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Accidents: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about accidents?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to accidents. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about accidents.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about accidents, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Circus Ship to popular sellers like Life of Pi.

We hope this list of kids books about accidents can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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The Circus Ship
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After courageously swimming to shore when the ship that they are traveling on sinks and the wretched captain does nothing to rescue them, circus animals find a way to become a valued part of a coastal community.

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Boil Line
Written by M.J. McIsaac
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Camp Clearwater is home to best friends Nate, Owen and Mercy. They practically grew up on the Starling River. But the summer they turn sixteen an incident forces the camp to close its doors. Mike Elliot, the river guide who taught the teens everything they know, is lost to the rapids. A tragic accident, everyone agrees. Except for Nate. Mike was the best kayaker he’d ever met. The smartest. The safest. He respected and loved the river, and as far as Nate is concerned, the river loved Mike back. If his instructor was pulled under by the Starling, then Nate is sure foul play was involved. To find the truth, Nate must face his greatest fears as he retraces Mike’s final run through the Black Hole, the most treacherous waters on the Starling.

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Titan and the Wild Boars
Written by Susan Hood and Pathana Sornhiran & illustrated by Dow Phumiruk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Don’t miss the breathtaking true story of the international rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand! One afternoon, eleven-year-old Titan, his friends from the Wild Boars soccer team, and their coach rode their bikes to explore local caves. They crawled through the narrow tunnels in the dark to reach the center of the cave. When they turned to go home, heavy rains had flooded the tunnel. They were trapped! With rising waters and monsoon season upon them, time and oxygen were running out. The world watched with bated breath as rescuers from around the globe joined forces to try to free the boys. After eighteen harrowing days, in an unprecedented effort of international teamwork, they were finally saved. Award-winning author Susan Hood and journalist Pathana Sornhiran based this picture book on Sornhiran’s first-hand reporting of the event, and Dow Phumiruk’s beautiful illustrations bring the story to life. The book also includes a timeline and back matter with additional resources.

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Hatchet
Written by Gary Paulsen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Headed for Canada to visit his father for the first time since his parents’ divorce, thirteen-year-old Brian is the sole survivor of a plane crash, with only the clothes he has on and a hatchet to help him live in the wilderness. A Newbery Honor Book. Reprint.

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Planet Earth Is Blue
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
"Tender and illuminating. A beautiful debut." --Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me

A heartrending and hopeful story about a nonverbal girl and her passion for space exploration, for fans of See You in the Cosmos, Mockingbird, and The Thing About Jellyfish.

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  • I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937 - New York Times bestselling author Lauren Tarshis provides a birds-eye view of one of America's most ghastly accidents ever be captured on film, the Hindenburg Disaster of 1937.

  • The Explorer - From Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winner Katherine Rundell comes an exciting new novel about a group of kids who must survive in the Amazon after their plane crashes. Fred, Con, Lila, and Max are on their way back to England from Manaus when the plane they’re on crashes and the pilot dies upon landing. For days they survive alone, until Fred finds a map that leads them to a ruined city, and to a secret.

  • Where Is My Balloon? - Owl and Monkey from I Have a Balloon are back! But what happened to Owl’s balloon? Find out in this hilarious picture book about making mistakes and finding forgiveness. Owl has a balloon. Monkey has a sock with a star and a perfectly shaped hole. But then Owl asks Monkey to hold his balloon, just for a second. What do you think happens? POP! When Owl returns and asks for his balloon, Monkey offers him everything under the sun…except for the balloon. Can their friendship survive this catastrophe? Kirkus Reviews praised Owl and Monkey’s first adventure, I Have a Balloon, “This tightly paced narrative soars,” in a starred review.

  • Disaster Strikes! - Twelve thrilling and terrifying space-mission failures, told by the bestselling author of Apollo 13! There are so many amazing, daring, and exciting missions to outer space that have succeeded. But for every success, there are mistakes, surprises, and flat-out failures that happen along the way. In this collection, bestselling author and award-winning journalist Jeffrey Kluger recounts twelve such disasters, telling the stories of the astronauts and the cosmonauts, the trials and the errors, the missions and the misses. With stories of missions run by both Americans and Russians during the height of the space race, complete with photos of the people and machines behind them, this book delves into the mishaps and the tragedies, small and large, that led humankind to the moon and beyond.

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The Wreck of the Zephyr
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

At the edge of a cliff lies the wreck of a small sailboat. How did it get there? “Waves carried it up in a storm,” says an old sailor. But is it possible that waves could ever get that high? There is another story – the story of a boy and his obsessive desire to be the greatest sailor, the story of a storm that carried the boy and his boat to a place where boats glide like gulls high above the water and not upon it. Chris Van Allsburg tells that story of the boy and his boat, the Zephyr, in words and haunting, full-color pastel paintings. His sailboats sail the night sky with the stars in pictures so vivid that the reader can almost hear the wind in the sails. Here is a work of unusual artistry that will enchant readers of all ages for many years to come.

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Oopsie-do!
Written by Tim Kubart & illustrated by Lori Richmond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“Cheery and affirming.” —Kirkus From Grammy Award–winning musician and TV host Tim Kubart and illustrator Lori Richmond comes a lively picture book debut that reassures children that it’s okay to make mistakes! When a girl drops her snack or scrapes her knee, does she get upset? No! She says, “Oopsie-do!” Readers will delight as they follow along and call out the OOPSIE-DO! refrain throughout the story. This delightful picture book also includes the link to a free original song by Grammy winner Tim Kubart, available for download and sure to be a part of every repeat reading.

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Goodbye Stranger
Written by Rebecca Stead
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-10

This brilliant, New York Times bestselling novel from the author of the Newbery Medal winner When You Reach Me explores multiple perspectives on the bonds and limits of friendship. Long ago, best friends Bridge, Emily, and Tab made a pact: no fighting. But it’s the start of seventh grade, and everything is changing. Emily’s new curves are attracting attention, and Tab is suddenly a member of the Human Rights Club. And then there’s Bridge. She’s started wearing cat ears and is the only one who’s still tempted to draw funny cartoons on her homework. It’s also the beginning of seventh grade for Sherm Russo. He wonders: what does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend? By the time Valentine’s Day approaches, the girls have begun to question the bonds—and the limits—of friendship. Can they grow up without growing apart? “Sensitively explores togetherness, aloneness, betrayal and love.” —The New York Times A Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book for Fiction Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, NPR, and more!

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Life of Pi
Written by Yann Martel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-99

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?

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Accident!
Written & illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

When a clumsy armadillo named Lola knocks over a glass pitcher, she sets off a silly chain of events, encountering chaos wherever she goes. But accidents happen—just ask the stoat snarled in spaghetti, the airborne sheep, and the bull who has broken a whole shop’s worth of china. In the tradition of beloved books like The Dot and Beautiful Oops, this charming, hilarious debut from author-illustrator Andrea Tsurumi shows that mistakes don’t have to be the end of the world.

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  • Hatchet - Celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the Newbery Honor-winning survival novel Hatchet with a pocket-sized edition perfect for travelers to take along on their own adventures. This special anniversary edition includes a new introduction and commentary by author Gary Paulsen, pen-and-ink illustrations by Drew Willis, and a water resistant cover. Hatchet has also been nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.

  • Rising Water - The incredible true story of the twelve boys trapped with their coach in a flooded cave in Thailand and their inspiring rescue. On June 23, 2018, twelve members of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach were exploring the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Thailand when disaster struck. A rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels, trapping them as they took shelter on a shelf of the dark cave. Eight days of searching yielded no signs of life, but on July 2 they were discovered by two British divers. The boys and their coach were eventually rescued in an international operation that took three days. What could have been a terrible tragedy became an amazing story of survival. Award-winning author Marc Aronson brings us the backstory behind how this astounding rescue took place. Rising Water highlights the creative thinking and technology that made a successful mission possible by examining the physical, environmental, and psychological factors surrounding the rescue. From the brave Thai Navy SEAL who lost his life while placing oxygen tanks along the passageways of the cave, to the British divers that ultimately swam the boys to safety, to the bravery of the boys and their coach, this is the breathtaking rescue that captivated the entire world.

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