Where protagonists have a mission or go on epic journeys and have to overcome many obstacles before they reach their destination. Often fraught with danger and accompanied by plenty of physical action.
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.
By Peter Dickinson Thirteen-year-old Theodore lives in a remote mission in nineteenth century China. One dreadful night they are attacked by the rebels of the Chinese Boxer uprising, his father is killed and Theodore flees.
January Kim by Rudyard Kipling Loved the two metaphors of rivers and wheels. What a dynamic character is Kim! Tough read at times; Kipling's language and all the local references require some concentration or willingness to skim lightly at times.
Jock of the Bushveld by Percy Fitzpatrick - set in the rough Bushveld of South Africa's gold mining era. Jock is the faithful dog and companion of a transport rider. Jock, the runt of the litter, turns out to be a faithful companion to the end.