Kids Who Save the World: A Reading List

Cassandra Neace

Staff Writer

Cassandra Neace is a high school English teacher in Houston. When she's not in the classroom, she reads books and writes about them. She prides herself on her ability to recommend a book for most any occasion. She can be found on Instagram @read_write_make

aquiferThis week’s Riot Recommendation is sponsored by Aquifer by Jonathan Friesen.

Only he can bring what they need to survive…

In 2250, water is scarce, and those who control it control everything. And they’ll do anything to maintain their power – deceiving, dividing families, banning love… even killing those who oppose them.

But above all, they seek to control knowledge and communication – ensuring the truth that will bring their downfall will never be known. But one person verges on discovering it all.

Sixteen-year-old Luca becomes the Deliverer, the only one allowed to contact the people called ‘Water Rats,’ who mine the essential water deep underground and bring it to the ‘Toppers’ who desperately need it above. 

But when he meets a Water Rat who captures his heart and leads him to secrets – secrets about a vast conspiracy, and about himself – the net around him tightens. Luca and those around him must uncover and share the truth needed to overthrow tyranny – even as they fight for their lives.


Who doesn’t remember putting on a cape, tearing through the house or around the back yard, and pretending the future of humanity rested on their shoulders? As kids, we dream of being able to save the world, and as adults, we can revisit the fantasy through fiction.

In this week’s Riot Rec, we wanted to know: what are your favorite books about kids who are on a mission to save the world?  The result? A list of series (and a few stand-alone books) that will keep you reading for quite some time.  Take a look:

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan

TimeRiders series by Alex Scarrow

Maximum Ride series by James Patterson

Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate

The Amber Amulet by Craig Silvey

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

Century Quartet Series  by Pierdomenico Baccalario

The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Secret Series by Psuedonymous Bosh

Leviathan series by Scott Westerfield

Johnny Maxwell series by Terry Pratchett

The Wide Awake Princess series by E.D. Baker

The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick

Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale

The Cronus Chronicles by Anne Ursu

Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull

Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz

Divergent series by Veronica Roth

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy


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