For the most part, children are fascinated by stories about people succeeding in the face of adversity. Because of this, I Survived and Hatchet are two of the most popular series on the market today. When it comes to stories about other kids who escaped dangerous situations by the skin of their teeth, kids will gobble them up. Survivalist fiction fans, rejoice! We’ve got five brand-new tales for you.
Wildfire, by Rodman Philbrick
Wildfires are on many readers’ minds right now because of the devastation they’ve caused in California on a regular basis. Rodman Philbrick, a Newbery Honor author, brings the nightmare to life in his new book. Wildfire is directly in front of Sam Castine’s summer camp. The camp is forced to evacuate as the flames consume the dried-out trees. When Sam attempts to make a U-turn to reach the evacuation bus, however, trees fall in his path. Now, the only option left is to flee and cross one’s fingers that the fire doesn’t follow. Sept. 3 marks the publication date of this gripping adventure story.
Storm Blown, by Nick Courage
In the event of an impending hurricane, what would you do? Storm Blown has a vivid picture of this in his head. On an island, Alejo is accustomed to some rain, but when people begin fleeing the area, it’s clear that this storm is different from the rest. Emily wants to take her brother on an adventure, even though he’s sick at home, but Megastorm Valerie is right in her path. Will Alejo and Emily be able to make it? Fans of the I Survived series will enjoy this book, but it also touches on the environmental disasters that result from extreme weather.
Ann Fights for Freedom: An Underground Railroad Survival Story, by Nikki Shannon Smith
The I Survived series could benefit greatly from a greater emphasis on historical female protagonists. New Girls Survive series aims to accomplish this. To save Ann and her younger brother from being sold, she persuades her family to join her in fleeing the South on the Underground Railroad. For those interested in history, the series’ books on the Titanic and the Civil War include historical background, discussion questions, and glossaries.
Bone Talk, by Candy Gourlay
Samkad lives in the jungles of the Philippines as a young boy, eager to become a man and worried about losing his best friend, Little Luki. Fortunately, when fate sends him in a completely different direction, he meets an unexpected new brother who warns him of the impending doom that awaits him in the United States. For the most part, Bone Talk focuses on colonialism and the dangers it poses rather than the dangers of the natural world.
A Grain of Rice, by Nhung N. Tran-Davies
Under the oppressive Viet Cong regime, Yen and her family have managed to survive the fall of Saigon. This means Ma and her family will have to leave the Mekong Delta in search of a better life. It’s not an easy journey for them to sell everything they own and travel across Vietnam. For fans of the I Survived series’ realistic and gritty settings, this hard-hitting historical novel will be a welcome addition to their collection.
Stolen Children by Peg Kehret
Amy’s babysitting class didn’t prepare her for being kidnapped with her charges and held captive in a remote wooded cabin. Amy must act quickly if she is to save both herself and the infant she has been caring for. Kehret is an award-winning novel with a fast-paced plot and a spirited heroine that is sure to captivate readers.
Stranded series by Jeff Probst and Chris Tebbetts
Fans of the I Survived… series will enjoy Jeff Probst’s middle grade novels, which he wrote while on the show. On an isolated island, a group of young people must rely on one another–and their wits–to make it through the night. Readers who enjoy the idea of children roaming the wilderness without adult supervision will enjoy this book.
The Dive (and sequels) by Gordon Korman
Treasure was found by four children on a summer diving expedition. It’s an action-packed journey that includes a race against time, sharks, and competition. Readers who are drawn to the ocean’s depths will enjoy this book’s emphasis on survival skills and adventure.
The narrative of a family caught in the midst of the Reconstruction era is compelling and honest. As of 1867, the Confederacy has been utterly crushed, and the American Civil War has officially come to an end. However, the battle rages on. Yankees have taken over Richmond, Virginia, and residents of all races are redefining their roles and relationships in the wake of this change. The fourteen-year-old Shadrach apprenticed with a tailor and sneaks off to her school for African-American children for reading lessons with Rachel, a freed slave, by day. When Jeremiah goes to nightly meetings of a group that aims to protect Confederate widows like their mother, he joins in with him. But as the group’s true deadly intents are revealed, Shad finds himself teetering between old allegiances and what he knows to be the correct thing to do. The writings of A.B. Westrick offer a window into the massive social and political upheaval that was taking place at the time.
Seventh-grade twin sisters Emma and Payton realize they’ve been assigned completely opposite schedules by their new school, which leads them to discreetly switch places with one other to avoid their respective cliques. From middle school to the mall, the twins discover what it means to be true to oneself even when the rest of the world isn’t making it easy, and the journey is both amusing and sad
I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79
As Mount Vesuvius explodes in the 10th edition of the I Survived series, readers are transported back in time to see a young kid attempting to flee. Do you think he’ll be able to make it through the devastation that is Pompeii?