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Rescue and Adventure: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about rescue is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From This Is the Firefighter to The Nameless City: The Divided Earth there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about rescue? Let us know!

This Is the Firefighter book
#1
This Is the Firefighter
Written by Laura Godwin and illustrated by Julian Hector
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

The fire alarm sounds. The firefighter jumps in the truck and races to a daring rescue! Get ready for an adventure as Laura Godwin and Julian Hector celebrate one of our bravest everyday heroes in this board-book edition for little hands. Praise for This is the Firefighter (hardcover edition) "With its swift action, catchy verse, and appropriate palette (red, white, blue, and flame), this should find good use among preschool vehicle enthusiasts and new readers as well as in the 'community helpers' unit." -The Horn Book

Oakwing book
#2
Oakwing
Written and illustrated by EJ Clarke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

After Rowan is mysteriously transformed into a tiny fairy, she is thrust into a world of fairy clans and talking robins where, she discovers, her long-missing mother is also trapped.

Hanazuki: a Spark in the Dark book
#3
Hanazuki: a Spark in the Dark
Written by Stacy Davidowitz and illustrated by Victoria Ying
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Hanazuki loves being a Moonflower! With a little help from the Hemka, Sleepy Unicorn, and Dazzlessence Jones, she tries her best to keep her moon in balance and keep the Big Bad away. When two comets collide above them, Hanazuki's side of the moon is plunged into darkness. What's a Moonflower to do besides light a spark in the dark?

Viking Myths: Volume Two book
#4
Viking Myths: Volume Two
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Journey to the frozen north for this second spellbinding anthology of Viking myths! Enter the world of Norse mythology, where you'll find sea monsters, shape-changers, dark forests, and cunning, gold-hoarding underground dwarves. This second volume of Viking tales features more fantastical, entrancing adventures, including Thor's journey in the land of the giants, and Ragnarok, the apocalyptic battle of the gods, retold in a way that will engage very young readers. Different illustrators bring their distinctive styles to each story.

Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Quest for the Magic Porcupine book
#5
Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Quest for the Magic Porcupine
Written by John Dougherty and illustrated by Sam Ricks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The BADgers are back in Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face’s second adventure, perfect for fans of The Stinky Cheese Man and Pseudonymous Bosch. The villainous badgers have escaped from prison, and it’s up to Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face to find them and put them back! Only someone who knows about stories can point them in the right direction, so they consult Miss Butterworth, the Ninja Librarian. After referring to a copy of Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Quest for the Magic Porcupine, Miss Butterworth sends them on their quest. Along the way they encounter raccoons who are definitely NOT badgers in disguise, a really REALLY long traffic light, a rabbit in a prickly coat, and a banana-eating hammerhead shark, all leading to a showdown with the badgers. Can the kids think fast enough to save the king from being shot out of the biggest water rocket in the world? We don’t know. But we’re going to read it and find out!

The Little Mermaid book
#6
The Little Mermaid
Written by Hannah Eliot and illustrated by Nivea Ortiz
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A classic fairy tale gets a fresh twist in this vibrant Caribbean spin on the Little Mermaid! The Little Mermaid longs to know about the world above the ocean. When she’s finally old enough to visit, she falls in love with a prince! A sea witch agrees to give the mermaid a potion that will make her human—but the spell will be broken if the prince doesn’t love her too! Set in the Caribbean, with beautiful illustrations by Puerto Rican illustrator Nivea Ortiz, this fifth book in the Once Upon a World series is the same beloved fairy tale but it’s totally reimagined. Once Upon a World offers a multicultural take on the fairy tales we all know and love. Because these tales are for everyone, everywhere.

The Star Wolf book
#7
The Star Wolf
Written by Paula Harrison and illustrated by Sophy Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Emma rescues a baby star wolf who was caught in a trap in this fifth book in the adorable Secret Rescuers series. Emma lives in a forest full of magical creatures like star wolves! The wolves’ special song makes the stars appear in the sky every night. When Emma rescues a baby star wolf from a trap, she knows she must return the pup to his family. Can she be brave enough to go on a night-time adventure and help to keep the stars shining?

The Sea Pony book
#8
The Sea Pony
Written by Paula Harrison and illustrated by Sophy Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Grace works to save her beloved sea ponies from the evil Lady Cavendish in this sixth book in the adorable Secret Rescuers series. Grace loves the beautiful sea ponies that live in the warm, clear waters around her village. So when she finds out that cruel Lady Cavendish is sailing out to catch the ponies, Grace needs her new friends, Maya and Sophy, to help her save them. But will their rescue plan work? And will Grace ever be able to talk to her favorite sea pony?

The  Shadow  Thieves book
#9
The Shadow Thieves
Written and illustrated by Alexandra Ott
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Alli must risk everything to save her new family from a rogue organization that is threatening the Thieves Guild’s existence—and the lives of all its members—in this high-stakes sequel to Rules for Thieves.Alli Rosco, former orphan and thief, is free after her disastrous Thieves Guild trial, which left an innocent woman dead while Alli’s partner-in-crime, Beck, fled.Now Alli is getting more than just a fresh start: her long-lost brother, Ronan, has come forward to claim responsibility for her and let her live with him on a trial basis. They try to mend the rift that started when Alli was dropped off at the orphanage while Ronan became a lawyer in Ruhia. But as determined as she is to make things work, Alli can’t seem to stay out of trouble.To make matters worse, Alli finds a surprise guest on her doorstep one night: Beck.He’s on the run and brings news of the Shadow Guild, a rogue organization that is trying to overthrow the current king of the Thieves Guild. Their friends are in real danger. And Beck needs Alli’s help one more time to bring the Shadows down.Once again, Alli is forced to make a hard choice: save her friends, or lose her last chance to have a true family.

Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes book
#10
Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Since becoming Kid Normal, Murph Cooper and the Super Zeroes – fellow students with arguably less-than-useful talents like the ability to conjure tiny horses from thin air – have been catching bad guys all over the place. But being a hero isn't easy, especially when you can't tell anyone about your epic adventures and your classmates still don't believe you've got what it takes. And then, far away in a top-secret prison, the world's most feared supervillain breaks his thirty-year silence. His first words? “Bring Kid Normal to me!” This supervillain was responsible for stealing the powers from some of the greatest Heroes Alliance members of all time. Does Murph have what it takes to bring him down? With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this laugh-out-loud story proves that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Secret in the Stone book
#11
Secret in the Stone
Written by Kamilla Benko
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The second book in an enchanting fantasy series The Unicorn Quest, about a real-world girl and her sister in a land full of magic and strange creatures. Claire Martinson and her sister Sophie have decided to stay in Arden--the magical land they discovered by climbing up a chimney in their great-aunt's manor. If what they've learned is true, the sisters are the last descendants of the royal family, and only a true heir of Arden--with magic in her blood--can awaken the unicorns. Since Sophie has does not have magic, the land's last hope rests on Claire. The sisters journey to Stonehaven, a famed Gemmer school high in the mountains of Arden, so Claire can train in the magic of stone. As Claire struggles through classes, Sophie uncovers dangerous secrets about the people they thought they could trust. With Arden on the brink of crumbling, can Claire prove she is the prophesied heir and unlock the magic of the unicorns before it's too late?

The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo! book
#12
The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo!
Written by Stephen Bramucci and 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?

Snared: Lair of the Beast book
#13
Snared: Lair of the Beast
Written by Adam Jay Epstein
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Thanks to a crew of misfit treasure-seekers, Wily Snare has assumed his rightful place as King of Panthasos. Wily knew how to be a great trapsmith—devising and building various contraptions to keep plunderers at bay—but he has no idea how to be a good king. And he hasn’t escaped his past. Stalag, the Cavern Mage who once kept him locked away, is amassing an army of stone soldiers to seize the kingdom. Wily’s only hope is to tame a lair beast—the one creature that stands a chance against Stalag’s army. But first, Wily and his friends will need to survive the journey to the fabled “Below”—where the lair beast dwells. This action-packed fantasy adventure is filled with snappy dialogue, dangerous creatures, spirited adventure, and inventive magic to appeal to readers 8–12.

Endling #2: The First book
#14
Endling #2: The First
Written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Max Kostenko
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Endling #2: The First is the second book in an epic middle grade animal fantasy series by Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The One and Only Ivan, Wishtree, and Crenshaw! To learn if she truly is the last dairne in the world—the endling—Byx and her friends must travel into the snow-covered mountains of the country of Dreyland, where they hope to uncover the truth behind the legend of a hidden dairne colony. But the threat of war across the lands continues to grow with each passing day. As the group confronts untold dangers at every turn, they will ultimately uncover a treacherous plot that involves the other powerful governing species. With both her dreams and all the creatures of Nedarra on the brink of extinction, Byx and her friends are determined to never give up hope. Soon they find themselves the unlikely leaders in a simmering rebellion that risks everything they hold dear. Byx may be the last of her kind, but will she also be the first to lead the revolution? In this sequel to the New York Times bestselling first book—which received four starred reviews—Katherine Applegate once again delivers an action-packed middle grade fantasy with a unique setting, enthralling characters, and gripping adventure that is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan, Brian Jacques, and Tui T. Sutherland.

The Keepers #4: The Starlit Loom book
#15
The Keepers #4: The Starlit Loom
Written by Ted Sanders
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Don’t miss the epic and heart-pounding conclusion to Ted Sanders’s Keepers series! For centuries, the Keepers and the Wardens have been guarding the mysterious Mothergates, a source of incredible power. But now the Mothergates are dying, and Horace and his fellow Keepers know that the weakened gates may unleash a dangerous force that will consume the world—and destroy everyone in it. While their enemies are willing to take this careless risk, Horace and his friends are prepared to sacrifice themselves for the preservation of the world. With their strongholds destroyed and many of their friends captured, the Keepers’ chance of succeeding hangs by a thread. But all hope is not lost, as a mysterious talisman of power is discovered. It may hold the key to saving the universe . . . if they can unlock its secret in time. This fourth and final book in Ted Sanders’s gripping Keepers series brings Horace and Chloe’s story to a heart-pounding conclusion, where friendships are tested, dangers are faced, and the ultimate sacrifice must be made.

Simon Thorn and the Shark's Cave book
#16
Simon Thorn and the Shark's Cave
Written by Aimee Carter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Simon Thorn has only recently discovered that he's an Animalgam--a member of a secret race of people who can shift into animals. Now, after years of being bullied, he has found a home where he truly belongs, at a secret Animalgam academy. But danger lurks around the corner . . . Simon's evil grandfather, Orion, is bent on taking over the entire animal kingdom. He intends to gather the pieces of a terrible weapon that could shred the very foundations of their world. That is, unless Simon can find the pieces first. So when Simon's dolphin Animalgam friend Jam is summoned home to the underwater kingdom's headquarters, Simon sees an opportunity to secure another piece. But as soon as he and his friends arrive, their search is complicated by Jam's strict family--and a potential traitor among their ranks. Can Simon locate the piece before the entire underwater kingdom is put at risk? With plenty of action and adventure and characters full of heart, the Simon Thorn series is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull.

The Wishbreaker book
#17
The Wishbreaker
Written by Tyler Whitesides
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ace and Ridge are back to save their friend—and the world—in this sequel to The Wishmakers. Being a Wishmaker may be more trouble than it’s worth. Sure, you get a genie who can grant an unlimited number of wishes, but for each one you make you have to accept an awful consequence in return. Not to mention that you’re also given an impossible quest and only seven days to fulfill it! Despite all that, Ace and his genie, Ridge, managed to complete their last mission—but they couldn’t save their friend Tina from being abducted by a rogue genie who’s bent on using his limitless power to rule the world. To rescue her, Ace must reunite with Ridge to become a Wishmaker once more, and they’ll need to team up with the unlikeliest of new allies. It’s not every day you get a second chance to save the world, so Ace is determined to learn from his past mistakes and wish for the best, literally. Perfect for fans of Max Brailler, Adam Gidwitz, and Dan Gutman, this middle grade series is a wonderful mix of unpredictable magic, zany humor, and daring adventure. “An ingenious premise” raved Kirkus in a starred review!

Bad Mermaids: On the Rocks book
#18
Bad Mermaids: On the Rocks
Written and illustrated by Sibeal Pounder
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Smart, daring mermaid trio Beattie, Mimi and Zelda, along with Steve the talking seahorse, may have saved the Hidden Lagoon from danger once . . . But now they're trapped aboard a spooky ship called the Merry Mary, which is heading for the legendary (and super fashionable) Crocodile Kingdom. Can they avoid a crab-tastrophe and swim against the tide to get back home? Meanwhile, on land, an ice-cream seller and gadget expert named Paris Silkensocks has uncovered a plot to destroy the mermaid world. Will she will be able to find and warn the mermaids of the impending danger before it's too late? This second book in a hilarious paper-over-board series that?s The Little Mermaid meets My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish is filled with delightful black-and-white illustrations.

Rise of the Dragon Moon book
#19
Rise of the Dragon Moon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The princess of a frozen queendom fights to free her mother from the clutches of terrifying dragons in this middle grade fantasy debut. Princess Toli may be heir to the throne, but she longs to be a fierce hunter and warrior. Alone in a frozen world, her queendom is at the mercy of the dragons that killed her father, and Toli is certain it’s only a matter of time before they come back to destroy what’s left of her family. When the dragons rise and seize her mother, Toli will do anything to save her— even trust a young dragon who may be the only key to the Queen's release. With her sister and best friend at her side, Toli makes the treacherous journey across the vast ice barrens to Dragon Mountain, where long-held secrets await. Bear-cats are on their trail, and dragons stalk them, but the greatest danger might be a mystery buried in Toli’s past. An Imprint Book

The Hunt for the Mad Wolf's Daughter book
#20
The Hunt for the Mad Wolf's Daughter
Written by Diane Magras
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The companion to a New York Times Editors' Choice and Kids' Indie Next List Pick--a heart-pounding adventure starring a strong heroine who will protect the people she loves at all costs--perfect for reading aloud with the whole family In this Scottish medieval adventure, after rescuing her war-band family and the wounded Lord Emerick from Faintree Castle, Drest learns that Emerick's traitorous uncle has claimed the castle for his own and convinced the knights that Emerick has been slain . . . at her hand. Now with a hefty price on her head, Drest must find a way to escape treacherous knights and take back the castle for Emerick, all the while proving to her father, the "Mad Wolf of the North," and her irrepressible band of brothers that she is destined for more than a life of running and hiding. Even if that means redefining what it means to be a warrior.

Quest book
#21
Quest
Written and illustrated by Aaron Becker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A king emerges from a hidden door in a city park, startling two children sheltering from the rain. No sooner does he push a map and some strange objects into their hands than he is captured by hostile forces that whisk him back through the enchanted door. Just like that, the children are caught up in a quest to rescue the king and his kingdom from darkness, while illuminating the farthest reaches of their imagination. Colored markers in hand, they make their own way through the portal, under the sea, through a tropical paradise, over a perilous bridge, and high in the air with the help of a winged friend. Journey lovers will be thrilled to follow its characters on a new adventure threaded with familiar elements, while new fans will be swept into a visually captivating story that is even richer and more exhilarating than the first.

Marty Pants #3: How to Defeat a Wizard book
#22
Marty Pants #3: How to Defeat a Wizard
Written by Mark Parisi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Marty Pants returns to face his archenemy Simon, the so-called school artist, in his third adventure! How is Simon turning their classmates, teachers, and even the mayor against Marty—could it be magic? Is Simon literally a charmer who is charming people with magic charms? With Simon using magical powers to turn everyone against him, it will be up to Marty to stop this madness before Simon controls the whole world and maybe even the space-time continuum! The third book in the Marty Pants series from the award-winning cartoonist behind the “Off the Mark” strip, Mark Parisi, is perfect for fans of Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and laughing a lot.

The 65-Story Treehouse book
#23
The 65-Story Treehouse
Written by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

New York Times bestselling author Andy Griffiths invites readers to come hang out with him and his friend Terry in their 65-Story Treehouse-the fifth book in the illustrated middle-grade series filled with Andy and Terry's signature slapstick humor! Andy and Terry live in a 65-Story Treehouse. (It used to be 52 stories, but they keep expanding.) It has a pet-grooming salon, a birthday room where it's always your birthday (even when it's not), a room full of exploding eyeballs, a lollipop shop, a quicksand pit, an ant farm, and a time machine...which is going to be really, reallyuseful now, since Terry messed up (again) and the treehouse just FAILED it's safety inspection. Join Andy and Terry on a whirlwind trip through time as they try to stop the treehouse from being demolished!

A Week without Tuesday book
#24
A Week without Tuesday
Written by Angelica Banks and illustrated by Stevie Lewis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A charming adventure full of magic and mystery, set in the land where stories come from. Something is broken in the land of story. Real and imaginary worlds are colliding—putting everything and everyone in grave peril. Tuesday and Baxterr, at the request of the Librarian, and with the help of Vivienne Small, venture to find the Gardener—the one person who can stop this catastrophe. On their way, they'll meet friends and foes, and discover strengths they didn't know they had. Will they be able to save the land of story?

The Nameless City: The Divided Earth book
#25
The Nameless City: The Divided Earth
Written and illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

The Nameless City—held by the rogue Dao prince Erzi—is under siege by a coalition of Dao and Yisun forces who are determined to end the war for the Nameless City once and for all. And the people of the city—the "Named"—are caught in between. Meanwhile, Rat and Kai must infiltrate Erzi's palace and steal back the ancient and deadly formula for napatha, the ancient weapon of mass destruction Erzi has unearthed—before he can use it to destroy everything Rat and Kai hold dear! In her third and final installment in the Nameless City trilogy, Faith Erin Hicks delivers a heart-thumping conclusion. With deft world-building, frantic battle scenes, and a gentle and moving friendship at its heart, the Nameless City has earned its place as one of the great fantasy series of our time.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!