1. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick: With over 230 pages of pure illustrations, Hugo Cabret is a fascinating book about a boy who wants to find out about his father's past and his automatons with the help of friends.
The book is enthralling and keeps you at the edge of your seat at all times. Hugo, who is so poor that he scavenges for food, goes on the adventure of his lifetime while finding out about other people's mysterious pasts as well.
C and I started reading this book aloud. It went too slow for his taste. He ploughed on ahead and then the book had to go back to his library. This is one I want to read as well. The illustrations are rich with detail and feeling.
2. The Mysterious Benedict Society Series by Trenton Lee Stewart, Carton Ellis (Illustrator): Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance all have something in common - they have to take down Mr. Benedict's evil brother, Mr. Z. This book is about how the four kids work together as a team, The Mysterious Benedict Society.
What I like about this book is that you never know what's going to happen next. There's always a dilemma. I can't wait for the third book in the series, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma, to come out early next month!
3. George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt by Lucy & Stephen Hawking: This book is about three friends who find out that a rover is acting funny on Mars. They use their high-tech super computer to open hole into space. When they do that they find out that someone is trying to destroy earth.
This fun-filled adventure takes you all around the universe with amazing facts about outer space.
4. The Hardy Boys Series by Franlin W. Dixon: Two young boys, Joe and Frank, are following their father's footsteps by cracking mysteries by the minute. They risk their lives with every case they take on.
These action-packed books are amazing. My palms get sweaty as I turn the pages. A big must-read.
5. A Summer Adventure, The Hidden Treasure and The Only Witness (3 Novels) by Shashi Deshpande: Dhinu, Minu, Polly and Ravi are cousins. They lead normal lives until they get caught up in huge mysteries - one involving sinister robberies, the other involving their ancestors' treasure, and the last involving their friend's kidnapping and an encounter with mysterious bank robbers.
6. Gregor the Overlander Series by Suzanne Collins: This is a story about a boy and his sister who fall through their laundry shaft and land in a different world. There are several prophesies about this particular boy - he is supposed to slay several evil and disgusting creatures.The books in this series (5 of them) are long and enchanting. They are about friendship and courage, and include a mystery about his father in the first book.
7. The Name of This Book Is Secret and If You're Reading This, It's Too Late by Pseudonymous Bosch: These two books are about two dashing and daring characters who get mixed up in a mysterious magician's life. Evidently they're not the only people going after the magician. Two evil doctors are on the hunt, searching for immortality. That means having to capture the magician.
These books take the readers nearly everywhere. These emotion-filled and sometimes hilarious books are simply oversatisfying!
8. Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterston: This comic book about an irritating boy and his best friend, an imaginary tiger, talks about 1980s politics and normal household life in the uttermost hilarious way.
Each book has over 50 comic strips with most funny twists bound into it.
9. Tintin by Herge: This series, to my utmost delight, is a set of jaw-on-the-floor-ing books about an amazing detective who cracks over 21 cases with the help of his old sea-dog friend, Captain Haddock, and his professor genius friend, Calculus, and his loyal and creative dog, Snowy.
These books have off-the-scale action and great characters with huge personalities.
10. Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop: This emotional and heartwarming book about gymnastics and bravery is a great read, especially for those who think they are too short and not able to do many things.
This is a great mythical story about medieval times, about dragons and kings. It's a fantastic story about a struggling kid who tries very hard to overcome his challenges.
11. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney: These are stories about a loser middle-schooler and his bully brother high-schooler, about how he manages to pull through every painful minute of his life and dreams of becoming famous some day.
These books have freakishly funny twists of comedy in them, and have great advice if you are in the wimpy kid's position.
12. Jake Drake, Bully Buster by Andrew Clements: This book is about a young boy who overcomes the challenge of defeating a super bully by gradually ignoring him and working together with him.
Another Andrew Clements classic and a very good read, but not the best. Frindle is the best.
13. Mansion in the Mist, The Dark Secret of Weatherend, The Lamp from the Warlock's Tomb (the Anthony Monday Series) by John Bellairs: These books are about Anthony Monday and his eccentric friend. They solve mysteries of magic, mythology and sorcery by evil people.
They have so much scariness, you feel like putting them down even though you don't want to. They leave you feeling scared and excited!
14. Books on the nightstand:
Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher
C's list definitely reflects the sensibilities of a boy who loves adventure and mystery. Lots of action and scary stuff. Increasingly he's also leaning toward fantasy. I helped out at the book fair at his school last year and I was delighted that the librarian at his school, the wonderful Ms. P, knew his tastes. She guided me down the aisles, pointing out books she was positive he would love. We did not go wrong with The Name of This Book is Secret.
Some of the books he read in 2008 include The Magic Treehouse Series, the Boxcar Children Series, the Classic Starts Series (with abridged versions of Sherlock Holmes, Oliver Twist, Treasure Island, etc.), the Secret Seven and Famous Five Series by Enid Blyton (he thinks they take too long to get exciting and they end too quickly). He did not want to include them here because"they're for young kids" (!).
If you have other suggestions for an adventure-loving boy, please do let us know. He (and I) will be delighted!
A final note - Sujatha of Fluff n' Stuff also wrote a post about her favorites here. Please do check it out.