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Survival Stories: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about survival stories?

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

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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about survival stories, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like My Side of the Mountain to popular sellers like Hunger Games to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Circus Ship.

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

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Top 10 Books About Survival Stories

#1
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The Long Island
Written & illustrated by Drew Beckmeyer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Some of us like the comfort of familiarity—staying close to the home we’ve always known, making a life, building a community. For some, the intimacy of the old routine is satisfaction itself. But the known is not for everyone. When our 5 protagonists get to wondering what’s on the other side of their island, they can’t stop until they find out. What follows is an epic journey of discovery, danger, imagination, and ultimately, bittersweet fulfillment. Is this sophisticated picture book about man versus earth? Man versus man? Or man versus self? Like our protagonists, every reader will find their own right answer in this haunting and deceptively simple modern fable.

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#2
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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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#3
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Trial by Winter
Written & illustrated by Anne Patton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Dorothy and her family are settling into life on the prairies after a treacherous journey to their homestead. But now winter is approaching, and her dad has gone to work elsewhere, leaving the family to fend for themselves. The Boltons soon discover how brutal and harsh prairie winters can be. With the men away, Dorothy, her mam and her sister, Lydia, attempt to survive, but no matter what they do their sod house continues to get colder and colder and they become desperate for warmth. They must find a way to save themselves, but how?

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#4
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Fish for Jimmy
Written & illustrated by Katie Yamasaki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

For two boys in a Japanese American family, everything changed when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States went to war. With the family forced to leave their home and go to an internment camp, Jimmy loses his appetite. Older brother Taro takes matters into his own hands and, night after night, sneaks out of the camp and catches fresh fish for Jimmy to help make him strong again. This affecting tale of courage and love is an adaptation of the author’s true family story, and includes a letter to readers with more information about the historical background and inspiration.

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#5
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Running Wild
Written by Lucy Jane Bledsoe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Twelve-year-old Willa and her twin brothers have survived with their father in the Alaskan wilderness for five years. But Willa knows this can’t go on–they must escape.

Since their mother died five years ago, Willa, her younger brothers, and her father have lived in the wilderness, in a log cabin they built. They survive on food they grow and animals they hunt. Every year they have struggled a little bit more to survive. Now, with winter approaching and her father becoming more reckless, Willa wonders if they will live to see spring. She also knows her father will never agree to leave. When her father goes on a hunting expedition by himself, Willa convinces her brothers that they must make the four-day journey down the Yukon River to Fort Yukon to get help. But first, they’ll need to survive the treacherous trip…and all the while, their father is on their trail. Perfect for middle grade readers looking for adventure stories with strong female protagonists, Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s Running Wild is a page-turner that hooks you from the beginning and doesn’t let go.

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#6
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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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#7
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Island of the Blue Dolphins
Written & illustrated by Scott O'Dell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Dolphins flash in the blue waters around it, sea otter play in the vast kep beds, and sea elephants loll on the stony beaches.

Here, in the early 1800s, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone, and this beautifully written novel is her story. It is a romantic adventure filled with drama and heartache, for not only was mere subsistence on so desolate a spot a near miracle, but Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs that had killed her younger brother, constantly guard against the Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply.

More than this, it is an adventure of the spirit that will haunt the reader long after the book has been put down. Karana’s quiet courage, her Indian self-reliance and acceptance of fate, transform what to many would have been a devastating ordeal into an uplifting experience. From loneliness and terror come strength and serenity in this Newbery Medal-winning classic.

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#8
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The Fog Diver
Written by Joel Ross
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Joel Ross debuts a thrilling adventure series in which living in the sky is the new reality and a few determined slum kids just might become heroes. This Texas Bluebonnet selection--a fantasy filled with daring and hope and a wonderfully imaginative world--is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull.

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#9
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Scary Stories for Young Foxes
Written by Christian McKay Heidicker & illustrated by Junyi Wu
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Christian McKay Heidicker draws inspiration from Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe for his debut middle-grade novel, a thrilling portrait of survival and an unforgettable tale of friendship. The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe. When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention. Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes contains the kinds of adventures and thrills you love to listen to beside a campfire in the dark of night. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Auxier, and R. L. Stine have found their next favorite book.

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#10
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Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny
Written by Jonathan W. Stokes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the tradition of Indiana Jones and The Goonies, the next installment of this comedic adventure series sends young Addison and his friends on the run from fortune hunters linked to an ancient Cooke clan curse. Soon after the disappearance of his aunt Delia and uncle Nigel outside the tomb of notorious Mongolian leader Genghis Khan, amateur archeologist Addison Cooke, his sister Molly, and their best friends Raj and Eddie, embark on another globe-trotting adventure. When a mysterious package arrives on Addison’s doorstep, criminals and fortune-hunters from around the world are suddenly hunting the Cooke family. Addison and team will travel to London, Paris, Istanbul, and beyond, on the run for their lives to unravel the mystery of the package, find out what really happened to Aunt Delia and Uncle Nigel, and come face-to-face with the terrifying Vrolock Malazar. But Addison and the team find there are dangerous secrets about his aunt and uncle’s pasts and hidden truths about the Cooke clan that must be uncovered. Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny is full of nonstop laughs and heart-pounding action, perfect for fans of James Patterson’s Treasure Hunters series, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, and Peter Lerangis’s Seven Wonders series.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Survival Stories and...

Books About Survival Stories and Self-esteem And Self-reliance

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The Long Island
Written & illustrated by Drew Beckmeyer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Some of us like the comfort of familiarity—staying close to the home we’ve always known, making a life, building a community. For some, the intimacy of the old routine is satisfaction itself. But the known is not for everyone. When our 5 protagonists get to wondering what’s on the other side of their island, they can’t stop until they find out. What follows is an epic journey of discovery, danger, imagination, and ultimately, bittersweet fulfillment. Is this sophisticated picture book about man versus earth? Man versus man? Or man versus self? Like our protagonists, every reader will find their own right answer in this haunting and deceptively simple modern fable.

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Lily and the Great Quake: A San Francisco Earthquake Survival Story
Written by & illustrated by Alessia Trunfio
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Lily is a twelve-year-old Chinese American girl living in San Francisco’s Chinatown when an earthquake destroys her home and sets her neighborhood on fire. Separated from her parents, Lily must help her younger brother and neighbor escape San Francisco. As the city burns, Lily struggles to keep her group close as they face peril and racism. Will Lily be reunited with her parents and make it across the bay to the safety of Oakland? Readers can learn the real story of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake from the nonfiction backmatter in this Girls Survive story. A glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts are also provided.

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Mary and the Trail of Tears: A Cherokee Removal Survival Story
Written by & illustrated by Matt Forsyth
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old Mary and her Cherokee family are forced out of their home in Georgia by U.S. soldiers in May 1838. From the beginning of the forced move, Mary and her family are separated from her father. Facing horrors such as internment, violence, disease, and harsh weather, Mary perseveres and helps keep her family and friends together until they can reach the new Cherokee nation in Indian Territory. Featuring nonfiction support material, a glossary, and reader response questions, this Girls Survive story explores the tragedy of forced removals following the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

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  1. The Seismic Seven - This action-packed, science-infused adventure from the critically acclaimed author of The Countdown Conspiracy follows a group of seven kids racing to save the world from a deadly supervolcano. Perfect for fans of Chris Grabenstein and Peter Lerangis. Brianna Dobson has been chosen to work with world-renowned geologist Dr. Grier in Yellowstone National Park for the summer, and she couldn’t be more excited! But then Dr. Grier tells her and the other kids on the project the real reason she’s invited them to Yellowstone: A massive supervolcano in the park is about to erupt—and if they can’t stop it, Earth will be plunged into an endless winter, and civilization will be destroyed. Bri and her new friends are ready and willing to help stop the eruption, but unexpected dangers threaten to foil their efforts. Will the Seismic Seven be able to defy nature and save the world?

  2. The Last Kids on Earth - Soon to be a Netflix Original series! The New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, with over two million copies in print! “Terrifyingly fun! Delivers big thrills and even bigger laughs.”–Jeff Kinney, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Diary of a Wimpy Kid Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen year old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he’s armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hordes of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack’s loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack’s crush, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer! Can he do it? Told in a mixture of text and black-and-white illustration, this is the perfect book for any kid who’s ever dreamed of starring in his or her own comic book or video game. And then grab the rest of the series, now a New York Times bestseller!

  3. 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.

  4. Daisy and the Deadly Flu: A 1918 Influenza Survival Story - In 1918, fourteen-year-old Daisy’s family has fallen on hard times. Her sister Elsie’s fiance was recently deployed to fight in World War I, and her father’s newspaper was forced to shut down for criticizing the U.S. entrance into the war. When the Spanish Flu arrives in her small town in Minnesota, Daisy tries to shield her loved ones from the devastating illness. As the influenza pandemic sweeps through the nation, can Daisy protect those closest to home? Featuring nonfiction support material, a glossary, and reader response questions, this Girls Survive story takes readers to one of history’s most important moments.

Books About Survival Stories and Friendship

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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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The Invisible Boy
Written by Alyssa Hollingsworth & illustrated by Deborah Lee
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

If no one sees him, does he exist? This superhero-inspired adventure story explores friendship and what it means to be truly brave.

Nadia looks for adventure in the pages of her Superman comic books, until a mysterious boy saves her dog from drowning during a storm and then disappears. Now she finds herself in the role of Lois Lane, hunting down the scoop of the Invisible Boy. Suddenly she’s in a real-life adventure that’s far more dangerous than anything in her comic books.

The Invisible Boy is a mystery and an adventure story, as well as a story about child labor trafficking. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Crenshaw and Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth takes a difficult subject matter and makes it accessible for middle-grade readers.

Featuring illustrations by Deborah Lee

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The Barnabus Project
Written by Eric Fan and Terry Fan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
In a world built for Perfect Pets, Barnabus is a Failed Project, half mouse, half elephant, kept out of sight until his dreams of freedom lead him and his misfit friends on a perilous adventure. A stunning picture book from international bestsellers The Fan Brothers, joined by their brother Devin Fan.
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  1. Scritch Scratch - 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Ark Plan - Jurassic World meets Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in this epic new middle grade series full of heart-pounding action and breathtaking chills! Amazing adventures! raves Brightly.com as they recommend Edge of Extinction as a Holiday Gift for Tween Readers.

  4. I Survived the American Revolution, 1776 - British soldiers were everywhere. There was no escape. <p/>Nathaniel Fox never imagined he’d find himself in the middle of a blood-soaked battlefield, fighting for his life. He was only eleven years old! He’d barely paid attention to the troubles between America and England. How could he, while being worked to the bone by his cruel uncle, Uriah Storch? <p/>But when his uncle’s rage forces him to flee the only home he knows, Nate is suddenly propelled toward a thrilling and dangerous journey into the heart of the Revolutionary War. He finds himself in New York City on the brink of what will be the biggest battle yet.

Books About Survival Stories and Adventure And Adventurers

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The Fog Diver
Written by Joel Ross
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Joel Ross debuts a thrilling adventure series in which living in the sky is the new reality and a few determined slum kids just might become heroes. This Texas Bluebonnet selection--a fantasy filled with daring and hope and a wonderfully imaginative world--is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull.

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Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny
Written by Jonathan W. Stokes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the tradition of Indiana Jones and The Goonies, the next installment of this comedic adventure series sends young Addison and his friends on the run from fortune hunters linked to an ancient Cooke clan curse. Soon after the disappearance of his aunt Delia and uncle Nigel outside the tomb of notorious Mongolian leader Genghis Khan, amateur archeologist Addison Cooke, his sister Molly, and their best friends Raj and Eddie, embark on another globe-trotting adventure. When a mysterious package arrives on Addison’s doorstep, criminals and fortune-hunters from around the world are suddenly hunting the Cooke family. Addison and team will travel to London, Paris, Istanbul, and beyond, on the run for their lives to unravel the mystery of the package, find out what really happened to Aunt Delia and Uncle Nigel, and come face-to-face with the terrifying Vrolock Malazar. But Addison and the team find there are dangerous secrets about his aunt and uncle’s pasts and hidden truths about the Cooke clan that must be uncovered. Addison Cooke and the Ring of Destiny is full of nonstop laughs and heart-pounding action, perfect for fans of James Patterson’s Treasure Hunters series, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, and Peter Lerangis’s Seven Wonders series.

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Addison Cooke and the Tomb of the Khan
Written by Jonathan W. Stokes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"Addison Cooke is Indiana Jones and James Bond rolled into one for the middle-grades set."--Booklist

Addison Cooke's second laugh-out-loud adventure--a journey through Asia in pursuit of the legendary tomb of Genghis Khan!

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  1. Code Name Flood - Perfect for fans of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World! Code Name Flood is the electrifying sequel to The Ark Plan, which School Library Journal praised by saying: "Nonstop action, marauding dinosaurs, and kids on the run: What's not to like?"

  2. Deep Water - From Watt Key, the author of the acclaimed Alabama Moon, comes a thrilling middle grade survival story about a scuba dive gone wrong and two enemies who must unite to survive.

    It's the most important rule of scuba diving: If you don't feel right, don't go down. So after her father falls ill, twelve-year-old Julie Sims must take over and lead two of his clients on a dive miles off the coast of Alabama while her father stays behind in the boat. When the clients, a reckless boy Julie's age and his equally foolhardy father, disregard Julie's instructions during the dive, she quickly realizes she's in over her head. And once she surfaces, things only get worse: One of the clients is in serious condition, and their dive boat has vanished--along with Julie's father, the only person who knows their whereabouts. It's only a matter of time before they die of hypothermia, unless they become shark bait first. Though Julie may not like her clients, it's up to her to save them all. Praise for Deep Water: "Key offers plenty of nail-biting suspense in this survival tale about a deep-sea dive off the Alabama coast that goes horribly wrong . . . The story meticulously details the steps that quick-thinking Julie takes to stay alive. Julie's troubled family history and her changing relationship with Shane are also examined, intensifying the book's emotional impact." --Publishers Weekly "A nail-biting survival tale." --Kirkus Reviews "Readers hungry for an epic tale of grueling odds will also find lessons in bravery, resourcefulness, and practical survival advice." --Booklist

  3. Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas - The Goonies meets Indiana Jones and James Patterson's Treasure Hunters in this funny, action-filled adventure series!

  4. Could You Escape the Tower of London? - Could you escape the Tower of London? You became the hero of your own adventure the moment you crossed the castle gate. Will your choices lead to freedom, or will you be sent to the gallows?

Books About Survival Stories and Places And Regions

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Fish for Jimmy
Written & illustrated by Katie Yamasaki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

For two boys in a Japanese American family, everything changed when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States went to war. With the family forced to leave their home and go to an internment camp, Jimmy loses his appetite. Older brother Taro takes matters into his own hands and, night after night, sneaks out of the camp and catches fresh fish for Jimmy to help make him strong again. This affecting tale of courage and love is an adaptation of the author’s true family story, and includes a letter to readers with more information about the historical background and inspiration.

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Brother's Keeper
Written & illustrated by Julie Lee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Two children must escape North Korea on their own in this harrowing novel based on a true story.

North Korea. December, 1950.

Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live under an iron set of rules: No travel without a permit. No criticism of the government. No absences from Communist meetings. Wear red. Hang pictures of the Great Leader. Don’t trust your neighbors. Don’t speak your mind. You are being watched.

But war is coming, war between North and South Korea, between the Soviets and the Americans. War causes chaos–so war is the perfect time to escape. The plan is simple: Sora and her family will walk for weeks from their tiny northern village to the South Korean city of Busan–if they can avoid napalm, frostbite, border guards, and enemy soldiers.

But they can’t. And when an incendiary bombing breaks the family apart, Sora and her little brother Young must get to South Korea on their own. Can a twelve-year-old girl and her eight-year-old brother survive three hundred miles of warzone in winter?

Based on the incredible true experience of the author’s mother as a refugee during the Korean War, Brother’s Keeper offers readers a view into a vanished world and a closed nation.

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Santiago's Road Home
Written by Alexandra Diaz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"With every chapter, readers will be further immersed in Santiago's story as they root for his triumph over injustice." --Booklist (starred review)
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  1. The Stone Heart - Kaidu and Rat have only just recovered from the assassination attempt on the General of All Blades when more chaos breaks loose in the Nameless City: deep conflicts within the Dao nation are making it impossible to find a political solution for the disputed territory of the City itself. To complicate things further, Kaidu is fairly certain he’s stumbled on a formula for the lost weapon of the mysterious founders of the City. . . . But sharing it with the Dao military would be a complete betrayal of his friendship with Rat. Can Kai find the right solution before the Dao find themselves at war?

  2. 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!

  3. Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 - Over the years the earth has moved many times under San Francisco. But it has been thirty-eight years since the last strong earthquake. People have forgotten how bad it can be. But soon they will remember.

Books About Survival Stories and Siblings

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Running Wild
Written by Lucy Jane Bledsoe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Twelve-year-old Willa and her twin brothers have survived with their father in the Alaskan wilderness for five years. But Willa knows this can’t go on–they must escape.

Since their mother died five years ago, Willa, her younger brothers, and her father have lived in the wilderness, in a log cabin they built. They survive on food they grow and animals they hunt. Every year they have struggled a little bit more to survive. Now, with winter approaching and her father becoming more reckless, Willa wonders if they will live to see spring. She also knows her father will never agree to leave. When her father goes on a hunting expedition by himself, Willa convinces her brothers that they must make the four-day journey down the Yukon River to Fort Yukon to get help. But first, they’ll need to survive the treacherous trip…and all the while, their father is on their trail. Perfect for middle grade readers looking for adventure stories with strong female protagonists, Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s Running Wild is a page-turner that hooks you from the beginning and doesn’t let go.

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Three Bears in a Boat
Written & illustrated by David Soman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the co-creator of the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series comes a high seas adventure inspired by the classic picture books Little Bear and Where the Wild Things Are.

Three bear siblings break their mother’s favorite blue seashell, and rather than tell her, they decide to set out in their sailboat to find her a new one. On their quest they encounter salty sailors, strange new islands, huge whales, and vast seas but no blue seashells. When a treacherous storm suddenly blows in, the three bears find themselves tossed about in their little boat, far from Mama. What will become of their search, and what will it take to bring them safely home?

This read aloud shares its best qualities with classic picture books: breath-taking illustrations, epic adventure, and a subtle message about taking responsibility for your actions.

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Middler
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Beyond the mysterious boundary of eleven-year-old Maggie's town, the Quiet War rages and the dirty, dangerous wanderers roam--a gripping debut for fans of The Giver, Pax, and Orphan Island

"The Middler held one marvelous surprise after another every time I turned a page, leading to a most unexpected ending! Readers are going to love this book!" --Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times-bestselling author of The False Prince and A Night Divided

Maggie lives in orderly Fennis Wick, protected from the outside world by a boundary. Her brother Jed is an eldest, revered and special, a hero who will soon go off to fight in the war. But Maggie's just a middle child, a middler, often invisible and ignored, even by her own family.

When she chances upon a wanderer girl in hiding, she decides she wants to be a hero like her brother and sets out to capture the intruder. But once Maggie peeks past the hedges of the boundary for the first time, suddenly everything she's ever known about her isolated town gets turned on its head. . .

In her debut novel for young readers, Kirsty Applebaum crafts a gripping story of resistance, forbidden friendship, loyalty, and betrayal.

I thought I'd almost reached my fill of dystopian novels, but Kirsty Applebaum has rebooted the genre. The plot pulls you along . . . [and] there is a touch of Harper Lee's Scout [in Maggie]. --The Times

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  1. On the Far Side of the Mountain - Two years ago, Sam ran away from New York City to live in the Catskill Mountains. Now his younger sister Alice has joined him and is quietly living in a tree house of her own nearby. Their peaceful life is shattered when a conservation officer confiscates Sam’s falcon, Frightful, and Alice suddenly vanishes. Sam leaves his home to search for Alice, hoping to find Frightful, too. But the trail to the far side of the mountain may lead Sam into great danger. <p>”Surpasses the original in style and substance . . . This story [is] a jewel.” <br> <b> –Booklist</b><p>”George has outdone herself here.” <br> <b> –Kirkus Reviews</b></p></p>

  2. Captain's Log: Snowbound - Excited to give his report on explorer Ernest Shackleton in school, and frustrated by a monstrous snowstorm that has left his family and city snowbound, a boy imagines himself on a voyage where he and his crew (his family) are trapped by the ice, just like his favorite explorer and the ship, Endurance.

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Books About Survival Stories and Social Themes

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My Side of the Mountain
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
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River Friendly, River Wild
Written by Jane Kurtz & illustrated by Neil Brennan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This winter was snowy, this spring brought a terrible blizzard, and now the river is rising. Sandbags don’t stop it, the dikes don’t stop it, and late one night sirens warn everyone to evacuate. A girl and her family don’t expect to be gone more than a couple of days, so they leave their cat and race for shelter with only a suitcase each. But as days stretch into weeks they worry: Is the cat safe? Will they have a home to return to? And how will their lives be changed? In searing, personal poems, Jane Kurtz explores what it’s like to struggle through a flood and pull your life together afterward. Inspired by Kurtz’s own flood experience, this tale is realistic and unforgettable. Not just a moving story of one girl’s courage, River Friendly, River Wild is a tribute to everyone who’s ever faced great loss.

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Refugee
Written by Alan Gratz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
A tour de force from acclaimed author Alan Gratz (Prisoner B-3087), this timely -- and timeless -- novel tells the powerful story of three different children seeking refuge.
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  1. The Canyon's Edge - Hatchet meets Long Way Down in this heartfelt and gripping novel in verse about a young girl's struggle for survival after a climbing trip with her father goes terribly wrong.

  2. Mockingjay - The third book in Suzanne Collins’s phenomenal and worldwide bestselling Hunger Games trilogy is now available in paperback. <BR>”My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.” <BR>Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding. <BR>District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Though she’s long been a part of the revolution, Katniss hasn’t known it. Now it seems that everyone has had a hand in the carefully laid plans but her. <BR>The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay - no matter what the cost.<BR>

  3. The Scorch Trials - Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch. The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive. Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.

  4. Whale in a Fishbowl - Wednesday is a whale who lives in a fishbowl smack dab in the middle of a city—it’s the only home she’s ever known. Cars whizz around her and people hurry past; even the sun and moon circle above. But if she leaps high enough out of her bowl, Wednesday can see it: a calm bit of blue off in the distance. When a girl in a paisley dress tells Wednesday “You belong in the sea,” the whale starts to wonder, what is the sea? Readers will cheer—and get all choked up— when, one day, Wednesday leaps higher than ever before and sets in motion a breathtaking chain of events that will carry her to her rightful home. Touching, and ultimately uplifting, here is a story about a lonely creature longing to be free—and longing to find someone just like her.

Books About Survival Stories and 19th Century

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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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Ann Fights for Freedom: An Underground Railroad Survival Story
Written by Nikki Shannon Smith & illustrated by Alessia Trunfio
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old Ann understands there is only one thing to be grateful for as a slave: having her family together. But when the master falls into debt, he plans to sell both Ann and her younger brother to two different owners. Ann is convinced her family must run away on the Underground Railroad. Will Ann’s family survive the dangerous trip to their freedom in the North ? This Girls Survive story is supported by a glossary, discussion questions, and nonfiction material on the Underground Railroad, making it a valuable resource for young readers.

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Jasper and the Riddle of Riley's Mine
Written by Caroline Starr Rose
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Hoping to strike it rich, two brothers escape an abusive father and set out on a treacherous journey to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush.
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  1. Sarah Journeys West: An Oregon Trail Survival Story - In the midst of the California Gold Rush, twelve-year-old Sarah and her family are living in the North as free Black people. Seeking a better life, Sarah’s parents decide they will venture west on the Oregon Trail. On the trail, Sarah and her family face all kinds of hardship, including racism, extreme weather, difficult terrain, and disease. But the journey will be worth it if they can find fortune in California. Will Sarah and her family endure the trail and make a new life out west? Nonfiction material on the Oregon Trail, a glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts are also provided.

  2. The Little Pioneer - Perfect for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books, this picture book about one little girl’s journey westward is engaging and appropriate for younger readers. Children of all ages will be captivated by one brave girl’s adventures come to life as she relates the challenges, excitement, and dangers of the American frontier. Filled with drama and gorgeous, evocative illustrations, this first-person tale is a testament to the determination, solidarity, and courage of the early pioneers, each chasing their own American Dream.

Books About Survival Stories and Monsters

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The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast
Written & illustrated by Samantha M. Clark
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A boy washes up on a mysterious, seemingly uninhabited beach. Who is he? How did he get there? The boy can’t remember. When he sees a light shining over the foreboding wall of trees that surrounds the shore, he decides to follow it, in the hopes that it will lead him to answers. The boy’s journey is a struggle for survival and a search for the truth—a terrifying truth that once uncovered, will force him to face his greatest fear of all if he is to go home. This gripping adventure will have readers hooked until its jaw-dropping and moving conclusion. Samantha M. Clark’s first novel heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice.

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Scary Stories for Young Foxes
Written by Christian McKay Heidicker & illustrated by Junyi Wu
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Christian McKay Heidicker draws inspiration from Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe for his debut middle-grade novel, a thrilling portrait of survival and an unforgettable tale of friendship. The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe. When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention. Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes contains the kinds of adventures and thrills you love to listen to beside a campfire in the dark of night. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Auxier, and R. L. Stine have found their next favorite book.

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Last Kids on Earth and the Cosmic Beyond
Written by Douglas Holgate and Max Brallier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A Netflix Original series!

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, with over 5 million copies in print!

Terrifyingly fun! Delivers big thrills and even bigger laughs.--Jeff Kinney, author of the #1

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  1. Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade - A Netflix Original series! The New York Times and USA Today bestelling series, with over three million copies in print!

  2. The Loch Ness Lock-In - The ragtag scout troop returns in a new adventure—this time, to solve a mystery surrounding the famed Loch Ness Monster. Some scouts spend their weekends weaving baskets, but if you’re a Strange Scout you spend them tagging Massachusetts Pukwudgies (harder than it sounds—Pukwudgies like to set things on fire). Troop Danger has come a long way from their Troop Dweeb days, but nothing can prepare them for what’s next: The Strange Scouts Annual Loch Ness Lock-In! Once a year, Strange Scout troops from around the world are invited to test their scouting skills in an old lighthouse on the shore of the infamous Loch Ness. But when the area surrounding Loch Ness suffers unusual damage, evidence points to a dastardly plot to frame Nessie herself! Can the Strange Scouts’ newest troop clear Nessie’s name and earn their badges before it’s too late?

  3. Beast: Face-To-Face with the Florida Bigfoot - Beast is a fast-paced adventure of guts and survival, this time with a paranormal twist, from acclaimed author Watt Key... Adam says he can't remember where he was for the two months he went missing in a Florida swamp. That's not true. He does remember. The truth: He was driving with his parents, and the car crashed when his father swerved to avoid colliding with a giant Sasquatch-like creature standing in the highway. Haunted by his parents' disappearance and hounded for claiming to have seen Bigfoot, Adam sets off into the deadly wilderness on a hunt for answers as to what really happened that night. The answer he finds is more terrifying--and more fascinating--than he could have imagined.

  4. Pursued - Axel Jack and Daisha Tandala are two thirteen-year-old friends running from a billionaire madman who killed their scientist parents and now wants what the kids have—a GeoPort (Geographical Transportation System.) The GeoPort, invented by their parents, has the ability to transport a person to any place on Earth within seconds. Knowing the power they had created, their parents’ dying wish was for the kids to destroy the GeoPort before it lands in the wrong hands. But when the teens are separated by their pursuers, they must make a life or death attempt to find each other and get the GeoPort to a mysterious Indian Temple where the chase becomes more than just a high-tech game of hide-and-seek, but a war for control of everything—money, culture, politics, and power.

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Books About Survival Stories and 1940s

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White Bird
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Inspired by her blockbuster phenomenon Wonder, R. J. Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with an unforgettable, Sydney Taylor Book Award-winning story of the power of kindness and unrelenting courage in a time of war.
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Making Bombs for Hitler
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

For readers who were enthralled by Alan Gratz’s <i>Prisoner B-3087</i> comes a gripping novel about a lesser-known part of WWII.<br></br>Lida thought she was safe. Her neighbors wearing the yellow star were all taken away, but Lida is not Jewish. She will be fine, won’t she? <p/>But she cannot escape the horrors of World War II. <p/>Lida’s parents are ripped away from her and she is separated from her beloved sister, Larissa. The Nazis take Lida to a brutal work camp, where she and other Ukrainian children are forced into backbreaking labor. Starving and terrified, Lida bonds with her fellow prisoners, but none of them know if they’ll live to see tomorrow. <p/>When Lida and her friends are assigned to make bombs for the German army, Lida cannot stand the thought of helping the enemy. Then she has an idea. What if she sabotaged the bombs… and the Nazis? Can she do so without getting caught? <p/>And if she’s freed, will she ever find her sister again? <p/>This pulse-pounding novel of survival, courage, and hope shows us a lesser-known piece of history – and is sure to keep readers captivated until the last page.

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Allies
Written by Alan Gratz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
A New York Times bestseller!

Alan Gratz, bestselling author of Refugee, weaves a stunning array of voices and stories into an epic tale of teamwork in the face of tyranny -- and how just one day can change the world.

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  1. Stones in Water (Revised) - When Roberto sneaks off to see a movie in his Italian village, he has no idea that life as he knows it is over. German soldiers raid the theater, round up the boys in the audience, and pack them onto a train. After a terrifying journey, Roberto and his best friend Samuele find themselves in a brutal work camp, where food is scarce and horror is everywhere. The boys vow to stay together no matter what. But Samuele has a dangerous secret, which, if discovered, could get them both killed. Lovers of historical fiction will be captivated by this tragic, triumphant, and deeply moving novel.

  2. Village of Scoundrels - Newbery Honor recipient Margi Preus tells the incredible true story of a group of French teenagers who helped save refugees in WWII

  3. Alice on the Island: A Pearl Harbor Survival Story - In 1941, thirteen-year-old Alice’s days are filled with swimming in the Hawaiian sea, going to school, and helping watch her younger siblings. But on December 7, everything changes when she experiences an act of war, the bombing of Pearl Harbor. As the United States enters World War II, Alice’s father is sent to a Japanese internment camp, leaving Alice and the rest of her family struggling to adjust to life without him. Featuring nonfiction support material, a glossary, and reader response questions, this Girls Survive story takes readers to one of history’s most important moments.

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Books About Survival Stories and Rescues And Rescuing

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Little Dog Lost
Written & illustrated by Monica Carnesi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On a cold winter day, a curious dog wanders onto a frozen river. Suddenly, the ice starts breaking up, and soon the dog is adrift and traveling – the unwilling passenger on a fast-moving sheet of ice.

The dramatic rescue of this little lost dog, who traveled seventy-five miles in two days, is a true story that will warm reader’s hearts. Monica Carnesi’s poignant text and charming illustrations perfectly convey the excitement of this remarkable tale, and readers will root for this little dog every step of the way.

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Maximillian Fly
Written & illustrated by Angie Sage
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The bestselling author of the Septimus Heap series, Angie Sage, delivers a gripping and darkly humorous tale of Maximillian Fly—a human with cockroach features—whose quiet life is upended when he aids two human children in their escape from an oppressive governing power.

Perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket and Adam Gidwitz.

Maximillian Fly wants no trouble. Yet because he stands at six feet two, with beautiful indigo wings, long antennae, and more arms than you or me, many are frightened of him.

He is a gentle creature who looks like a giant cockroach. This extraordinary human wants to prove his goodness, so he opens his door to two SilverSeed children in search of a place to hide.

Instantly, Maximillian’s quiet, solitary life changes. There are dangerous powers after them and they have eyes everywhere. But in this gray city of Hope trapped under the Orb, is escape even possible?

Maximillian Fly is a masterful story brimming with suspense, plot twists, and phenomenal world building. This compelling novel delves into family dynamics and themes of prejudice, making the case for tolerance, empathy, and understanding.

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The Nameless City: The Divided Earth
Written & illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

The Nameless City—held by the rogue Dao prince Erzi—is under siege by a coalition of Dao and Yisun forces who are determined to end the war for the Nameless City once and for all. And the people of the city—the “Named”—are caught in between. Meanwhile, Rat and Kai must infiltrate Erzi’s palace and steal back the ancient and deadly formula for napatha, the ancient weapon of mass destruction Erzi has unearthed—before he can use it to destroy everything Rat and Kai hold dear! In her third and final installment in the Nameless City trilogy, Faith Erin Hicks delivers a heart-thumping conclusion. With deft world-building, frantic battle scenes, and a gentle and moving friendship at its heart, the Nameless City has earned its place as one of the great fantasy series of our time.

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  1. The Nameless City - Every time it is invaded the City gets a new name, but to the natives in is the Nameless City, and they survive by not letting themselves get involved–but now the fate of the City rests in the hands of Rat, a native, and Kaidu, one of the Dao, the latest occupiers, and the two must somehow work together if the City is to survive.

  2. Could You Escape a Deserted Island? - Could you escape a deserted island? You became the hero of your adventure the moment you washed ashore. Will your choices lead to rescue, or being marooned forever?

  3. Lost! - An ancient myth about a statue leads eleven-year-old Carter and twelve-year-old Anna down a trail deep into the Costa Rican jungle. They get turned around, then chased by howler monkeys. Carter and Anna try to find their way back to the familiar path, but the tangle of vines and trees all look the same. They are . . . lost! With seventeen years of hands-on experience and training in remote areas, survival expert Terry Lynn Johnson (Ice Dogs; Sled Dog School creates on-the-edge-of-your-seat storytelling featuring real skills to prepare kids for surviving a disaster. This book includes tips from the Canadian Red Cross on how to make your own survival kit. After reading this book, you’ll be better prepared for surviving a real-life disaster.

  4. Terrific - When grumpy Eugene wins a free cruise to Bermuda, he thinks he knows just what to expect: a really nasty sunburn. But instead, after a shipwreck, he finds himself stranded on a tiny island with no one—except for a parrot with a busted wing. “Terrific,” says Eugene. “What good is a parrot?” It turns out a parrot is good for a lot, including planning a very elaborate escape. And when the castaways are rescued by a team of fishermen, it’s Eugene’s turn to be kind to his new friend.

Books About Survival Stories and Bravery

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Lifeboat 12
Written by Susan Hood
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-13

In the tradition of The War That Saved My Life and Stella By Starlight, this poignant novel in verse based on true events tells the story of a boy’s harrowing experience on a lifeboat after surviving a torpedo attack during World War II. With Nazis bombing London every night, it’s time for thirteen-year-old Ken to escape. He suspects his stepmother is glad to see him go, but his dad says he’s one of the lucky ones—one of ninety boys and girls to ship out aboard the SS City of Benares to safety in Canada. Life aboard the luxury ship is grand—nine-course meals, new friends, and a life far from the bombs, rations, and his stepmum’s glare. And after five days at sea, the ship’s officers announce that they’re out of danger. They’re wrong. Late that night, an explosion hurls Ken from his bunk. They’ve been hit. Torpedoed! The Benares is sinking fast. Terrified, Ken scrambles aboard Lifeboat 12 with five other boys. Will they get away? Will they survive? Award-winning author Susan Hood brings this little-known World War II story to life in a riveting novel of courage, hope, and compassion. Based on true events and real people, Lifeboat 12 is about believing in one another, knowing that only by banding together will we have any chance to survive.

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Return to the Jungle
Written by Bear Grylls
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In Return to the Jungle, the middle-grade sequel to Bear Grylls’s Spirit of the Jungle, Mak returns to the jungle where he is determined to set a captured endangered elephant free…

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Gorilla Dawn
Written & illustrated by Gill Lewis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

“It is time, Imara. Imara left the shadows and stepped into the pool of moonlight, listening to the demon as he paced inside her mind. It is time, Imara. The men are waiting for you. They are waiting for your power to protect them. She knelt down and poured the contents of her water bottle into the ashes of last night’s fire, stirring with her fingers, working the mixture into a gritty paste. All around her, the forest was dark and still, wrapped in silence. Nothing moved. High above in the canopy, a pale mist clung to the leaves. Thin tendrils of vapor hung in the air, as if the trees were holding their breath, waiting for the dawn. The Black Mamba and his men were folded into the deep moon-shadows. Only the cold light catching the metal of their rifles told they were not of this place. Come on, Imara, hissed the demon. They’re watching you. Imara’s hands hovered over the ash paste and trembled. Stupid girl. Don’t show your fear. You know what they’ll do if they see your fear. Imara breathed in deeply, filling her lungs with the cool night air. She tried to block her mind from the purpose of her task. She hummed softly, trying to ignore the demon and scooped the ash paste into her hand. Hurry, Imara. They want to see their spirit child.”

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  1. The Unbreakable Zamperini - In the 1930s Louis Zamperini was a promising Olympic track athlete. But when World War II broke out, he enlisted and served as a bombardier with the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1943 Zamperini miraculously survived when his bomber crashed in the Pacific Ocean. But that was just the beginning of his ordeal. After surviving for more than six weeks on a raft at sea, he was captured by Japanese forces and sent to a POW camp. For the next two years Zamperini endured brutal treatment at the hands of the Japanese officer who chose to make an example of him. But no matter how horrible things things became, Zamp refused to be broken. Learn all about Louis Zamperini and his unbreakable spirit as a prisoner of war in World War II.

  2. Charlotte Spies for Justice - In 1864 twelve-year-old former slave Charlotte is lucky enough to live on a plantation near Richmond, Virginia, owned by a Miss Van Lew, who hates slavery, and when Charlotte overhears a conversation she realizes that her mistress is gathering information and passing it on to the Union army; Charlotte is eager to help, (especially since her own cousin, Mary, is involved) but her enthusiasm may endanger them all–or help free 400 Union soldiers who are being moved from Richmond further south.

  3. Disaster Diaries: Brainwashed! - “A new evil genius has arisen, planning world domination with his homemade brainwashing device! Are Sam, Arty and Emmie brave enough to save the day?”–

  4. Spirit of the Jungle - This middle-grade re-imagination of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is a nod to the original with a fresh adventure and survival story from the #1 survivalist himself, Bear Grylls. Thirteen-year-old Mak and his conservationist mother have the opportunity to travel from their home in London to a remote part of India, a village on the Wainganga River. Mak feels most at home outdoors, the wind in his hair and the chill pinching his face. But once they arrive, Mak finds India to be staggeringly different from what he expected, the suffocating heat, and the constant calls of the jungle. It’s worlds away from Britain. The villagers tease Mak with folk stories about a boy named Mowgli who went missing in the jungle as a baby and was raised by wild wolves. He knows it’s just a folk story, but Mak can’t help but be threatened by so many wild animals. When a routine outing turns treacherous, a monsoon divides Mak from his parents, leaving him alone and exposed to the dangers of the wild. He pulls himself together and throws himself into survival. A wolf befriends Mak and guides him on his journey. Mak’s quest to find his parents and his way back to the village is fraught with peril, poachers, adventure, and a new appreciation for this exotic and fearsome jungle. Spirit of the Jungle is a thrilling way to introduce new readers to The Jungle Book, written by the star of such hit wildnerness survival and reality TV shows as The Island with Bear Grylls, Man vs. Wild / Born Survivor, Bear Grylls: Mission Survive, and Running Wild with Bear Grylls.

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Books About Survival Stories and Race And Ethnicity

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Island of the Blue Dolphins
Written & illustrated by Scott O'Dell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Dolphins flash in the blue waters around it, sea otter play in the vast kep beds, and sea elephants loll on the stony beaches.

Here, in the early 1800s, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone, and this beautifully written novel is her story. It is a romantic adventure filled with drama and heartache, for not only was mere subsistence on so desolate a spot a near miracle, but Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs that had killed her younger brother, constantly guard against the Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply.

More than this, it is an adventure of the spirit that will haunt the reader long after the book has been put down. Karana’s quiet courage, her Indian self-reliance and acceptance of fate, transform what to many would have been a devastating ordeal into an uplifting experience. From loneliness and terror come strength and serenity in this Newbery Medal-winning classic.

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The Girl and the Wolf
Written by Katherena Vermette & illustrated by Julie Flett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

While picking berries with her mother, a little girl wanders too far into the woods. When she realizes she is lost, she begins to panic. A large grey wolf makes a sudden appearance between some distant trees. Using his sense of smell, he determines where she came from and decides to help her. Through a series of questions from the wolf, the little girl realizes she had the knowledge and skill to navigate herself—she just needed to remember that those abilities were there all along.

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Julie
Written by Jean Craighead George & illustrated by Wendell Minor
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The acclaimed sequel to the beloved Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves, this middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

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  1. A Small Tall Tale from the Far Far North - With the help of Eskimos, Jan Welzl survives a perilous journey from central Europe to the Arctic regions in the late 1800s

  2. Sign of the Beaver - A 1984 Newbery Honor Book Although he faces responsibility bravely, thirteen-year-old Matt is more than a little apprehensive when his father leaves him alone to guard their new cabin in the wilderness. When a renegade white stranger steals his gun, Matt realizes he has no way to shoot game or to protect himself. When Matt meets Attean, a boy in the Beaver clan, he begins to better understand their way of life and their growing problem in adapting to the white man and the changing frontier.

  3. Julie of the Wolves - Lost on the Tundra To her small Eskimo village, she is known as Miyax; to her friend in San Francisco, she is Julie. When the village is no longer safe for her, Miyax runs away. But she soon finds herself lost in the Alaskan wilderness, without food, without even a compass to guide her. Slowly she is accepted by a pack of Arctic wolves, Mid she grows to love them as though they were family. With their help, and drawing on her father’s teachings, Miyax struggles day by clay to survive. But the time comes when she must leave the wilderness and choose between the old ways an(] the new. Which will she choose? For she is Miyax of the Eskimos–but Julie of the Wolves. Faced with the prospect of a disagreeable arranged marriage or a journey acoss the barren Alaskan tundra, 13-year-old Miyax chooses the tundra. She finds herself caught between the traditional Eskimo ways and the modern ways of the whites. Miyax, or Julie as her pen pal Amy calls her, sets out alone to visit Amy in San Francisco, a world far away from Eskimo culture and the frozen land of Alaska. During her long and arduous journey, Miyax comes to appreciate the value of her Eskimo heritage, learns about herself, and wins the friednship of a pack of wolves. After learning the language of the wolves and slowly earning their trust, Julie becomes a member of the pack. Since its first publication, Julie of The Wolves,winner of thr 1973 Newbery Medal, has found its way into the hearts of millions of readers.

Books About Survival Stories and 21st Century

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I Survived the California Wildfires, 2018
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
California continues to be ravaged by devastating wildfires. Lauren Tarshis's heart pounding story tells of two children who battle the terrifying flames and -- despite the destruction -- find hope in the ashes.
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I Survived the Attacks of September 11th, 2001
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
On the day that shocks the world, one boy just wants to find his family. A powerful addition to the gripping I Survived series.
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A Long Walk to Water
Written & illustrated by Linda Sue Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

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  1. I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011 (I Survived #12), Volume 12 - A destructive force is about to hit the city of Joplin...

  2. Tara and the Towering Wave: An Indian Ocean Tsunami Survival Story - When her mother announces a holiday vacation to Thailand, Tara isn’t thrilled. She’d rather stay home with her friends, but Mom is determined they use the girls’ trip to explore their Thai heritage. Tara is reluctant to travel so far from home, especially to a country she doesn’t feel connected to. But then disaster strikes. The day after Christmas, a massive tsunami sweeps through Phuket, Thailand. Tara’s resort vacation suddenly becomes a fight to survive - and find her mother in the wreckage.

  3. Nya's Long Walk: A Step at a Time - In this picture book companion to the bestseller A Long Walk to Water, a young South Sudanese girl goes on a journey that requires determination, persistence, and compassion. Young Nya takes little sister Akeer along on the two-hour walk to fetch water for the family. But Akeer becomes too ill to walk, and Nya faces the impossible: her sister and the full water vessel together are too heavy to carry. As she struggles, she discovers that if she manages to take one step, then another, she can reach home and Mama’s care. Bold, impressionistic paintings by Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Honor winner Brian Pinkney evoke the dry, barren landscape and the tenderness between the two sisters. An afterword discusses the process of providing clean water in South Sudan, reducing waterborne illness.

  4. Another Kind of Hurricane - The world, itself, seems to bring together Henry, whose best friend died near their home in the mountains of Vermont, and Zavion, who lost his home in Hurricane Katrina, so that the boys can help each other heal.

Books About Survival Stories and Natural Disasters

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Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere
Written by Julie T. Lamana
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Armani Curtis can think about only one thing: her tenth birthday. All her friends are coming to her party, her mama is making a big cake, and she has a good feeling about a certain wrapped box. Turning ten is a big deal to Armani. It means she’s older, wiser, more responsible. But when Hurricane Katrina hits the Lower Nines of New Orleans, Armani realizes that being ten means being brave, watching loved ones die, and mustering all her strength to help her family weather the storm. A powerful story of courage and survival, Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere celebrates the miraculous power of hope and love in the face of the unthinkable.

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I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
The horror of Hurricane Katrina is brought vividly to life in this fictional account of a boy, a dog, and the storm of the century.
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I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
The disaster felt around the world . . .
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  1. I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 (I Survived #5) - The terrifying details of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake jump off the page!

  2. The Fever Code - Once there was a world’s end. The forests burned, the lakes and rivers dried up, and the oceans swelled. Then came a plague, and fever spread across the globe. Families died, violence reigned, and man killed man. Next came WICKED, who were looking for an answer. And then they found the perfect boy. The boy’s name was Thomas, and Thomas built a maze. Now there are secrets. There are lies. And there are loyalties history could never have foreseen. This is the story of that boy, Thomas, and how he built a maze that only he could tear down. All will be revealed.

  3. Ninth Ward - In New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, twelve-year-old Lanesha, who can see spirits, and her adopted grandmother have no choice but to stay and weather the storm as Hurricane Katrina bears down upon them.

  4. Avalanche! - A high-stakes adventure series perfect for fans of the I Survived series and Hatchet.

Books About Survival Stories and 20th Century

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I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1967
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

No grizzly has ever killed a human in Glacier before . . . until tonight. Eleven-year-old Melody Vega and her family come to Glacier National Park every year, and it’s always been a place where she can forget her troubles. But this year is different. With Mom gone, every moment in the park is a heartbreaking reminder of the past. <p/>Then Mel comes face-to-face with the mighty grizzly. Now her only thought is one of survival. Mel will soon be a part of one of the most tragic seasons in the history of America’s national parks - a summer of terror that will forever change ideas about how grizzlies and humans can exist together in the wild.

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Leah Braves the Flood: A Great Molasses Flood Survival Story
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Leah dreams of leaving behind the crowded streets of Boston’s North End neighborhood to journey west. It’s the only way she’ll have the future she wants - one that doesn’t involve her getting married or working in a factory. But then the molasses tank at the local plant explodes, sweeping through the city streets. The wave destroys everything in its path, and suddenly Leah must fight to survive if she wants to have any future at all.

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I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Based on true events! It's the summer of 1916 and the Jersey shore is being terrorized by a Great White shark. Can 10-year-old Chet and his friends survive a swim in the local creek?
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  1. I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980 - The mountain exploded with the power of ten million tons of dynamite...

  2. The Great Molasses Flood, 1919 - One hundred years ago, a killer wave of molasses struck a crowded Boston neighborhood. Discover the story of this strange disaster in the next book in the New York Times bestselling I Survived series.

  3. Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen - For fans of

  4. Under the Ashes - Eleven-year-old Elizabeth “Littlebeth” Morgan would rather race the boys, chase skunks, and read about bandits than act like a lady. So her parents send her to her maiden aunt in San Francisco to be tamed and refined. But when an earthquake hits and she’s separated from her aunt, Littlebeth must use her fearless nature and quick-thinking to survive in a city that’s broken and burning.

Books About Survival Stories and Animals

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A Wolf Called Wander
Written & illustrated by Rosanne Parry
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This gripping novel about survival and family is based on the real story of one wolf’s incredible journey to find a safe place to call home. Illustrated throughout, this irresistible tale by award-winning author Rosanne Parry is for fans of Sara Pennypacker’s Pax and Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan.

Swift, a young wolf cub, lives with his pack in the mountains learning to hunt, competing with his brothers and sisters for hierarchy, and watching over a new litter of cubs. Then a rival pack attacks, and Swift and his family scatter.

Alone and scared, Swift must flee and find a new home. His journey takes him a remarkable one thousand miles across the Pacific Northwest. The trip is full of peril, and Swift encounters forest fires, hunters, highways, and hunger before he finds his new home.

Inspired by the extraordinary true story of a wolf named OR-7 (or Journey), this irresistible tale of survival invites readers to experience and imagine what it would be like to be one of the most misunderstood animals on earth. This gripping and appealing novel about family, courage, loyalty, and the natural world is for fans of Fred Gipson’s Old Yeller and Katherine Applegate’s Endling.

Includes black-and-white illustrations throughout and a map as well as information about the real wolf who inspired the novel.

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Black Stallion
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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.

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Cog
Written by & illustrated by Beatrice Blue
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Five robots. One unforgettable journey. Their programming will never be the same.

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  1. Wild Robot - Wall-E meets Hatchet in this New York Times bestselling illustrated middle grade novel from Caldecott Honor winner Peter Brown

  2. Poppy - Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winner * ALA Notable Book * ALA Booklist Editors' Choice * School Library Journal Best Book

  3. Black Beauty - The handsome horse Black Beauty begins his life in a happy home, until a change of circumstances leads him to learn about a crueler side of life. Black Beauty is the ultimate classic novel for horse fans of all ages.

  4. Life of Pi - 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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Books About Survival Stories and Family

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Trial by Winter
Written & illustrated by Anne Patton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Dorothy and her family are settling into life on the prairies after a treacherous journey to their homestead. But now winter is approaching, and her dad has gone to work elsewhere, leaving the family to fend for themselves. The Boltons soon discover how brutal and harsh prairie winters can be. With the men away, Dorothy, her mam and her sister, Lydia, attempt to survive, but no matter what they do their sod house continues to get colder and colder and they become desperate for warmth. They must find a way to save themselves, but how?

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Finding Someplace
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The weekend she turns thirteen, aspiring clothing designer Teresa “Reesie” Boone is separated from her family by Hurricane Katrina but, during the horrific storm and its aftermath, begins to find strength in herself.

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Hatchet
Written by Gary Paulsen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-17
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.
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  1. Bless This Mouse - “Fun and lighthearted.” —Publishers Weekly A resilient and quirky colony of church mice fears another Great X more than they fear cats. Under the Mouse Mistress Hildegarde’s leadership, a resilient group of church mice save themselves from one danger after another—sometimes by the skin of their tails! Can one ultimate act of bravery during the feast day of St. Francis get Father Murphy to bless these mice and keep them safe forever? Rife with humor and personality, this young middle-grade novel has an old-fashioned feel with the makings of a modern classic.

  2. Quick, Little Monkey! - When Little Monkey’s curiosity causes her to slip and fall to the dark, shadowy rainforest floor, she must hide—quick!—because an ocelot is looking for lunch. Thanks to Papa, Little Monkey knows just what to do to stay safe. And thanks to her own wit and speed, she escapes. But no sooner is she safe from the ocelot than she finds herself wrapped in the coils of an emerald tree boa. This exciting adventure will enthrall readers as Little Monkey faces one challenge after another and will also teach them about the fascinating lives of pygmy marmoset monkeys, the smallest monkeys in the world.

Books About Survival Stories and Disasters

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Flooded: Requiem for Johnstown
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
THERE WAS NOTHING NATURAL ABOUT THIS DISASTER
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Emmi in the City: A Great Chicago Fire Survival Story
Written by & illustrated by Alessia Trunfio
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Although Emmi has lived in Chicago for two years, she finds it hard to love her adopted city. As a German immigrant in the early 1870s, she’s often teased by her America-born peers. But when the Great Fire breaks out on October 8, 1871, Emmi and her enemies find themselves braving the smoke and flames together. Can Emmi and the others survive the danger to escape the burning city? Readers can learn the real story of the Great Chicago Fire from the nonfiction back matter in this Girls Survive story. A glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts are also provided.

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Wildfire
Written by Rodman Philbrick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Newbery Honor author Rodman Philbrick sends readers straight into the nightmare of a raging wildfire as 12-year-old Sam is trapped by explosive flames and deadly smoke that threaten to take his life. Can he survive?
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  1. Noelle at Sea: A Titanic Survival Story - 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.

  2. Hunger - It is the autumn of 1846 in Ireland. Lorraine and her brother are waiting for the time to pick the potato crop on their family farm leased from an English landowner. But this year is different—the spuds are mushy and ruined. What will Lorraine and her family do? Then Lorraine meets Miss Susannah, the daughter of the wealthy English landowner who owns Lorraine’s family’s farm, and the girls form an unlikely friendship that they must keep a secret from everyone. Two different cultures come together in a deserted Irish meadow. And Lorraine has one question: how can she help her family survive? A little known part of history, the Irish potato famine altered history forever and caused a great immigration in the later part of the 1800s. Lorraine’s story is a heartbreaking and ultimately redemptive story of one girl’s strength and resolve to save herself and her family against all odds.

  3. Tracks in the Snow - Erin and Tiffany are snowbound, with only one thought - survival! For fans of Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet, a story of two girls who must rely on their wits to stay alive when they become trapped in the snow. When Erin goes looking for her babysitter, who has disappeared, she persuades Tiffany, her new science partner, to do a project on animal tracks, figuring the project will give her an excuse to search the woods for Amy. While the two girls are in the woods, a sudden spring blizzard strikes–and they know no one will start to look for them for the next three days. A page-turning adventure of wilderness survival

  4. Chasing Helicity - Helicity is well aware that her name is unusual - kind of like Helicity herself. The word Helicity means to spin, and for as long as she can remember, Helicity has been fascinated by the weather. The weather is Helicity’s escape from her own reality - may that be school, her father’s strict discipline, or her brother’s imminent departure for college where he’s all set to play football. One fateful day, Helicity and her horse head out on a long ride to take a break from life at home. Even with her vast experience with weather, Helicity is unprepared for the elements she faces. The choices Helicity makes before, during, and after that storm will have a lasting effect on her family and her future.

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