Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Kites and other Wind-borne Adventures

Airman - (ISBN: 978-1423107514)

by Eoin Colfer

Conor’s unusual birth in a hot-air balloon leads to a life-long interest in flying. After being imprisoned, he tries to escape in some type of flying machine. That is only one of his many wonderful and fantastic adventures involving intrigue, romance, and plenty of action. Think about where you were born; what lasting effects did that location have on your life?

Bird - (ISBN: 9780385905572)

by Rita Murphy

Tiny Miranda ends up living with a widow on Lake Champlain after she is blown from home. She gradually becomes more and more wary of her caretaker and suspects that her husband’s death was not accidental. She makes friends and plots an escape via kite. Have you ever wished you could plot an escape?

Flight, Volume One - (ISBN: 978-0345496362)

by Kazu Kibuishi

This collection of stories, in graphic novel form, share the themes of flight and growing up. As the first in a successful series, this book draws readers into fantasy, science fiction, glorious illustrations, and the comic book format. How does reading a graphic novel compare to reading a booking text form? Are there advantages and disadvantages to experiencing a story this way?

Lost in the Labyrinth - (ISBN: 9780618166848)

by Patrice Kindl

This slightly jazzed up classical Greek tale invokes the fantasy world of half-God, half-monster creatures such as Theseus and the Minotaur. The monster Minotaur is the half-brother of the narrator, a watchful Xenodice, who tries to support and protect her brother and her friends Icarus and Daedalus. After reading this book, your family may enjoy delving more deeply into the classic myths. What company names, logos, and other stories can you find that mention or show characters from ancient myths?

Maze - (ISBN: 9780380729135)

by Will Hobbs

After Rick escapes an orphan’s undesirable life of foster care home changes and juvenile detention centers, he comes under the influence of an adventurous naturalist. His new teacher helps him to appreciate the flights of condors and the charms of hang gliding. For a fast-paced read that includes mystery and weapon smugglers in the wilderness, try this Hobbs work. Have you ever met someone outside your family who has taught you about a whole new set of experiences?

Night Crossing: The Great Balloon Escape - (ISBN: 978-0340279076)

by Jurgen Petshull

The View from a Kite - (ISBN: 978-1551095912)

by Maureen Hull

Wings - (ISBN: 978-0440239048)

by Julie Gonzalez

Activities for this Theme

Try the movie Night Crossing in which neighbors sew their own balloon to escape from East Germany.


Get a group of teens together to try a survival exercise.


Enjoy the classic movie Herbie the Love Bug with the whole family!