If you like the you-are-there historical adventures of Lauren Tarshis’s I Survived… series, try these thrilling adventure stories.
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Little House in the Big Woods
- Little House on the Prairie
- Farmer Boy
- On the Banks of Plum Creek
- By the Shores of Silver Lake
- The Long Winter
- Little Town on the Prairie
- These Happy Golden Years
- The First Four Years
Little House Chapter Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder/Roger MacBride
Caroline Years series by Maria Wilkes/Celia Wilkins
- Little House in Brookfield by Maria D Wilkes
- Little Town At the Crossroads by Maria D Wilkes
- Little Clearing in the Woods by Maria D Wilkes
- Frontier Family by Roger Lea MacBride & Maria D Wilkes
- Brookfield Days by Maria D Wilkes
- Missouri Bound by Maria D Wilkes
- Brookfield Friends by Maria D Wilkes
- Caroline & Her Sister by Maria D Wilkes
- On Top of Concord Hill by Maria D Wilkes
- A New Little Cabin by Maria D Wilkes
- Across the Rolling River by Celia Wilkins
- Little City By the Lake by Celia Wilkins
- A Little House of Their Own by Celia Wilkins
Rose Years series by Roger MacBride
- Little House On Rocky Ridge
- Little Farm in the Ozarks
- In the Land of the Big Red Apple
- On the Other Side of the Hill
- Little Town in the Ozarks
- New Dawn On Rocky Ridge
- On the Banks of the Bayou
- Bachelor Girl
Martha Years series by Melissa Wiley
- The Little House in the Highlands by Melissa Wiley
- The Far Side of the Loch by Melissa Wiley
- Down to the Bonny Glen by Melissa Wiley
- Beyond the Heather Hills by Melissa Wiley
Charlotte Years series by Melissa Wiley
…here are some historical novels (and a couple of biographies) about kids growing up in America’s frontier country.
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
C GN/COMICS TEL
Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
C GN/COMICS TEL
In a semi-autobiographical graphic novel, Raina’s disappointing bond with a cranky, independent younger sister is further challenged by the arrival of a baby brother and an estrangement in their parents’ marriage.
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
C GN/COMICS HAT
When young Zita discovers a device that opens a portal to another place, and her best friend is abducted, she is compelled to set out on a strange journey from star to star in order to get back home.
A Wrinkle in Time: the graphic novel by Madeleine L’Engle
C GN/COMICS L’EN
A graphic novel adaptation of the classic tale in which Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.
Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
C GN/COMICS PEI
C KIDS GENERAL PEI
A compilation of Big Nate comic strips is presented in a new format and is complemented by quotes from the novels, a special activity in the back, and a sneak peek at Big NateFlips Out.
Dear Dumb Diary by Jim Benton
C TWEEN GENERAL BEN
In her diary, middle school student Jamie Kelly describes her life at home and at school, including her attempts to triumph over her nemesis, the beautiful and popular Angeline.
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
C TWEEN GENERAL BUY
It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There’s . . . Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school.
Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn’t let them get away with much . . . until the snowy winter day when an accident changes everything—and everyone.
Frindle by Andrew Clements
C TWEEN GENERAL CLE
When he decides to turn his fifth grade teacher’s love of the dictionary around on her, clever Nick Allen invents a new word and begins a chain of events that quickly moves beyond his control.
Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf by Jennifer Holm
C TWEEN GENERAL HOL
Ginny has ten items on her big to-do list for seventh grade. None of them, however, include accidentally turning her hair pink. Or getting sent to detention for throwing frogs in class. Or losing the lead role in the ballet recital to her ex-best friend. Or the thousand other things that can go wrong between September and June. But it looks like it’s shaping up to be that kind of a year! Here’s the story of one girl’s worst school year ever — told completely through her stuff.
The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow
C TWEEN GENERAL IGN
Two best friends embark on a project to study the behavior and taste of the popular girls at their elementary school so that by the time they get to middle school they too will be in the right crowd. Novel appears in the form of a scrapbook.
How I Survived Middle School by Nancy Krulik
C TWEEN GENERAL KRU
After spending the night studying the Joyce Kilmer Middle School Handbook, Jenny McAfee feels totally prepared to start sixth grade. But Jenny has another reason to feel confident. She’ll have her best friend, Addie Wilson, right there by her side.
When Jenny and Addie meet at their lockers the next morning, Jenny finds out that Addie has other plans–and they don’t include her. Could Addie really be ditching her for The Pops–the coolest seventh graders in the school?
Rules by Cynthia Lord
C TWEEN GENERAL LOR
Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic.
Boys are Dogs by Leslie Margolis
C TWEEN GENERAL MAR
When her mother gets a new boyfriend, sixth-grader Annabelle gets to cope with a new town, a new school, and a new puppy and, while training her puppy, she decides to apply some of the same techniques to tame the unruly boysthat are making her middle-school life miserable.
Amelia’s Notebook by Marissa Moss
C TWEEN GENERAL MOS
The hand-lettered contents of a nine-year-old girl’snotebook, in which she records her thoughts and feelings about moving, starting school, and dealing with her older sister, as well as keeping her old best friend and making a new one.
Agnes Parker by Kathleen O’Dell
C TWEEN GENERAL O’DE
As she starts in the sixth grade, Agnes faces challenges with her old best friend, a longtime bully, a wonderful new classmate and neighbor, and herself.
Wonder by RJ Palacio
C TWEEN GENERAL PAL
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
C TWEEN GENERAL RUS
Fourteen-year-old Nikki Maxwell writes in her diary of her struggle to be popular at her exclusive new private school, then of finding her place after she gives up on being part of the elite group.
Capture the Flag by Kate Messner
C TWEEN SPORTS & ADV MES
When the original Star Spangled Banner is stolen, seventh-graders Anne, José, and Henry, all descendants of theSilver Jaguar Society, pursue suspects on airport carts and through baggage handling tunnels while stranded at a Washington, D.C., airport during a snowstorm.
Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
C TWEEN SPORTS & ADV STEA
Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father’s efforts to start a new business, his mother’s extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm
C KIDS HISTORICAL HOL
In 1935, when her mother gets a job housekeeping for a woman who does not like children, eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to stay with relatives she has never met in far away Key West, Florida.
Hannah resents stories of her Jewish heritage and of the past until, when opening the door during a Passover Seder, she finds herself in Poland during World War II where she experiences the horrors of a concentration camp, and learns why she– and we–need to remember the past.
A poem about numbers and their characteristics. Features anamorphic, or distorted, drawings which can be restored to normal by viewing from a particular angle or by viewing the image’s reflection in the provided Mylar cone.
Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he’s managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he’s in middle school, avoiding reading isn’t as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he’s tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.
First-grader Jessica, a big worrier, is especially afraid that she will make a mistake when she is reading in front of her class and parents on Reading Theater Day, but after lots of practice reading to her dog, Wiggles, she performs perfectly.
When Freddy’s class holds a reading competition–with an author visit as the first prize–Freddy is determined to win, even if it means staying up all night.
Looking for a story about wilderness conservation, exploring (or surviving) nature, or protecting the environment? Try these…
In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.
A young boy relates his adventures during the year he spends living alone in the Catskill Mountains including his struggle for survival, his dependence on nature, his animal friends, and his realization that he needs human companionship.
Presents the adventures of an unusual dog, part Saint Bernard and part Scotch shepherd, that is forcibly taken to the Klondike gold fields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack. Also: White Fang.
Of all the books written by Hoosier writers, Gene Stratton-Porter’s A Girl of the Limberlost is unquestionably the most cherished: the timeless story of an impoverished young girl, Elnora Comstock, growing up on the edge of the Limberlost swamp. Elnora Comstock has served as a role model for successive generations of independent young readers.
Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy’s attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
Environmental conservation is a theme in Hiaasen’s other children’s and young adult novels: Scat, Flush, and Chomp.
After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the Canadian wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents’ divorce. Includes an introduction and sidebar commentary by the author.
Paulsen is an award-winning author of many other wilderness survival stories.
A group of kids are going to compete to break the record for the youngest person ever to climb Mount Everest. Some are not ready for what they will face. And some will stop at nothing to get to the top.
Other series by Gordon Korman include Dive and Island.
In northern California, Julian Carter-Li and his friends old and new fight to save a grove of redwoods from an investment company that plans to cut them down.
After fourteen-year-old Andy slips away from his kayaking group to visit the wilderness site of his archaeologist father’s death, a storm strands him on Admiralty Island, Alaska, where he manages to survive, encounters unexpected animal and human inhabitants, and looks for traces of the earliest prehistoric immigrants to America.
Geronimo Stilton, newspaper editor and mouse adventurer, and his fearless journalist sister Thea take readers on fast-paced and humorous adventures all over Mouse Island and beyond. If you like Geronimo Stilton, why not try…
Sent to live in Room 26, Humphrey, the class hamster, begins to learn a lot about humans through simple observation from his cage, in an amusing tale about a curious creature who takes full advantage of his educational opportunities.
A reckless young mouse named Ralph makes friends with a boy in room 215 of the Mountain View Inn and discovers the joys of motorcycling.
Wealthy, married mice Tumtum and Nutmeg find adventure when they secretly try to help two human siblings who live in a tumbledown cottage with their absent-minded inventor father.
Teggs, an astronaut dinosaur, and his crew escort dinosaur colonists to another planet where they are threatened by oviraptors and other dangers.
A ballooning mishap sends Freddy the pig and some animal friends on a cross-country chase, on the trail of a blackmailing scheme, and into the prizefight ring.
When hired by a fellow fourth-grader to find her missing brother, Chet Gecko uncovers a plot involving a Gila monster’s revenge upon the school football team. Mystery and adventure combine for a great read.
When Bunnicula the rabbit starts acting strangely, the Monroe dogs and cat renew their suspicions that he is a vampire. This series has funny dialogue and daring-do, with a creepy twist.
The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.
Having no one to help her with her problems, a widowed mouse visits the rats whose former imprisonment in a laboratory made them wise and long lived. These extraordinary rodents and their daring escape make for an edge-of-your-seat read.
In 1887, the social-climbing Cranstons voyage from New York to London, where they hope to find a husband for their awkward older daughter, secretly accompanied by Helena and her mouse siblings, for whom the journey is both terrifying and wondrous as they meet an array of titled humans despite their best efforts at remaining hidden.
An imaginative mouse dreams of being queen of the world, but will settle for an invitation to the most popular girl’s slumber party.