Ragweed / Avi (Book 1 of the Poppy Series)
Ragweed, a young country mouse, leaves his family and travels to the big city, where he finds excitement and danger and sees cats for the first time.
Crispin: The Cross of Lead / Avi (Book 1 of the Crispin Series)
Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.
The Indian in the Cupboard / Lynne Reid Banks (Book 1 of the Indian in the Cupboard Series)
A nine-year-old boy receives a plastic Indian, a cupboard, and a little key for his birthday and finds himself involved in adventure when the Indian comes to life in the cupboard and befriends him.
The Name of This Book is Secret / Pseudonymous Bosch (Book 1 of the Secret Series)
This book begins with a warning: “Do not read beyond this page!” Though the brain teasers and coded messages in this supernatural mystery will make you curious about what happens next, beware! As you read, you (like Max-Ernst and Cass, the book’s eccentric 11-year-old heroes) might learn secrets that put you in mortal danger at the hands of a covert, immortality-obsessed cult
The Honest Truth / Dan Gemeinhart
A boy named Mark, tired of being sick with cancer, conceives a plan to climb Mount Rainier, and runs away from home with his dog, Beau–but with over two hundred miles between him and his goal, and only anger at his situation to drive him on nothing will be easy, and only his best friend, Jessie, suspects where he is heading.
Silverfin / Charles Higson (Book 1 of the James Bond Adventures Series)
Prequel to the adventures of James Bond, 007, introduces the young James when he is just starting boarding school in England and is about to become involved in his first adventure.
The Phantom Tollbooth / Norton Juster
A bored young boy, Milo, drives his small electric car through a toy tollbooth and finds himself in the Land Beyond. A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provides a cure for his boredom.
Hatchet / Gary Paulsen (Book 1 of Brian’s Saga)
After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents’ divorce.
The Lightning Thief / Rick Riordan (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series)
After learning that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea, Percy Jackson is transferred from boarding school to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods, and becomes involved in a quest to prevent a war between the gods.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone / J.K. Rowling (Book 1 of the Harry Potter Series)
Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Holes / Louis Sachar
As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.
Storm Runners / Roland Smith (Book 1 of the Storm Runners Series)
Twelve-year-old Chase Masters travels the country with his father, a “storm runner,” but he is tested in ways he never could have imagined when he and a new friend are caught in a hurricane near St. Petersburg, Florida.
Museum of Thieves / Lian Tanner (Book 1 of the Keepers Series)
Goldie, an impulsive and bold twelve-year-old, escapes the oppressive city of Jewel, where children are required to wear guardchains for their protection, and finds refuge in the extraordinary Museum of Dunt, an ever-shifting world where she discovers a useful talent for thievery and mysterious secrets that threaten her city and everyone she loves.
Homecoming / Cynthia Voight (Book 1 of the Tillerman Cycle)
Abandoned by their mother, four children begin to search for a home and an identity.
100 Cupboards / N.D. Wilson (Book 1 of the 100 Cupboards Series)
After his parents are kidnapped, timid twelve-year-old Henry York leaves his sheltered Boston life and moves to small-town Kansas, where he and his cousin Henrietta discover and explore hidden doors in his attic room that seem to open onto other worlds.