Note: Neither of the following books is action-packed. They are dramas – well written and good enough to keep me reading, which says something. They are literature, but not pretentious, and a good read for kids or adults who are not hyped up on space battles and kung-fu.
Fireweed is the story of two runaways – boy and girl – who form a bond of friendship after discovering each other during the WWII London Blitz. There is fear and danger, and a bit of romance, as the kids learn to live and survive together. This story also has a realistic ending, always a plus. (Penguin, 1969)
Scarlet Sails is one of the very few books I’ve read that were translated into English. In this case, Russian author Alexander Grin (Aleksandr Stepanovich Grinevsky) has written a love story that takes place in an unnamed and somewhat surreal town by the sea. I’m no expert on translations, but I thought the English version was well-written, with a different “vibe” than many of the books I’ve read. I’m also not a romance fan but this story transcended that for me. I’m pretty sure it’s out-of-print but available used, and has been published in many editions, both English and Russian. (Scribner, 1967)