Adventure & Survival

High-energy books to get your heart racing! Full of narrow escapes, wild adventures, and more. Most of these are Realistic Fiction (though very high drama!). Other adventurous “flavors” can also be found in Science Fiction or Fantasy!

**Conflicts in A&S can be a little different than other stories. Look for these shortcuts:

PvN = Protagonist versus Nature (no “bad guys,” just someone trying to survive in the wilderness)

PvP = Protagonist versus Other People (yep, “bad guys” included)

Heists & Fugitives (PvP)

Protagonists run from a bad guy and must contact the authorities before...

Chasing Vermeer - Blue Balliett

Crossing the Wire - Will Hobbs

The Danger Box - Blue Balliett

Edgeland - Jake Halpern

The Graham Cracker Plot - Shelley Tougas

I Am Princess X - Cherie Priest

Loot: How to Steal a Fortune - Jude Watson

Millions - Frank Cottrell Boyce

On the Run [series] - Gordon Korman

South by Southeast - Anthony Horowitz

Striker: Sudden Death - Nick Hale

Swindle - Gordon Korman

The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid - Colin Meloy


Historical Adventures & Survivors

Beyond the Bright Sea - Lauren Wolk

The Detective’s Assistant - Kate Hannigan

Projekt 1065 - Alan Gratz

Shadow on the Mountain - Margi Preus


Living Out in the Wilderness (PvN)

Protagonist endures challenges of nature.

Blind Mountain - Jane Resh Thomas

Go Big or Go Home - Will Hobbs

Hatchet - Gary Paulsen

Ice Island - Sherry Shahan

Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O’Dell

Julie of the Wolves - Jean Craighead George

My Side of the Mountain - Jean Craighead George

Never Say Die - Will Hobbs

Old Wolf - Avi

Peak - Roland Smith

The Pirates of Crocodile Swamp - Jim Arnosky

Scar Island - Dan Gemeinhart

Stranded - Jeff Probst

Wild River - PJ Petersen


Search & Rescue (PvN)

Searching for someone lost in the wilderness, or trying to get out.

Connect the Stars - Marisa de los Santos & David Teague

Count Me In - Sara Leach

Falcon Wild - Terry Lynn Johnson

Hatchet - Gary Paulsen

Horizon - Scott Westerfeld

Ice Dogs - Terry Lynn Johnson

Mountain Dog - Margarita Engle

Never Say Die - Will Hobbs

One Came Home - Amy Timberlake

The 7 Professors of the Far North - John Fardell

Surviving Bear Island - Paul Greci

Tumble & Blue - Cassie Beasley

Seafaring Adventures (PvN)

Protagonist vs. Ocean. Not all deserted islands are that great...

Beyond the Bright Sea - Lauren Wolk

Finn at Clee Point - Richard Knight

The Great Wide Sea - M.H. Herlong

Into the Killing Seas - Michael P. Spradlin

Orphan Island - Laurel Snyder

Overboard - Elizabeth Fama

Shark Girl - Kelly Bingham

Shipwreck Island - S.A. Bodeen

Surrounded by Sharks - Michael Northrup


Seafaring Variation: Pirates! (PvP)

Protagonist vs. Pirates!

How to Be a Pirate - Cressida Cowell

Raider’s Ransom - Emily Diamond


Super Spies (PvP)

Protagonist vs. OMINOUS ORGANIZATION. Gizmos, gadgets, and supervillains!

Alex Rider [series] - Anthony Horowitz

The Genius Files [series] - Dan Gutman

H.I.V.E. [series] - Mark Walden

I.Q. [series] - Roland Smith

The League of Unexceptional Children - Gitty Daneshvari

N.E.R.D.S.: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society [series] - Michael Buckley

Outlaw - Stephen Davies

Revenge: Jason Steed - Mark A. Cooper

The Secret of Zoom - Lynne Jonell

Silverfin [Young James Bond series] - Charlie Higson

Spy School [series] - Stuart Gibbs

The Year of the Bomb - Ronald Kidd


Treasure Hunters (PvP)

Protagonists race against the clock to find a treasure before someone else does!

The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes - Wade Albert White

The Blackthorn Key [series] - Kevin Sands

Book Scavenger [series] - Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Finders Keepers - Shelley Tougas

Treasure Hunters - James Patterson

Tumble & Blue - Cassie Beasley

The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin


Wild Weather (PVN)

Characters must survive a terrible natural disaster some kind.

Escaping the Giant Wave - Peg Kehret

The Great Wide Sea - M.H. Herlong

Night of the Howling Dogs - Graham Salisbury

Serafina’s Promise - Ann E. Burg

Storm Runners [series] - Roland Smith

Survivors: Fire, Chicago 1871 - Kathleen Duey

Terror at Bottle Creek - Watt Key*