13 Best Survival Books For Kids Update 05/2022

Survival Books For Kids

For survival chapter books that are fast-paced, edge of your seat adventures, I’ve got some great ideas.

The best survival stories have been shared with you because a parent told me that her tween daughter only likes them. As an aside, I think that her daughter isn’t alone. A lot of tweens, ages 8 to 12, love to read about kids who make it through even the toughest situations.

It’s possible to say that many other stories could also be called “survival stories,” such as stories about the Holocaust, dystopian chapter books, and books about surviving medical issues, abuse, or bullying. They’d be right. There are many ways to stay alive.

It’s also worth noting that this book list has stories about kids who have to stay alive in the wilderness, as refugees, and during natural or man-made disasters. These stories mostly have “Man vs. Nature” themes, but I did throw in a zombie apocalypse book for fun. If that’s fun.

You’ll also see that I’m including the I Survived series, which is a great series of books about historical events that are easy to read. A good way to get your child interested in this series is to get them to read the stories and learn about history at the same time.

Survival Chapter Books For Kids Ages 8 – 12

I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis

I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis

These are great, fast-paced survival books set during important historical events. They are always about a young person who is trying to get through the important, life-changing event. There is a lot of action in these books, which is great for people who don’t like to read.

Survivor Diaries Overboard! by Terry Lynn Johnson

Kids will love this fast-paced, short (112-page) story. It’s fun, and it will teach kids some basic survival skills, both in the story itself and in the notes that come with it. They were on a whale watching trip when their boat flipped over. It’s cold and stormy off the coast of Washington state. Travis and another girl are adrift in the icy and stormy water.

Survivor Diaries: Avalanche! by Terry Lynn Johnson

Check out this survival story about twins who get caught in an avalanche. If you like short, fast stories, you should read this one. How they did it, that’s the story! I think that many people who don’t like to read will like this series.

Storm Runners by Roland Smith

Books by Roland Smith have a lot of action and adventure in them all the time. What happens when a hurricane comes and flips the school bus? Chase and his classmates are stuck in a swamp. This is the story of what happens. It’s important to know that the first book ends with a cliffhanger, but there are three more in the series, so you can keep reading with book two, The Surge.

Lost in the Pacific, 1942: Not a Drop to Drink by Tod Olson

Lost in the Pacific, 1942 Not a Drop to Drink by Tod Olson

When a soldiers’ plane crashes in the South Seas, they have to spend weeks without food and water in small lifeboats that aren’t very stable. They move the story along quickly, and the photographic evidence is very interesting to look at. It’s a story that will be hard for people to put down. Make sure to read “Lost in Outer Space,” which is about the Apollo 13 moon mission.

Gone to the Woods by Gary Paulsen

This is a heartbreaking, heartwarming, and hopeful story about a young boy who has been neglected and is determined to make it through hard times. There are also moments of kindness and time in nature that keep the boy going. Is Gary Paulsen’s stories one of your favorite things? If so, don’t miss this powerful book! He also writes his memoir in the third person, which is an interesting choice that works very well.

Alone by Megan E Freeman

If you’re a fan of fast-paced survival stories (in verse), this one has a female protagonist! Because Maddie hasn’t been seen in a long time, everyone in her town has been forced to leave. Days, months, and years go by without her and her neighbor’s dog being able to get food or water. They face food shortages, hard winters, springs, and no humans except for looters once. She knows that people can’t come back for her if they’re all dead, so she’s going to keep living.

Beast by Watt Key

Adam lost his parents in a car accident when they saw a big animal on the road. Adam leaves his uncle’s house and goes to the swamplands of Florida to find out what happened. During two months, he lives in the wild, but only thanks to the kindness of a family of Bigfoot creatures who hide in the woods. It’s a fast-paced book that takes readers on an imaginative, but almost real, survival story.

The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan

The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan

It’s a short story, but it’s full of love. He takes them to the cabin of his friend, the poet, who has died. When the dog finds two lost children in a terrible snowstorm, he is very sad. We watch the kids and dog bond as they try to live without any adults.

Shark Bait: Extreme Adventures by Justin D’Ath

Children who like action, danger and adventure will enjoy this story. They will also like that it has a lot of attention to the environment. When Sam and a friend get swept out to sea, they’ll have to fight to stay alive through hypothermia, drowning, and large predators.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

He was on his way home from school when the plane he was in crashed into a tree in the Canadian wilderness. With only a hatchet and no one to help him, he grows up quickly so that he can get through each day that is scary. Readers will be able to picture themselves in Brian’s dangerous situation very quickly. Award-winning with a good story.

Santiago’s Road Home by Alexandra Diaz

His cruel grandmother throws him out of her house in rural Mexico, leaving him with nowhere to go. She and her daughter let him join them on their trip to the north. He met them by accident. As their group is attacked, Santiago helps them find a trustworthy coyote. When the coyote isn’t there, they have to figure out how to get to the next town on their own. Because of the heat and lack of water, they almost die, but he and his adopted little sister are rescued and taken to separate internment camps where he must learn to live again. Amazing: This book is so good. It’s very honest about how illegal immigrants are treated, and the main characters are heroes that you’ll fall in love with.

The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Colgate

The zombie apocalypse would be fun to read about if you read this book. That’s how Jack thinks about life, zombie fights, and how to stay alive. He and his best friend, Quint, live in an upgraded, well-defended treehouse where they plan for rescuing his crush June (she doesn’t need rescuing being quite capable) and fighting zombies and monsters. This is even more fun to read and imagine because there are pictures all over the place.

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