The “I Survived” Series and Related Book Suggestions

Is historical fiction or survival fiction something that intrigues you or your child? Then you have probably heard of the I Survived series of children’s chapter books by Lauren Tarshis:

This series consists of historical fiction that is plot driven and faced paced. It grabs the attention of most willing readers with stories about courage and survival. According to Scholastic the books are best suited to those reading and a second grade reading level and up, with Lexile ratings around 600 and higher. For more information on the I Survived series check out the Scholastic’s webpage dedicated to the series. The series includes:

1. The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
2. The Shark Attacks of 1916
3. Hurricane Katrina, 2005
4. The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
5. The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
6. The Attacks of September 11, 2001
7. The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
8. The Japanese Tsunami, 2011
9. I Survived the Nazi Invasion,1944 will be released in late February but you can place a hold on it now!

If you have read all of the books currently available in this series or are looking for more books about courage, hope, and survival for children then I would recommend also checking out: Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko and its two sequels, Pirate Hannah Pritchard: Pirate of the Revolution! by Bonnie Pryor and its sequels, Will at the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863 by Laurie Calkhoven and the entire Boys of War series, Survival in the Storm: the Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards by Katelan Janke (part of the Dear America series), The Winter of Red Snow: the Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart by Kristiana Gregory (part of the Dear America series), Rex Zero by Tim Wynne-Jones and its sequels, The Journal of Jesse Smoke: a Cherokee Boy by Joseph Bruchac (part of the My Name is America series), Sophia’s War: a Tale of the Revolution by Avi, and Waiting for Anya by Michael Morpurgo.

I know that I have barely touched the surface of historical fiction that deals with children facing times of war, environmental catastrophe, and other situations with include a struggle to survive. Do you have a favorite, series or stand alone, that you would recommend?

Best Chapter Books for Reading Aloud

Do you still read aloud with your children even after they have passed the picturebook years? If not, you might want to give it a try. Reading together can help inspire a love of reading, create a tighter bond between family members involved, and inspire discussions on a variety of topics. Having independent readers take turns reading aloud can also help them increase their reading skill and self-confidence! Sharing a good book is not just limited to bedtime either! Sharing a good book can happen during breakfast, after school, after dinner, or when ever. If you would like to get your family reading together, here are some chapter books that I would recommend for reading aloud.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Having run away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.

The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children, #1)
by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Four orphans take shelter in an old boxcar during a storm, and, determined to make it their own, they turn it into a safe, cozy home.

Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1)
by Suzanne Collins
When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four lovable sisters, ages four through twelve, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.

Bunnicula (Bunnicula, #1) by James Howe
Though scoffed at by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire.

If you have already read all of these, or are just looking for more suggestions, then you might want to check out these books as well: Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1) by L.M. Montgomery ,  Matilda by Roald Dahl, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling, Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, Charlotte’s Web or Stuart Little  by E.B. White, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) by Roald Dahl, The Tale of Despereaux or Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo,   The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett, Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Fudge, #1) by Judy Blume, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, Fablehaven (Fablehaven, #1) by Brandon Mull, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, Ballet Shoes (Shoes, #1) by Noel Streatfeild, or The Fairy-Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm, #1) by Michael Buckley.