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Shipwrecks: Books For Kids

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

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

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 shipwrecks, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Circus Ship to popular sellers like Black Stallion.

We hope this list of kids books about shipwrecks 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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Simon and the Bear: A Hanukkah Tale
Written by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Matthew Trueman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Before Simon sails to America, he promises his family that he will get a job and send for them. Simon’s mother knows he will need a miracle, so she reminds him to celebrate Hanukkah wherever he may be. Little does either of them know that Simon will spend the first night of Hanukkah on an ice floe after his ship sinks.The lone survivor out in the wide ocean, Simon lights the first candle, and it attracts a visitor: a polar bear. Does she eat him? No! She shares his latkes, enjoys his songs, goes fishing for him, and even keeps him warm at night. By the last day of Hanukkah, Simon has nearly given up hope of ever being rescued. But then he recounts all of the miracles that have befallen him so far. Perhaps it is not too much to hope for one more, he thinks, as he lights all of the candles in the menorah. The bright glow signals a passing ship, and Simon makes it to New York after all. This fanciful Hanukkah tale-like none you’ve ever read before-celebrates eight miracles: family, friendship, hope, selflessness, sharing, faith, courage, and love. A retelling of the ancient Hanukkah story is included on the last page.

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Island of Shipwrecks, Volume 5
Written by Lisa Mcmann
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

A risky decision endangers both Artimé <i>and</i> Quill in book five of the <i>New York Times </i>bestselling Unwanteds series, which <i>Kirkus Reviews </i>called “The Hunger Games<i> </i>meets Harry Potter.” <p/>Alex and his friends from Artimé are stranded on a newly discovered island after barely surviving a storm that destroys their ship. And it turns out they’re not alone… <p/>Back in Quill, Aaron’s power base grows as he aligns himself with an unlikely ally. Together, the two enact a drastic, risky plan to finally conquer Artimé–a plan that could ultimately leave everyone in both Artimé <i>and</i> Quill in far more danger than Aaron realizes.

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Journey to Atlantis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

An all-new hardcover adventure featuring Thea Stilton and the Thea Sisters!

At the beach by Mouseford Academy, one of the Thea Sisters discovers a mysterious boy with blue skin washed up on the shore. He speaks an unfamiliar language, so the Thea Sisters call Thea Stilton to help figure out how to communicate with him. She sets the mouselings on an exciting journey across the world to hunt for clues about the boy’s origins. Could he be prince of the underwater world of Atlantis? It’s up to the Thea Sisters to get him home!

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Scritch Scratch
Written by Lindsay Currie
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

For fans of Small Spaces comes a chilling ghost story about a malevolent spirit, an unlucky girl, and a haunting mystery that will tie the two together.

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  • The Girl Who Sailed the Stars - When Oona Britt was born in the magical town of Nordlor, where all of the homes are built from wrecked ships, her parents never expected her to be a girl. Having listened to a faulty prediction from a washed-up soothsayer, they were promised a “bold and brave son,” so as the youngest of seven sisters, Oona’s birth became a disappointment — especially to her sea captain father, who doesn’t believe there’s a place for girls aboard ships. But Oona is different from the rest of her family. She longs for adventure and knowledge. So she steals aboard her father’s ship just as he’s about to set sail for his annual winter whale hunt, and suddenly finds herself in the midst of a grand adventure! The ship has its own sea cat, Barnacles, and a navigator named Haroyld, who show Oona how to follow the stars. But for all that, Oona’s father is furious. Can she prove to him that she’s worth his love and pride, even though she’s not the bold and brave son he was promised? This follow-up to The Boy, the Bird & the Coffin Maker carries just as much heart and charm as Matilda Woods’s first novel. The characters, story, and illustrations will dazzle readers.

  • Black Stallion - First published in 1941, Walter Farley’s best-selling novel for young<BR>readers is the triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse. From Alec Ramsay and<BR>the Black’s first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert<BR>island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the rapt<BR>attention of readers new and old.

  • I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 (I Survived Graphic Novel #1): A Graphix Book, Volume 1 - A thrilling graphic novel adaptation of Lauren Tarshis's bestselling I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912!

  • American Girl: Real Stories From My Time: Titanic - Discover the stories of the real people and events that shaped American history in the Real Stories From My Time series. Perfect for book reports with full-page illustrations throughout, these nonfiction chapter books also include historical photos, maps, a timeline, a glossary, and a bibliography at the back. Plus, in each book, an American Girl historical character shares a bit of her own fictional story. <p/><i>Titanic</i> includes real life stories of the passengers who were aboard the supposedly unsinkable ship-from everyday life on board to the night of the infamous iceberg collision. American Girl Samantha Parkington shares her own story of traveling across the ocean as a first class passenger on a steamship in the early 1900s.

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Baby Island
Written by Carol Ryrie Brink & illustrated by Helen Sewell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
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Tonight on the Titanic
Written by Mary Pope Osborne & illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Titanic trouble! Jack and Annie are in for an exciting, scary, and sad adventure when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to the decks of the Titanic. Is there anything they can do to help the ill-fated ship? Will they be able to save anyone? Will they be able to save themselves?

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The Bravest Man in the World
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One afternoon, Jonathan Harker Weeks didn’t feel like practicing the piano. So his grandfather decided to tell him a story to show how much of an impact music can have. When he was a child growing up poor in Ireland, his mother made sure he learned to play the fiddle, despite their challenges. After his mother passed away and he was on his own, Jonathan’s grandfather fell asleep hiding in a mail sack and was taken to a ship. When he woke up, he realized he was on the Titanic on its maiden voyage, and it was there that he met Wallace Hartley and Mrs. Weeks, a kind man and woman who took him in. Then one night, the majestic ship hit an iceberg. He and Mrs. Weeks were put on a lifeboat—and Mr. Hartley and his band bravely continued to play to calm the crew and passengers. The story of Wallace Hartley is true and he is known throughout the world as a hero. The New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of The Keeping Quilt Patricia Polacco offers this stunning and heartbreaking picture book to celebrate the memory and bravery of a single man who used the power of music to comfort thousands of people during a catastrophic situation.

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The Sinking of the Vasa
Written by Russell Freedman & illustrated by William Low
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Newbery Medalist Freedman explores the mystery of the sinking of the great Swedish warship, the “Vasa, “ on her maiden voyage in 1628, and her resurrection from the seas centuries later. Full color.

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Noelle at Sea: A Titanic Survival Story
Written by Nikki Shannon Smith & illustrated by Matt Forsyth
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Thirteen-year-old Noelle feels like the luckiest girl in the world to be cruising the Atlantic aboard the famed Titanic. The trip is made even better by her new friend, Pauline, a girl who is traveling with her father to live in America. The girls spend the first days of the journey exploring, but on the fifth night, Noelle awakes to a sinking ship. Women and children will be rescued first, and Noelle realizes motherless Pauline will be left all alone. Despite her parents’ wishes, Noelle breaks away from her family to find and help her friend. Nonfiction information, a gloassary, and reader response questions make up the back matter of this Girls Survive story.

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  • The Unsinkable Walker Bean and the Knights of the Waxing Moon - SHIPWRECKED! After their perilous encounter with the sea-witches, Walker and the pirate crew of the Jacklight find refuge on a deserted island. But it might not be as deserted as it seems—shadowy creatures have been spotted in the jungle, and strange animal tracks appear overnight. When Walker, Shiv, and Genoa discover a secret passage and mysterious ruins, the dark history of the archipelago begins to unravel. Legend tells of a mad king, a fallen civilization, and a powerful royal family in search of their lost sister. And for reasons Walker can’t understand, Genoa seems to be at the center of it all. In this triumphant follow-up to the epic graphic novel The Unsinkable Walker Bean, Aaron Renier is back with more breathtaking art and high-sea adventure.

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