Survival Stories for Kids

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Fiction is shelved alphabetically by the author's last name

The Wolf’s Boy
by Susan Williams Beckhorn
Marked as tabat--the unlucky one--Kai and his wolf, Uff, must brave the long winter together and learn what it takes to survive on their own. 

The Incredible Journey
by Sheila Burnford
A Siamese cat, an old bull terrier, and a young Labrador retriever travel together through 250 miles of Canadian wilderness to return to their family.

Robinson Crusoe
by Daniel Defoe
A fictional autobiography of a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, & mutineers before being rescued.

Scar Island
by Dan Gemeinhart
Twelve-year-old Jonathan Grisby has been sent to the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys, a former lunatic asylum which is currently run by a sadist who enjoys punishing the boys and setting them against each other; but when a lightning strike kills all the adults the boys find themselves suddenly free--and trapped on Scar Island which seems to be sinking into the ocean.

Julie of the Wolves
by Jean Craighead George
While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl is lost on the North Slope of Alaska and befriended by a wolf pack.

My Side of the Mountain
by Jean Craighead George
A young boy relates his adventures during the year he spends living alone in the Catskill Mountains including his struggle for survival, his dependence   on nature, his animal friends, and his ultimate realization that he needs human companionship.

Avalanche!
by Terry Lynn Johnson
Twelve-year-old twins Ashley and Ryan are tested to the extreme when faced with a powerful avalanche while skiing in Wyoming's Grand Teton mountains. Includes survival tips from the National Avalanche Center and U.S. Forest Service.

Overboard!
by Terry Lynn Johnson
Capsized and thrown into icy waves during a whale-watching tour off the coast of Washington, tweens Travis and Marina find their safety and survival skills tested by the freezing ocean waters while awaiting rescue.

Alabama Moon
by Watt Key
After the death of his father, ten-year-old Moon leaves their forest shelter home and is sent to an Alabama institution, becoming entangled in the outside world he has never known and making good friends, a relentless enemy, and finally a new life.

Terror at Bottle Creek
by Watt Key
Thirteen-year-old Cort's father is a local expert on hunting and swamp lore in lower Alabama who has been teaching his son everything he knows. But when a deadly Gulf Coast hurricane makes landfall, Cort must unexpectedly put his all skills--and bravery--to the test.

The Wreckers
by Iain Lawrence
Shipwrecked after a vicious storm, fourteen-year-old John Spencer tries to save his father and himself while also dealing with an evil secret about the coastal town they are stranded on.

Grizzly Peak
by Jonathan London
Aaron's latest adventure takes him river kayaking with his dad and tests his perseverance, patience and survival skills in encounters with bears, moose, and life-threatening accidents.

Deadzone
by Jennifer Nielsen
Seven of the eight survivors of the Aero Horizon crash have made it out of the deadly jungle, but the desert into which they have emerged has its own dangers, and they have very little food or water left and no sign of civilization anywhere--meanwhile, one of the survivors is changing, and that may be the greatest threat of all.

Island of the Blue Dolphins
by Scott O'Dell
Left alone on an isolated island off the coast of California, a young Native American girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.

Adaline Falling Star
by Mary Pope Osborne
When Adaline Falling Star goes in search of her missing father, scout Kit Carson, she ends up on a challenging wilderness adventure that causes her to learn a great deal about herself.

Hatchet
by Gary Paulsen
After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.

The Voyage of the Frog
by Gary Paulsen
When David goes out on his sailboat to scatter his recently deceased uncle's ashes to the wind, he is caught in a fierce storm and must survive many days on his own as he works out his feelings about life and his uncle.

Nation
by Terry Pratchett ( Teen Fiction )
After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives.

Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine
by Caroline Starr Rose
Hoping to strike it rich, eleven-year-old Jasper and his older brother Melvin set out on a treacherous journey to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush.

The Explorer
by Katherine Rundell
Left stranded in the Amazon jungle when their plane crashes on their way back to England from Manaus, Brazil, four children struggle to survive for days until one of them finds a map that leads them to a ruined city and a secret hidden among the vines. 

Night of the Howling Dogs
by Graham Salisbury
In 1975, eleven Boy Scouts, their leaders, and some new friends camping at Halape, Hawaii, find their survival skills put to the test when a massive earthquake strikes, followed by a tsunami.

Boy X
by Dan Smith
When twelve-year-old Ash McCarthy wakes up after his father's funeral, he finds that he has been kidnapped to an island off the coast of Costa Rica, caught in the middle of a secret and deadly project named Kronos in which his mother is somehow involved,and he must find a way to save them both--and the only person he is sure he can trust is a Spanish girl his own age named Isabel.

Orphan Island
by Laurel Snyder
Living on an idyllic but sinister island where one child is delivered each year while the eldest is taken away, nine children share bountiful food and security under the leadership of new elder Jinny, who trains the latest newcomer and wonders what will happen when her own departure occurs.

The Sign of the Beaver
by Elizabeth George Speare
Left alone to guard the family's wilderness home in 18th century Maine, a boy is hard-pressed to survive until Native Americans teach him their skills.

Call it Courage
by Armstrong Sperry
A legend of a Polynesian boy, who, called a coward for being afraid of the sea, sets out to overcome his fears

Abel's island
by William Steig
Castaway on an uninhabited island, Abel, a very civilized mouse, finds his resourcefulness and endurance tested to the limit as he struggles to survive and return home.

I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005
by Lauren Tarshis
Eleven-year-old Barry Hunter and his family attempt to ride out Hurricane Katrina at home in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans when his little sister gets ill, but when the levees break, Barry gets swept away from his family.

I Survived:  Nature Attacks!
by Lauren Tarshis
Four new harrowing true stories of real kids who have survived extreme challenges and disasters recount the experiences of the young survivors of the Shark Attacks of 1916, the Peshtigo fire of 1871 and a box jellyfish attack.

I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001
by Lauren Tarshis
Looking forward to spending his 11th birthday with his brave New York City firefighter dad, Noah is shocked when the outing is interrupted by the September 11 attacks, to which his father must respond at the risk of his life. 

I Survived the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
by Lauren Tarshis
It's 1863, and Thomas and his little sister, Birdie, have fled the farm where they were born and raised as slaves.  Following the North Star, looking for freedom, they soon cross paths with a Union soldier. Everything changes:   Corporal Henry Green brings Thomas and Birdie back to his regiment, and suddenly it feels like they've found a new home. Best of all, they don't have to find their way north alone -- they're marching with the army. But then orders come through: the men are called to battle in Pennsylvania. Thomas has made it so far...but does he have what it takes to survive Gettysburg?

I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
by Lauren Tarshis
Eleven-year-old Danny Crane is alone on his favorite beach in Hawaii when the world is torn apart and World War II officially hits the United States. Does he have what it takes to find his way home in the midst of the bombs, the smoke, and the destruction of the day that will live in infamy?

I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79  
by Lauren Tarshis
During the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius, one boy struggles to escape. Can he survive the most devastating disaster of ancient times? Readers are taken back to antiquity with a young boy trying to escape as the giant Mount Vesuvius erupts. Does he have what it takes to survive the epic destruction of Pompeii?           

I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980             
by Lauren Tarshis
Eleven-year-old Sally Tanner knew the mountain well, and like many, she never imagined that this serene wilderness could turn deadly. But on May 10th, 1980, Sally finds herself in the middle of the deadliest volcanic eruption in U.S. history. Trapped on the mountain, she must escape clouds of poisonous gas, boiling rivers, and landslides of rock, glacial ice, and white-hot debris.

I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871
by Lauren Tarshis
Originally not wanting to come to Chicago, young Oscar Starling finds himself not only in the middle of the city but trying to survive when the town is ablaze.

I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937
by Lauren Tarshis
In 1937, eleven-year-old Hugo Ballard and his family are making a transatlantic journey on the Hindenburg zeppelin, but as the airship gets ready to land, a blast rocks it, sparking a fire that puts Hugo in a desperate race to escape the flames.

I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011
by Lauren Tarshis
A massive earthquake and devastating tsunami hit Japan while Ben is visiting his late father's hometown, pulling Ben's family apart and leaving him stranded in a strange country during an epic disaster.

I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011
by Lauren Tarshis
The 2011 Joplin tornado was a catastrophic tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri in 2011. It was part of a larger tornado outbreak in the spring of that year and reached a maximum width of nearly 1 mile during its path through the southern part of the city, killing 158 people, injuring over 1,000 and caused damages amounting to a total of $2.8 billion, making it the costliest single tornado in U.S. history. Lauren will bring her signature intensity to this distinctly American natural disaster, placing a young boy in the middle of one of the deadliest tornado to strike the United States since 1947.

I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944           
by Lauren Tarshis
A young Jewish boy escapes the ghetto and finds a group of resistance fighters in the forests of Poland, & he must determine if he has what it takes to survive the Nazis and fight back.  

I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
by Lauren Tarshis
Earning money to help his family at the beginning of the 20th century, 10-year-old newsboy Leo explores the hilly city's bustling business world and modern innovations before a massive earthquake & decimating fire change everything he has ever known.

I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916
by Lauren Tarshis
In July, 1916, Chet Roscow is fascinated by news accounts of the great white shark said to be attacking people along the New Jersey shore not far from his home, but when he goes swimming in Matawan Creek he discovers the truth of the stories.

The Cay
by Theodore Taylor
When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, a teenage white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old Black man are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island where the boy acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion.

Volcano!
by Thomas Troupe
Cam glances out the window of his Hawaii hotel room just in time to see the nearby 'inactive' volcano explode! Chunks of rock and lava cascade down into the city. Cam knows he needs to find his family and get out fast, but a river of lava runs between him and his loved ones.

Swiss Family Robinson
by Johann David Wyss
Relates the fortunes of a shipwrecked family as they adapt to life on an island with abundant animal and plant life.