A familiar problem: you’ve made it through all of Lauren Tarshis’ adrenaline-pumping historical fiction series that follows 20+ stories of kids doing their best to survive some of history’s most intense, disastrous moments.
But now that the dust has settled, what are you supposed to read? What could possibly scratch that survival itch? Luckily, we have a few ideas for you…
Lily’s Mountain by Hannah Moderow
Lily’s father disappears while climbing Denali—but Lily refuses to accept that he’s gone. He’s an expert climber, after all, and taught her everything she knows. To prove everyone wrong, she enlists the help of her sister and they forge into the wilderness, set on rescuing their father at any cost.
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
An oldie but goodie: Sam Gribley is unhappy and bored living in New York City. With only the most basic of basic supplies (and forty dollars), he takes off for the Catskill Mountains, determined to survive on his own.
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Another stone-cold classic (and the book that taught us all the symptoms of a heart attack!), this is the first book in a series of short novels about Brian, a boy whose plane crashes in the wilderness while he’s en route to visit his father.
The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence
Chris and Frank hate each other, so what happens when their boat sinks off the Alaskan coast? They must learn to fish, forage, and survive…together.
Refugee by Alan Gratz
An exciting, modern-day classic. Three kids in three different times that have one goal in common: escaping. From 1930s Germany to 1990s Cuba to 2010s Syria, this book is a harrowing look at the challenges some people face just trying to survive.
Blizzard: Colorado, 1886 by Kathleen Duey
Part of a similar series called Survivors, this book is the tale of two cousins, Maggie and Hayden, during the sudden and disastrous blizzard in Estes Park, Colorado. When Maggie realizes her spoiled cousin Hayden never made it to town after a fight sent him packing, she has to risk life and limb to bring him home.
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Something a little different from your usual natural disaster fare, The Birchbark House is the first of five books written by indigenous author Louise Erdrich. The book follows the story of Omakayas and the rest of her Ojibwe community near what we now call Lake Superior. From building houses to meeting bears, Omakayas’ story is captivating from the start.
Finishing a series is always bittersweet, especially when you feel like you’ll never find another like it. But never fear, there’s always something else out there! And hopefully, something on this list is just what you need to survive that tragedy!
— Books recommended by Samantha Y., Programming Assistant, Children’s Services