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Must-Read Outdoor Adventure Book Series for Kids

Outdoor Adventure Book Series for Kids

Stuck inside with the sniffles? Trails too muddy to hike? Cuddle up with one of these great reads and get some outdoor adventure time, indoors.

We love making book lists here, and are always working to expand them as we find new books, new books come out or we are given great suggestions. Find all our book lists here.

Also check out this list of other outdoor book recommendations for kids.

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Encourage Outdoor Adventure Reading

A great way to get your kiddos hooked on reading is to see what books spark their joy and curiosity and see if the author has written more in a similar fashion. Or find books on similar subjects. We are always looking for great outdoor adventure book series that will keep our kids reading.

I had a vintage copy (1937) of “The Adventures of Prickly Porky” by Thornton Burgess on my shelves, and by chance my daughter picked it up, read it in one sitting, and loved it! I was delighted to find that there were 25 more in the series and each story has been just as great as that first one.

The books I’ve recommended would be great to give as a gift to a child in your life. Some of the books listed are common and could be found in your local library.

Others, like the Gerda Muller books, might have to be purchased, as they seem to be harder to find (but, oh-so-worth it!!).

outdoor adventure book series

Best outdoor adventure book series for kids

Crinkleroot Nature Series, by naturalist Jim Arnosky

These sweet books are whimsically illustrated and perfect for kids from 4-12. Some are very simple, consisting of an illustration of the animal along with its name such as “Crinkleroot’s 25 Birds Every Child Should Know”.

Others are full of information in an attention grabbing story format with Crinkleroot (born in a tree and raised by bees) as the guide: “Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing Animal Habitats”

My six year old loves Crinkleroot. He asks for one on each trip to our library, and I’m happy to say yes. I lean as much as he does, and they are such great books.

outdoor adventure book series crinkleroot

The Hatchet Series by Gary Paulsen

If you read Hatchet as a child and loved it, you don’t want to miss all the other books in the Hatchet series! They are full of adventure, teach kids about survival and are great read-alouds.

There are a couple “survival scenes” that are a bit graphic and may be tough for sensitive readers, but overall they are fantastic and recommended for ALL kids aged 8+ (though recommended for grades 6-12).

Adults will definitely get into them too, so be ready to be inspired to head to the woods.

outdoor adventure book series hatchet

Bear Grylls Adventure Series

As far as adventure books go for younger readers, these ones are some of our team’s favorites. They are a good read-aloud for kids as young as 5 and then perfect for readers age 8+, but appeal to a wide audience.

This is yet another series that is easy to read again and again and truly inspires outdoor adventure.

Wordless Seasonal Board Book Series by Gerda Muller: ”Spring”, “Summer, “Autumn”, and “Winter”

Perfect for wee ones 0-5 (but admittedly, the books are still well loved in my home despite the fact that my kids are 6 & 9). Wordless books are one of my most favorite ways to bond with little ones & expose them to rich descriptive vocabulary in an easy, natural way.

As the child gets older, they become a great conversational tool. First, they practice their language by pointing and listening as you name the object. Then, they point and name it, and later, they tell elaborate stories using the books as their inspiration for adventure.

I’ve sat for hours with my kids as they point to each flower and talk about the lambs and count the apples in the trees, and tell me where the ponies are heading. These are the books you want with you on a long plane ride, or a rainy camping trip with lots of time in the tent.

outdoor adventure book series seasons

Mr. Magee book series by Chris Van Dusen

These books are great for kids from 4-8. “Learning to Ski with Mr Magee”, “Down to the Sea with Mr Magee”, “A Camping Spree with Mr Magee”. These books are full of bright, cheerful illustrations and humorous tales of outdoor adventures gone awry.

They’re catchy, fun, full of silly outdoor adventure and keep kids engaged.

outdoor adventure book series mr. magee

“Mountain” trilogy by Jean Craighead George

The award winning is a fictional survival tale that will have your tween / teen itching to go outside and explore. A great read for 10+. A great book series to give to an outdoor lover, or to a reluctant explorer in hopes of inspiring them!

Would be great to pair with a whittling knife, compass, and a map of your local area.

outdoor adventure book series my side of the mountain

The Adventures of…(an animal series)

Thornton Burgess’s passion for nature & his love for living creatures makes the Animal Stories “Adventures of” chapter book series a delight to read. It’s a large collection of old fashioned tales perfect for kids.

Our entire family loves the Thornton Burgess tales. I love to read them aloud around the campfire. We usually have to stay up way too late as the kids (and adults) ask for “just one more chapter”!

outdoor adventure book series the adventures of

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Outdoor Adventure Book Series for Kids

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