Chung. “The ride of a lifetime.” –Matt de la Peña, Newbery Award-winning author on The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo! Ronald Zupan, his quick-witted fencing partner Julianne Sato, and his trusty butler Jeeves are off on another adventure. This time, they’re trying to rescue the movie star Josh Brigand–who was kidnapped from his latest film premiere by the dreaded Liars’ Club. As the Danger Gang races to save their friend, they face off with a poisoning poet, a band of Roman candle-wielding thugs, and thousands of feral foxes. When their skills of deduction are put to the ultimate test, will Ronald and his pals be able to stick together long enough to rescue Josh and defeat the Liar’s Club once and for all? Fully illustrated by picture book talent Arree Chung, this hilarious, high-action series is a must-have for all adventurers.

  4. Quit Buggin' Me! - Princess Pulverizer may not be a knight yet, but she won’t let that stop her from saving the day! Princess Pulverizer and her friends, Lucas and Dribble the dragon, are on the hunt for another good deed to complete on her Quest of Kindness. So when they hear about a mysterious evil beast who’s been capturing townspeople, the trio sets out to find it and rescue the prisoners. But when Lucas and Dribble get caught themselves, it’s up to Princess Pulverizer to free her friends!

Books About Kidnapping and Adventure And Adventurers

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Addison Cooke and the Tomb of the Khan
Written by Jonathan W. Stokes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"Addison Cooke is Indiana Jones and James Bond rolled into one for the middle-grades set."--Booklist

Addison Cooke's second laugh-out-loud adventure--a journey through Asia in pursuit of the legendary tomb of Genghis Khan!

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Power Play
Written & illustrated by Beth McMullen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Abby and the rest of her friends go international as they embark on their first “official” Center mission in this second book in the Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls series

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Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas
Written by Jonathan W. Stokes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The Goonies meets Indiana Jones and James Patterson's Treasure Hunters in this funny, action-filled adventure series!
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  1. Escape From The Palace - Mission Impossible and James Bond have nothing on this wily bunch of rabbits who are pledged to protect the Queen of England—and the President of the United States—from a dastardly plot in this charming second novel of the Royal Rabbits of London series. Life is an adventure. Anything in the world is possible—by will and by luck, with a moist carrot, a wet nose and a slice of mad courage! Little Shylo Tawny-Tail is proud to call himself one of the Royal Rabbits of London, a secret order who live under Buckingham Palace and fight evil across the world. But high up in London’s famous skyscraper, the Shard, the horrible ratzis are plotting to cause chaos during a visit from the President of the United States. And when the Grand Burrow is attacked and Shylo is kidnapped, it looks as though they might just manage it! Can Shylo escape in time to save the day?

  2. William Wenton and the Impossible Puzzle - Also published in English as: William Wenton and the luridium thief.

  3. Roxie and the Hooligans at Buzzard's Roost - Roxie and the Hooligans are back and this time, Smoky Jo is swiped by a kidnapper who is as blunder-prone as Roxie, Uncle Dangerfoot, and Lord Thistlebottom are clever.

Books About Kidnapping and Pirates

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Race to the Bottom of the Sea
Written & illustrated by Lindsay Eagar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Can a clever young inventor uncover a ruthless pirate’s heart of gold? Thrilling sea adventure takes on a hint of steampunk in the second book by the author of the acclaimed Hour of the Bees. When her parents, the great marine scientists Dr. and Dr. Quail, are killed in a tragic accident, eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail is racked by grief – and guilt. It was a submarine of Fidelia’s invention that her parents were in when they died, and it was she who pressed them to stay out longer when the raging Undertow was looming. But Fidelia is forced out of her mourning when she’s kidnapped by Merrick the Monstrous, a pirate whose list of treasons stretches longer than a ribbon eel. Her task? Use her marine know-how to retrieve his treasure, lost on the ocean floor. But as Fidelia and the pirates close in on the prize, with the navy hot on their heels, she realizes that Merrick doesn’t expect to live long enough to enjoy his loot. Could something other than black-hearted greed be driving him? Will Fidelia be able to master the perils of the ocean without her parents – and piece together the mystery of Merrick the Monstrous before it’s too late?

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Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince
Written by Liz Kessler & illustrated by Erin Farley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Emily Windsnap ends up surrounded by pirates – and on a life-changing adventure – in the eighth installment of the New York Times best-selling series. Traveling home by cruise ship should be a relaxing break after Emily’s latest adventure, but things take a turn when the ship is overtaken by a pirate king and his crew. After the pirates collect everyone’s riches, they steal something even more valuable: Aaron. The pirate king’s eldest son takes Aaron captive, forcing him to help guide the pirates to the mythical Trident’s Treasure. So Emily dives into action and joins the younger son’s crew in hopes of saving Aaron. But while experiencing life on the waves, Emily is surprised to find herself not only enjoying the pirate life, but actually bonding with the crew – especially Sam, the pirate king’s son. Between helping Sam unravel riddles to beat his brother to the treasure and making sure that her friends are safe, Emily realizes that she needs to be true to herself. Will she cast aside her mermaid life to join her new friends, or will she find a way to follow her own path?

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The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones
Written & illustrated by Will Mabbitt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Mabel Jones finds herself aboard the Feroshus Maggot–a ship crewed by the strangest bunch of pirates you’d (never) want to meet. She then has to find pieces of an X-shaped puzzle that in her hands could be her ticket home, but in the hands of Captain Split, they’d give him the power to assemble a pirate militia to take over London!

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  1. The Jolly Regina - In the spirit of A Series of Unfortunate Events and the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, <i>The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters</i> will captivate middle-grade readers looking for humor, hijinks, and a swashbuckling good time. Meet Jaundice and Kale Bland, two sisters who avoid excitement at any cost. Together, they patiently await the return of their parents, who left on an errand years ago and have never returned.<br /> <br /> One day, the Bland sisters are kidnapped by an all-female band of pirates. They’re unwillingly swept into a high-seas romp that might just lead to solving the mystery of what happened to their parents. With whimsical illustrations and Roald Dahl-esque wit, <i>The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters </i>is the visually stunning, laugh-out-loud funny start to a new series for readers who are looking for an anything-but-bland adventure.<br />

  2. The Great Cheese Robbery - A band of tiny squash-bucklers go on adventures of epic proportions in this start to a brand-new chapter book series about pocket-sized pirates! In the junk shop at the end of the street is a dusty old ship in a bottle. And when the world isn’t watching, a tiny pirate crew comes out of the ship to explore. They aren’t much bigger than a matchstick, but they have a HUGE appetite for adventure! When a band of mice kidnaps Jones, the ship’s cat, and ransoms him for cheese, the Pocket Pirates spring into action. But to get the cheese, they must venture to the freezing cold place where it’s always winter…the place called Fridge. Can the Pocket Pirates survive their perilous journey and get their ship’s cat back?

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Books About Kidnapping and Magic

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Warrior's Curse (the Traitor's Game, Book 3), Volume 3
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 13-17
The stunning third book in Jennifer A. Nielsen's New York Times bestselling Traitor's Game series!
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The Arctic Incident
Written by Eoin Colfer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Artemis Fowl is at boarding school in Iceland when he receives an urgent video email from Russia. It’s a plea from his father, who has been kidnapped by the Russian mafia. As Artemis rushes to his rescue, he is stopped by Captain Holly Short. This time, instead of battling the fairies, he’s going to have to join forces with them if he wants to save one of the few people he loves.

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Inkdeath
Written by Cornelia Funke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The Adderhead–his immortality bound in a book by Meggie’s father, Mo–has ordered his henchmen to plunder the villages. The peasants’ only defense is a band of outlaws led by the Bluejay–Mo’s fictitious double, whose identity he has reluctantly adopted. But the Book of Immortality is unraveling, and the Adderhead again fears the White Women of Death. To bring the renegade Bluejay back to repair the book, the Adderhead kidnaps all the children in the kingdom, dooming them to slavery in his silver mines unless Mo surrenders. First Dustfinger, now Mo: Can anyone save this cursed story?

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  1. Prince Problem - Telmund is a prince who loves fables. But when a hasty witch mistakes him for bully in need of paranormal punishment, he’s cursed to transform into a new animal every time he falls asleep. With his shape constantly changing, Telmund discovers that actually living in a fairy tale has its drawbacks. <p/>Amelia is a practical princess with a wide range of skills, none of which are helpful for escaping the ball her parents have thrown to select her future husband. But then the unthinkable happens: Amelia is kidnapped by the dangerous Prince Sheridan, setting off a plot that will throw the realm into chaos. <p/>As their stories become intertwined, the dreamer prince and no-nonsense princess must work together to rescue <i>each other</i>. Otherwise there will be no happy endings for either of their kingdoms. <p/>From Vivian Vande Velde–master of the magical romp–comes an enchanted tale of princes, fairies, and the transformative power of stories.

  2. Artemis Fowl - Twelve-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl has discovered a world below ground of armed and dangerous–and extremely high-tech–fairies. He kidnaps one of them, Holly Short, and holds her for ransom in an effort to restore his family’s fortune. But he may have underestimated the fairies’ powers. Is he about to trigger a cross-species war?

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