Dan Gemeinhart, author of the middle grade debut The Honest Truth– the exciting and heartfelt story of a runaway boy and his dog – picks four of his favorite middle grade books about kids on an adventure with a trusty companion.
I love a good sidekick. A stalwart companion. A faithful friend whose devotion is always steady no matter what the road brings. My debut middle grade novel, The Honest Truth, is about a sick boy and his loyal dog who run away together to climb a mountain. To celebrate its release, I thought I'd highlight a few other great kid-and-non-human-companion stories, some of my very favorites to recommend to kids looking for that next great adventure. This list is an eclectic mix: it’s got sled dogs, shipwrecks, talking badgers, and flying robots. But they all have two things in common: gripping adventure and super sidekicks.
While on a family sailing trip around the world, 11-year-old Michael and his dog, Stella, get swept overboard one night and wash up on what he thinks is a deserted island. His struggle to survive is complicated when he discovers that the island is inhabited by a Japanese soldier stranded there since World War II. An unforgettable adventure.
A stunningly original story. Young Max finds himself wandering in a mysterious forest world with no memory of how he got there. With three unlikely sidekicks (a bear, a badger, and a barn cat) he sets off to learn the truth of his own identity and the world he finds himself lost in. Pursued by the sinister Blue Cutters, this ragtag team must stand together to survive a host of perils and complete their quest. The stunning, literary twist ending may change forever how you feel about stories, and heroes.
A gripping, white-knuckle sled-dog survival story with an awesomely tough girl protagonist. It's a story as rugged and hard-bitten as anything by Jack London or Gary Paulsen, and just as absorbing. I can't wait for my young daughters to grow up and read this adventure that I read in one breathless evening.
A super fun sci-fi page-turner. Fisher wakes up to discover that he's the last person on earth, survivor of a botched hibernation project to preserve humanity through a global crisis. With a robot and a mammoth as his companions, he sets off on a dangerous journey to find more human survivors in a ravaged and menacing world. Post-apocalypse Earth has never been so much fun.