Survival Stories for Young Readers

Survival story author Terry Lynn Johnson

Hatchet, My Side of the Mountain, Julie of the Wolves, Call of the Wild—so many of us have been inspired by these books in our youth, setting out into the wilderness seeking our own adventures. Having recently read My Side of the Mountain, my nine year old has been working on his shelter and fire building skills, with big plans to head out in the spring on his own.  He assures me he will return within the year!


We talked to Terry Lynn Johnson, author of some fantastic survival stories for young readers and a survival expert in her own right, for her take on what's so appealing about survival stories. 


"I tend to gravitate in my writing toward survival stories in the outdoors because I love the valuable lessons I’ve learned from my own experiences," she told us.  "Being in nature has taught me resilience and an appreciation of my own capabilities. Consciously or unconsciously, I believe we are all drawn to wild places. The more kids read about how characters deal with situations, the more they learn. And that offers them a sense of empowerment."


Terry's latest book, Dog Driven, is an excellent example.  Here are a few more to check out as well!  



Dog Driven Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328551597
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - December 3rd, 2019

Setting out on a dangerous mission with her sled dogs, 14 year old McKenna has entered a race to spread the word about Stargardt Disease, a form of macular degeneration that has blinded her 8 year old sister. Secretly though, McKenna is losing her own vision. Suspenseful and moving, a great survival story that also looks at disability in a thoughtful way.

Day Zero Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335008480
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Inkyard Press - November 12th, 2019

I Survived The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 (I Survived Graphic Novel #1): A Graphix Book (I Survived Graphic Novels #1) Cover Image
By Lauren Tarshis, Haus Studio (Illustrator), Georgia Ball (Adapted by)
ISBN: 9781338120912
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - February 4th, 2020

The I Survived series, favorites of many young people and reluctant readers in particular, these are now being released as graphic novels!

Notes from My Captivity Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062394019
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - June 18th, 2019

The Trail Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338035872
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Inc. - December 26th, 2018

Where the World Ends Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250225498
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - December 3rd, 2019

Based on a true piece of history receiving many accolades, Where the World Ends takes place on a small island off the coast of Scotland, where a crew of school boys have mysteriously been abandoned nad forced to survive on the islands nesting birds and their wits. Beautifully prose and reminiscent of Lord of the Flies, I think young people and adults will enjoy this one.

I Am Still Alive Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425291009
Availability: Available to ship immediately (not yet in store)
Published: Penguin Books - July 2nd, 2019

96 Miles Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250192301
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Starscape - February 11th, 2020

Navigating Early Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385742092
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers - January 8th, 2013

Set during WWII, Jack Baker of Kansas ends up at a boarding school on the coast of Maine where he meets Early Auden, a boy like no others. Each navigating loss, these two are drawn to each other and end up on a quest to find a great Appalachian bear. Nuanced and layered with many stoires, I really enjoyed this book

Lifeboat 12 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481468848
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 3rd, 2019

Wildfire: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338266900
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: The Blue Sky Press - September 3rd, 2019