A Wrinkle in Time whisks readers through time and space on an adventure of epic proportions with strong themes of good versus evil and the power of love. Celebrate this timeless classic with A Wrinkle in Time read-alikes: books that feature strong, smart kids on mind-blowing journeys, often in space or other imaginative worlds.
Law-breaking scientists take DNA from criminal masterminds to clone them and raise the cloned children as their own within a utopian-like town. When some of the clones find out, the revelation pushes the kids to escape and look for answers about who they are and where they belong. It’s an action-packed, mind-blowing story that raises the question: Are you born bad or made that way?
The Phantom Tollbooth
Milo is bored with his life. Even when a tollbooth appears unexpectedly in his bedroom, he’s not that excited. However, once Milo drives through, this alternative world tempts him to start thinking, problem solving, and imagining. This classic story enchants readers with its unexpected life lessons and punny sense of humor.
Time Traveling with a Hamster
Time travel isn’t as easy as you'd think. After finding a message from his dad, 12-year-old Al travels back in time to 1984 where he’ll try to prevent his father’s go-kart accident, an accident that eventually leads to his father’s death. This time-travel adventure story deals with grief, love, and family, not to mention the ethical questions that arise from messing around with time.
In a quest to save his dying Grandpa Ephraim, Micah and his friend Jenny find the magical Circus Mirandus. Micah seeks the mysterious Lightbender, a man who owes Grandpa Ephraim a miracle. When the Lightbender doesn’t fulfill his promise, Micah seeks out his own magic to find the best solution for Grandpa Ephraim.
The Forbidden Library Series
While forced to live at her uncle’s manor, Alice learns she’s a Reader, meaning she can enter the worlds of books. Unfortunately, when she does, Alice becomes trapped in a terrifying book world with monstrous creatures. To return home, she must be smart enough to defeat the monsters inside the book’s world or she’ll be stuck there forever.
Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic
Living in the aftermath of the collision of past, present, and future, 13-year-old Diego and three friends leave New Chicago to rescue Diego’s kidnapped dad and the other engineers taken by a radical group whose proposition to return the times to before would kill any children created in this new time. (Including Diego.) Non-stop action, a mind-bending plot, and lush, full-color illustrations make this a not-to-be-missed adventure with heroic kids.
Nicola Berry and the Petrifying Problem with Princess PetronellaAvailable from:
Bestselling adult author Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies) wades into the world of middle grade fiction with this fast-paced sci-fi series that stars Nicola Berry, a girl who’s tasked with the not-so-small responsibility of saving Earth. It’s up to Nicola, and her friends, to travel to Princess Petronella’s planet to convince the snooty princess not to use Earth as the dumping ground for her planet’s garbage.Available from:
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
In desperation and with a sick son, Mrs. Frisby, a mouse, turns to the genius rats who also live on the farm. These rats escaped a science laboratory, along with her former husband, where they were injected with something that made them intelligent. Mrs. Frisby hopes the rats will move her family’s winter home before the dreaded plows come. Discover the rodent’s unbelievable history at the laboratory as you see Mrs. Frisby’s personal drama unfold.
The Glass Sentence
The daughter of explorers and map makers, Sophia, and a refugee boy named Theo, hope to find her kidnapped uncle Shadrack. In a world with unexpected timelines, pirates, scientists, magic, and so many maps, the pair use Shadrack’s maps in hopes of finding him as well as discovering the truth about Sophia’s missing parents.
A Tale Dark and Grimm
In this more macabre Hansel and Gretel story, the famous siblings run away from their cursed, royal parents. Lucky for readers, the sassy narrator gives warnings of the bloody events to come in this Grimm-inspired imagining. Once in the woods, Hansel transforms into a beast while Gretel searches for better parents. Compelling storytelling will keep readers hooked from the first page to the last.
The Lord of the Rings Series
In an epic fantasy saga of good versus evil, follow the brave journey of a hobbit named Frodo who leaves his home to destroy the evil ring of Sauron. Accompanied by a motley group of friends and protectors, Frodo and crew face attacks from creatures like the dark Orcs and a crazy, ring-obsessed creature as the ring slowly poisons Frodo’s mind. Skilled world-building with incredibly detailed plotting have kept readers enchanted with this fantasy world for decades.
Living on the moon is dull. That is, until a scientist dies. Twelve-year-old Dash suspects murder. He and new friend Kira search for clues to prove that it wasn’t an accident, including venturing out onto the moon’s surface. Readers will love this murder mystery set in space with more books to follow.
What books would you add to this list? Share with us in the comments below.