Summer is in full swing and there are plenty of adventures to be had! With the Collaborative Summer Library Program theme “Adventure Begins at your Library” and plenty of people of all ages looking for some adventure, it is a great time to make sure there are plenty of adventurous reads for your users. Also, the audiobook month sale is still going on until the end of June, so be sure to check out the great array of audiobooks on sale in Marketplace. Plus, with an updated Resource Center, finding lists by Genre & Subject or finding Audiobook lists is simple–no journey necessary.

Whether users are looking for adventure inspiration, accompaniment, or immersion, there are so many great titles to explore. An audiobook also makes it easy to bring along literary adventure on real world adventures. From the natural world to fantasy worlds, there is an adventure for every reader, so let’s explore just some of the many great titles!

Books you should know about

Brave the Wild River by Melissa L. Sevigny, Elizabeth Wiley

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To kick things off, this story of the women who set out to map the botany of the Grand Canyon, something never done before, takes readers along for the journey through history, nature, and pioneering women in science. Receiving multiple starred reviews, a Booklist Top of the List Winner for Nonfiction in 2023, and a New Yorker Best Book of 2023, this is a great pick to grab while the audiobook is on sale!

From the publisher: In the summer of 1938, botanists Elzada Clover and Lois Jotter set off to run the Colorado River, accompanied by an ambitious and entrepreneurial expedition leader, a zoologist, and two amateur boatmen. With its churning waters and treacherous boulders, the Colorado was famed as the most dangerous river in the world. Journalists and veteran river runners boldly proclaimed that the motley crew would never make it out alive. But for Clover and Jotter, the expedition held a tantalizing appeal: no one had yet surveyed the plant life of the Grand Canyon, and they were determined to be the first. Through the vibrant letters and diaries of the two women, science journalist Melissa L. Sevigny traces their daring forty-three-day journey down the river, during which they meticulously cataloged the thorny plants that thrived in the Grand Canyon’s secret nooks and crannies. Along the way, they chased a runaway boat, ran the river’s most fearsome rapids, and turned the harshest critic of female river runners into an ally. Clover and Jotter’s plant list, including four new cactus species, would one day become vital for efforts to protect and restore the river ecosystem. Brave the Wild River is a spellbinding adventure of two women who risked their lives to make an unprecedented botanical survey of a defining landscape in the American West.

The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero Lacruz, Natalia Castellanos

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Adventure does not have to be of this world. This tale will take readers on an expedition full of magic and folklore. Traversing beautiful landscapes, the worldbuilding will transport readers as these women set off looking for a sense of belonging. Another starred reviewed title, this debut is the beginning of a new series.

From the publisher: Two women embark on a unforgettable quest that draws them into a world of dark gods and ancient magic in this sweeping fantasy debut inspired by the history and folklore of colonial South America.

Reina is desperate.
Stuck on the edges of society, Reina’s only hope lies in an invitation from a grandmother she’s never met. But the journey to her is dangerous, and prayer can’t always avert disaster.

Attacked by creatures that stalk the mountains, Reina is on the verge of death until her grandmother, a dark sorceress, intervenes. Now dependent on the Doña’s magic for her life, Reina will do anything to earn—and keep—her favor. Even the bidding of an ancient god who whispers to her at night.

Eva Kesaré is unwanted.
Illegitimate and of mixed heritage, Eva is her family’s shame. She tries to be the perfect daughter, but Eva is hiding a secret: Magic calls to her.

Eva knows she should fight the temptation. Magic is the sign of the dark god, and using it is punishable by death. Yet it’s hard to ignore power when it has always been denied you. Eva is walking a dangerous path. And in the end, she’ll become something she never imagined.

The Madstone by Elizabeth Crook, Will Collyer

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Another genre with plenty of adventure is westerns. This western is written as a letter, giving a unique perspective to follow along with the cast of characters. With appeal to fans of historical fiction as well, this journey has a little bit of something for everyone.

From the publisher: With echoes of Lonesome Dove and News of the World, the riveting story of a pregnant young mother, her child, and the frontier tradesman who helps them flee across Texas from outlaws bent on revenge, even as an unlikely love blossoms.

Texas, 1868. As nineteen-year-old Benjamin Shreve tends to business in his workshop, he witnesses a stagecoach strand a passenger. When the man persuades Benjamin to help track down the vanished coach—and a mysterious fortune left aboard—he is drawn into a drama whose scope he could never have imagined.

The missing coach has a surprise in store: its other passengers include Nell, a pregnant young woman, and her four-year-old son, Tot, who are on the run from Nell’s brutal husband and his murderous brothers. After learning of their plight, Benjamin offers Nell and Tot passage to the distant Gulf of Mexico, where they can escape to safety. This chivalrous act will prove more dangerous than he could have expected, as buried secrets—including a cursed necklace—reveal themselves.

Even as Benjamin falls in love with Nell and imagines life as Tot’s father, vengeful pursuers are on their trail. With its vivid characters and expansive canvas, The Madstone calls to mind Larry McMurtry’s American epics. The novel is full of eccentric action, unrelenting peril, and droll humor—a thrilling and beautifully rendered story of three people sharing a hazardous and defining journey that will forever bind them together.

I Cheerfully Refuse by Leif Enger, David Aaron Baker

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A recent release (and on sale!), this literary tale in a near-future dystopian great lakes offers readers a unique adventure with a hopeful call for the future. A starred reviewed title with a poetic narration to the troubled journey, this audiobook is a great listen!

From the publisher: A storyteller “of great humanity and huge heart” (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Leif Enger debuted in the literary world with Peace Like a River, which sold more than a million copies and captured readers’ hearts around the globe. Now comes a new milestone in this boldly imaginative author’s body of work. Set in a not-too-distant America, I Cheerfully Refuse is the tale of a bereaved and pursued musician embarking under sail on a sentient Lake Superior in search of his departed, deeply beloved, bookselling wife. Rainy, an endearing bear of an Orphean narrator, seeks refuge in the harbors, fogs, and remote islands of the inland sea. Encountering lunatic storms and rising corpses from the warming depths, Rainy finds on land an increasingly desperate and illiterate people, a malignant billionaire ruling class, crumbled infrastructure, and a lawless society. Amid the Gulliver-like challenges of life at sea and no safe landings, Rainy is lifted by physical beauty, surprising humor, generous strangers, and an unexpected companion in a young girl who comes aboard. And as his innate guileless nature begins to make an inadvertent rebel of him, Rainy’s private quest for the love of his life grows into something wider and wilder, sweeping up friends and foes alike in his strengthening wake. I Cheerfully Refuse epitomizes the “musical, sometimes magical and deeply satisfying kind of storytelling” (Los Angeles Times) for which Leif Enger is cherished. A rollicking narrative in the most evocative of settings, this latest novel is a symphony against despair and a rallying cry for the future.

Into the Sunken City by Dinseh Thiru, Rasha Zamamiri

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Onto some YA adventure! This one shines with multiple starred reviews. A fantasy on the high seas with pirates and a treasure hunt to a sunken Las Vegas, this thrilling adventure is a perfect summer teen read. A little bit of romance and a heist too, this title has it all.

From the publisher: Perfect for fans of Fable and House of Salt and Sorrows, this spectacular YA fantasy adventure debut is like nothing else, featuring a unique twist on Treasure Island, a magnetic second chance romance, and a thrilling heist where the reward is great—but the risks are even greater.

In the slowly sinking city of Coconino, Arizona, the days are long, the money is tight, and the rain never stops.

For Jin Haldar, this life is nothing new—ever since her father died in a diving accident, she’s barely made ends meet for her and her younger sister, Thara.

Enter Bhili: a drifter who offers Jin and Thara the score of a lifetime—a massive stash of gold hidden in the sunken ruins of Las Vegas.

Jin knows it’s too dangerous. She stopped diving after her father’s accident. But when her sister decides to go, Jin’s left with only one choice: to go with her.

A ragtag crew is assembled—including Jin’s annoyingly hot ex-boyfriend. From there, a high-stakes heist ensues that’s beyond even Jin’s wildest fears. Crumbling ruins, sea beasts, corsairs, and a mysterious figure named João Silva all lie in wait. To survive, Jin will have to do what she promised herself she’d never do again: dive.

Take by Jennifer Bradbury, Sura Siu, Matt Pittenger

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Looking for some mystery with your adventure? Check out this story set in the beautiful and challenging Cascade Mountains. With a missing person, family secrets, and mountain climbing, adventure abounds. A starred reviewed young adult thriller perfect for mystery fans and outdoor enthusiasts.

From the publisher: Two teens uncover a secret hidden in the Cascade Mountains that spans generations, stringing together family skeletons, lost stories, and a discovery of love and self in this tense and emotional young adult thriller with “great holds, great movement, and a worthwhile finish” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).

Cara is on the cusp of adventure. Unlike her best friends, she doesn’t want to go to college, she wants different kinds of challenges. And anyway, home just doesn’t fit anymore. She is growing distant from her friends and hasn’t spoken to her father in eons. To make matters worse, her ex-boyfriend and fellow climber, Nat, has popped back into town after breaking up with her over text. So it’s the perfect time to leave, and she has big plans for a gap year to rock-climb in Patagonia.

But when Cara hears that her father is actually missing, things change. While trying to track him down, she discovers a trail of clues centering around the history and life of the legendary mountaineer, outdoorsman, author, and all-around climber (or “dirtbag”), Beckett Friedrichs. And unfortunately, the only person who knows enough about Friedrichs to make sense of any of this is Nat.

Their search for Cara’s father will lead into the Cascade Mountains, up a harrowing rock face, and through time as Nat and Cara explore the history of World War II with the impact of Pearl Harbor and its Japanese Incarceration Camps, Cara’s family, and each other.

No Summit out of Sight by Jordan Romero, Kyle Tait, Linda LeBlanc

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Another audiobook on sale this month! Some more true stories, but this time from a young adventurer. With detailed accounts of incredible feats, as well as information on preparation, Romero shares his adventures as a teenager climbing the tallest mountains in the world. The descriptions of cultures, wildlife, people, etc. that he encounters during his treks make for an enthralling read.

From the publisher: Jordan Romero climbed Mount Everest at age thirteen-and he didn’t stop there. In this inspiring young adult memoir, he tells how he achieved such great heights. On May 22, 2010, at the age of thirteen, American teenager Jordan Romero became the youngest person to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. At fifteen, he became the youngest person to reach the summits of the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents. In this energizing memoir for young adults, Jordan, recounts his experience, which started as a spark of an idea at the age of nine and, many years of training and hard work later, turned into a dream come true.

The Shadow Prince by David Anthony Durham, James Fouhey

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Onto juvenile titles, and on sale too! For young adventurers, this fantasy tale of survival is set in an alternative universe Egypt. The legends come alive during a competition full of challenges against monsters, magic, demons, and gods. Plus, there is a helpful glossary of the gods that appear in the story.

From the publisher: Growing up in a village in the middle of the Egyptian desert, Ash thinks his future holds nothing but sand, sun, a few annoying bullies, and lots of boring chores. Boy, is he wrong! On the night before his twelfth birthday, Ash learns that he was born on the same day as Prince Khufu, which makes him eligible to compete to be the prince’s shadow, a coveted position as the friend and bodyguard of the boy destined to be pharaoh of all of Egypt. At first, Ash can’t believe it, but when a floating royal barge takes Ash and his mentor to the bustling, magical, solar-powered capital, things get real. What awaits Ash and the candidates is deadly—five days of dangerous tests filled with demon fighting, monster slaying, and magical spells, each overseen by a different Egyptian god. Ash finds two friends willing to fight by his side—the first friends he’s ever made. But there are candidates who will lie, cheat, and even harm others to win. Not all will survive, and only one can become the prince’s shadow. To make matters worse, Ash is up against Lord Set, the devious god of chaos, who is secretly working to make the candidates fail. But if they do, the very survival of the kingdom is in peril. Can Ash and his new friends save Egypt? And will any of them survive to become the shadow prince?

The Secret Library by Kekla Magoon, Nekia Renee Martin

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Since adventure begins at your library, a library adventure book is certainly called for this summer! A recent, starred reviewed release, this fantasy adventure takes readers on a journey through time. Discovering a library of books that are portals to the past, lends to learning more about family history and secrets. A magical read for middle grade.

From the publisher: Travel through time with National Book Award Finalist Kekla Magoon in a page-turning fantasy adventure about family secrets and finding the courage to plot your own life story.
Since Grandpa died, Dally’s days are dull and restricted. She’s eleven and a half years old, and her exacting single mother is already preparing her to take over the family business. Starved for adventure and release, Dally rescues a mysterious envelope from her mother’s clutches, an envelope Grandpa had earmarked for her. The map she finds inside leads straight to an ancient vault, a library of secrets where each book is a portal to a precise moment in time. As Dally “checks out” adventure after adventure—including an exhilarating outing with pirates—she begins to dive deep into her family’s hidden history. Soon she’s visiting every day to escape the demands of the present. But the library has secrets of its own, intentions that would shape her life as surely as her mother’s meticulous plans. What will Dally choose? Equal parts mystery and adventure—with a biracial child puzzling out her identity alongside the legacy of the past—this masterful middle-grade fantasy rivets with crackling prose, playful plot twists, and timeless themes. A satisfying choice for fans of Kindred and When You Reach Me.

Across the Desert by Dusti Bowling, Stacy Gonzalez

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A journey for survival in nature, this story is full of adventure in dealing with family troubles, meeting new people, helping others, and, of course, traversing the desert. With multiple starred reviews, make sure you check out this survival story while the audiobook is on sale!

From the publisher: One girl sets out on a journey across the treacherous Arizona desert to rescue a young pilot stranded after a plane crash in this gripping story of survival, friendship, and rescue from a bestselling and award-winning author. Twelve-year-old Jolene spends every day she can at the library watching her favorite livestream: The Desert Aviator, where twelve-year-old “Addie Earhart” shares her adventures flying an ultralight plane over the desert. While watching this daring girl fly through the sky, Jolene can dream of what it would be like to fly with her, far away from her own troubled home life where her mother struggles with a narcotic addiction. And Addie, who is grieving the loss of her father, finds solace in her online conversations with Jolene, her biggest-and only-fan. Then, one day, it all goes wrong: Addie’s engine abruptly stops, and Jolene watches in helpless horror as the ultralight plummets to the ground and the video goes dark. Jolene knows that Addie won’t survive long in the extreme summer desert heat. With no one to turn to for help and armed with only a hand-drawn map and a stolen cell phone, it’s up to Jolene to find a way to save the Desert Aviator. Packed with adventure and heart, Across the Desert speaks to the resilience, hope, and strength within each of us.

If you’re interested in more titles that center around adventure, you can explore our full Readers’ Advisory Lists here:

Must-Watch Films

America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston (2023)

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From the studio: Follows the The New York Times bestselling author podcaster, and outdoor enthusiast on his journey to explore the country’s diverse landscapes and discover how they shape our outdoor lives. Wherever we live, we share a love for the wild, but in a country as big and diverse as America we have vastly different ways to find and experience nature.

Swallows and Amazons (2016)

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From the studio: This delightful family adventure film follows four children who dream of escaping from the tedium of a summer holiday. When finally given permission to camp on their own on a remote island in the middle of a vast lake, they are overjoyed. But when they arrive, they discover they may not be alone and a desperate yet whimsical battle for ownership of the island ensues, where both skill and luck play a hand.

The dangers of an adult world on the brink of war encroach on their paradise and intertwine with their lives in the form of a mysterious pair of Russian spies hot on the tail of the enigmatic Jim Turner. The children must ban together, learn skills of survival, responsibility, and the all-important value of friendship to save a family member. Steeped in the wonder of a child’s imagination and set against a breath-taking island backdrop, this is an exhilarating adaptation of a treasured classic.

A little Extra something

Support your community by diversifying your Libby offerings with Libby Extras. Today we’re highlighting Learn It Live.

Learn It Live offers live and on-demand classes, quick tip videos, and programs for wellness and personal development.

Test run Libby Extras to see how each service can entertain and educate your patrons.

Thank you for joining us on this week’s round up of adventure audiobooks! Reach out to your Digital Content Librarian or Account Manager for more information on how to provide the best content for your community.

About the author: Tori Casper has worked in academic libraries, archives, and public libraries in various roles. Now at OverDrive, she helps public libraries build and highlight their digital collections. Outside of work and reading, she enjoys hiking, gardening, wildlife photography, and planning trips to national parks. Tori is always happy to discuss all the books with strong nature settings!