Summer is the perfect time for an adventure. Even if kids are stuck at home, they can still have a thrilling time—all they need to do is open a book. Whether readers want a heartfelt emotional journey, summer camp hijinks, or an unforgettable trek through the desert, they’ll find something to keep them spellbound.

In Craig Silvey’s The Underdogs of Upson Downs (Knopf, March 12), an Australian girl’s sole hope of saving the family farm rests on her devoted dog, Runt. The Grand Prize at a prestigious agility competition is a quarter of a million dollars…but Runt performs only when no one but Annie is watching. Silvey’s enthralling tale has it all: a resolute protagonist, a quirky supporting cast, villains readers will love to hate, and a dog who (spoiler alert!) survives to the book’s conclusion.

When Maya, the shy protagonist of Violet Chan Karim’s Summer Vamp (Random House Graphic, May 14), gets on the wrong bus, she ends up at a camp for vampires. Her plans of learning to make the perfect crepe at culinary camp are dashed, and she must keep the other campers from discovering she’s a human. This winsome graphic novel sees Maya slowly coming into her own. The vampires in Karim’s manga-flavored art are too adorable to be truly scary (these creatures of the night sip juice boxes filled with animal blood rather than preying on humans); even the horror averse will be charmed.

Ronnie is reluctant to attend summer camp, and her feeling only intensifies when she sees a terrifying ghost on her first day. But Camp Foster might be just what the young Korean American girl needs as she uncovers family secrets. Jenna Lee-Yun’s The Last Rhee Witch (Disney-Hyperion, May 14) is by turns gripping and poignant. Korean mythology—dokkaebi, gwishin—is deftly folded into the narrative as Ronnie learns about her past, forges new friendships, and emerges with a stronger sense of who she is.

Brenda Woods’ With Just One Wing (Nancy Paulsen Books, May 14) centers on a boy whose summer plans are for the birds—in the best way possible. Coop falls from a tree while trying to touch the eggs laid by a mockingbird in his grandparents’ backyard. While he recovers from his injuries, he and his friend Zandi observe the birds and rescue one of the babies, born with only a single wing. As this quietly moving novel unfolds, Coop comes to identify with the hatchling and unpacks complicated feelings about having been adopted at birth.

In Jennifer Torres’ Vega’s Piece of the Sky (Little, Brown, June 11), strong-willed Vega and her anxious cousin Mila form an alliance with Jasper, whose father sells rare rocks, after a meteorite lands in the desert. Sneaking out after dark, the kids share secrets and open up about why they’re so determined to find pieces of the meteorite, potentially worth thousands. Torres serves up vicarious thrills, a few scary moments, and scenes of tender candor; the result is a heartwarming coming-of-age tale in the vein of Stand by Me or The Goonies.

Mahnaz Dar is a young readers’ editor.