Each one is fascinating, but just try booking a flight there. To fire your children's imagination about the real world--and bring sensational travel destinations vividly to life--check out these rollicking tales aimed squarely at the pre-teen crowd.
The Time Warp Trio
Brooklyn buddies Joe, Fred, and Sam are unwillingly zapped around time from ancient Egypt to Mayan Mexico to medieval Scotland to Renaissance Italy, finding themselves in hilarious adventures that appeal to kids and adults alike. Jon Scieszka's books have inspired a Discovery Kids Channel TV show, as well as a cool website, timewarptrio.com.
Magic Tree House
In Mary Pope Osborne's hugely popular series--37 books and counting--Jack and Annie travel around the world (Australia, Africa, Hawaii, the Amazon) and sometimes through time (to the original Olympics in Greece, San Francisco's 1906 earthquake). There are also Research Guides companion books for sale, with info on cultures, places, and eras.
The Bridges In . . .
Sisters Robin and Jo Bridge, who are serially left on their own in London, Edinburgh, and Paris, solve mysteries by hunting down clues scattered around each metropolis. Author Michele Sobel Spirn includes maps, guides to local slang, blurbs on attractions and fun neighborhoods, and other information to help families have their own adventures in the cities.