23 I Survived Books: Learn From This Notable Series

Posted on Mar 11, 2024

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Written by Sarah Rexford

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The I Survived books are a bestselling series that has captivated readers for years. Lauren Tarshis is the author of this historical fiction series. 

If you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, or have children in your life in another capacity, the I Survived books are ones to know about. 

Lauren Tarshis describes many extraordinary events that have taken place in the world, but does so in a way that captivates young readers. This series can instill a love for reading in young children. Plus, reading is a perfect format to educate children on important historical, and more recent, events. 

Let’s dive into the list of I Survived books and discuss how they correlate with various other genres as well. 

I Survived Books: What’s Covered 

What Grade Level Are The I Survived Books?

The target audience for the I Survived books are children in 2nd through 7th grade. However, parents and guardians, or other adults who play a role in children’s lives, may find the books enticing as well. 

As C.S. Lewis says, “Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

I think the same applies to this genre of children’s book. 

Whether you know a child who may like these books or want to read them yourself, let’s look at this exhaustive list of the I Survived books.

I Survived Books List

If you’re searching for the best kids books of all time, look no further. These books cover many historical events across the globe.

From the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the Japanese tsunami, this author pulls out all the stops.

What I love about this series in particular are the various viewpoints Lauren Tarshis uses throughout the series. As you read through the following list, note the various backgrounds of each character. This ensures the most children possible can relate to her work and therefore, learn about history-shaping events.

Currently a 23-book series, here is a brief overview of each work.

1. I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912

The first book in the series stars 10-year-old George, who boards the Titanic with his sister and aunt. Although the Titanic is known to be unsinkable, this first installment will keep you turning pages until the very end.

2. I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916

Chet Roscow lives in New Jersey and works at a local diner with his uncle. However, little does he know how his daily life will take a big twist.

3. I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005

Young Barry gets separated from his dog and his family. He must learn to survive the horrific hurricane alone. 

4. I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941

At just 11 years old, Danny finds himself struggling to get home after his favorite beach is bombed. 

5. I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906

Little Leo is lost in the middle of San Francisco, which is literally shaking. He must learn what it takes to survive. 

6. I Survived the Attacks of September 11th 2001

Noah spends his 11th birthday with his father in New York, that fateful day of September 11, 2001. 

7. I Survived the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863

Thomas and his young sister, Birdie, have almost managed to escape slavery. They travel with the Union Army and suddenly find themselves facing the Battle of Gettysburg. 

8. I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011

Young Ben must learn to survive not just an earthquake but a tsunami in Japan, far, far from home.

9. I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944

A little Jewish boy escapes from the ghetto and joins a group of resistance fighters in Poland.

10. I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, 79 A.D.

This historical disaster comes alive as one little boy struggles to survive the eruption of the volcano. 

11. I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871

Enter into Chicago in 1871, just in time for the Great Chicago Fire, and experience this terrible event through the safety of fiction.

12. I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011

When young Dexter goes storm chasing with Dr. Rays, he has no idea what he’s in for.

13. I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937

Hugo Ballard is ecstatic to fly on the “Hindenburg,” but thirty-two seconds change his life.

14. I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980

Ash and rock fall from the sky as the mountain erupts. Can Jess survive the explosion? 

15. I Survived the American Revolution, 1776

Young Nathaniel escapes his mean uncle and runs right into New York for the biggest battle ever.

16. I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888

With ten feet of snow covering his new home, the prairies of Dakota, John must learn to survive. 

17. I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1967

Set in Glacier National Park, this book covers a fateful summer. 

18. I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944

Read about the largest seaborne invasion in history, near the end of World War II. 

19. I Survived The Great Molasses Flood, 1919

When a tank of molasses explodes, people in Boston must flee for their lives. 

20. I Survived the California Wildfires, 2018

Learn about the deadliest fire season in one hundred years, as well as the most destructive one in history.

21. I Survived the Galveston Hurricane, 1900

Enter into the destruction of Galveston, what used to be Texas’s most important city.

22. I Survived the Wellington Avalanche, 1910

The deadliest avalanche in American history took place in 1910. This I Survived book seeks to teach children about this historical event.

23. I Survived the Great Alaska Earthquake, 1964

Known as the largest and most powerful recorded earthquake in US history, bestselling author Lauren Tarshis pulls readers into the story of the earthquake. 

Are The Characters In The I Survived Books Real?

While the events in the I Survived books are real, the characters are fictional. Part of learning how to write a history book that is fiction centers on differentiating between fact and fiction. 

For instance, if someone asked you, What is speculative fiction?, you’d likely include fictional elements. 

One of the common myths about writing is that historical fiction only includes factual events and characters. But what is historical fiction if not fiction, set in history? 

History crosses genres, however.

There is historical fiction; there is historical nonfiction.

Some of the best books in historical nonfiction read like novels—they are simply that compelling.  

Next Step With The I Survived Books

One of the best ways to captivate readers, especially young readers, is to use strong nouns and verbs. If you choose to read through these bestselling children’s books, take note of the strong verbs the author uses. You may also want to notice how strong verbs add tension to the story.

Remember, when writing for children, keeping their attention is of utmost importance. Once you get them reading, you must keep them reading.

To help you accomplish this task, I include a list of over 300 strong verbs. Not only does this free resource provide you with what verbs to use, but it also shows you weak verbs and how to replace them.

Use this resource and take your writing to the next level today!

INSTANTLY Make Your Writing Stronger!

300+ Strong, Impactful Verbs List (including the weak verbs to replace!)

Strengthen your writing by downloading your FREE strong verbs list with over 300 verbs paired with common weak verbs that make your writing worse!

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