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Stories of Survival
Survival stories tell about living through an exciting and often dangerous experience, where the main character or characters are placed in circumstances that test their courage and their intelligence. Often set in remote areas, far away from help, survival stories can be based on real life events and can also include the recounting of someone's actual experiences.
  • Abduction  by Peg Kehret  (Locations: Richmond Green Library, Richvale Library)
    Thirteen-year-old Bonnie has a feeling of foreboding on the very day that her six-year-old brother Matt and their dog Pookie are abducted, and she becomes involved in a major search effort as well as a frightening adventure.
  • After River  by Donna Milner  (Locations: Richmond Green Library, Richvale Library)
    Her idyllic teen years on a British Colombia dairy farm with her mother and brother irrevocably changed by the arrival of a draft dodger, Natalie Ward remembers years later the impact he had on the morals and beliefs of their community.
  • Backwater  by Johan Bauer   (Location: Richvale Library)
    While compiling a genealogy of her family of successful attorneys, 16 year old history buff Ivy Breedlove treks into the mountain wilderness to interview a reclusive aunt with whom she identifies, and who in turn helps her to truly know herself and her family.
  • Behind the Mountains  by Edwidge Danticat   (Location: Richvale Library)
    Writing in the notebook which her teacher gave her, 13 year old Celiane describes life with her mother and brother in Haiti as well as her experiences in Brooklyn after the family finally immigrates there be reunited with her father.
  • Chanda’s Wars  by Allan Stratton  (Location: Richvale Library)
    Chandra Kabelo, a teenaged African girl, must save her younger siblings after they are kidnapped and forced to serve as child soldiers in General Mandiki's rebel army.
  • Daniel Half Human and the Good Nazi  by David Chotjewitz   (Locations: Central Library, Richmond Green Library)
    In 1933, best friends Daniel and Armin admire Hitler, but as anti-Semitism buoys Hitler to power, Daniel learns he is half Jewish, threatening the friendship as life in their beloved Hamburg, Germany, becomes nightmarish. Also details Daniel and Armin's reunion in 1945 in interspersed chapters.
  • The Day of the Pelican  by Katerine Paterson  (Location: Richvale Library)
    In 1998 when the Kosovo hostilities escalate, thirteen-year-old Meli's life as an ethnic Albanian, changes forever after her brother escapes his Serbian captors and the entire family flees from one refugee camp to another until they are able to immigrate to America.
  • Dirty Work  by Julia Bell  (Location: Central Library)
    Hope knows that as far as her parents are concerned, she's hopeless. Oksana doesn't have a mum, and her dad and brother are in Russia. She thought Europe would offer a better life - instead, bought and sold into prostitution, she feels dirty and used. Then, Oksana and Hope are thrown together in the most terrifying circumstances.
  • The disappeared  by Gloria Whelan  (Locations: Central Library, Richmond Green Library)
    Teenaged Silvia tries to save her brother, Eduardo, after he is captured by the military government in 1970s Argentina.
  • Fault Line  by Janet Tashjian   (Location: Central Library)
    When 17 year old Becky Martin, an aspiring comic, meets Kip Costello, she is caught in a mentally and physically abuse relationship. A hard-hitting novel that breaks open the gritty world of teen relationship abuse.
  • Fever, 1793  by Laurie Halse Anderson  (Location: Richvale Library)
    In 1793 Philadelphia, 16 year old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.
  • Flight No. 116 is Down  by Caroline Cooney   (Locations: Central Library, Richvale Library)
    Teenager Heidi Landseth helps rescue people from a plane crash on her family's property, and the experience changes her life forever.
  • Forgotten Fire  by Adam Bagdasarian   (Location: Richvale Library)
    A boy survives Turkey's campaign of genocide against Armenians.
  • Green Angel   by Alice Hoffman   (Location: Richvale Library)
    Haunted by grief and by her past after losing her family in a fire, 15 year old Green retreats into her ruined garden as she struggles to survive emotionally and physically on her own.
  • Hatchet  by Gary Paulsen   (Location: Richvale Library)
    Brian is on his way to the Canadian wilderness to visit his father, when the pilot of the single engine plane has a heart attack, and the plan crash lands. Brain is left alone in the wilderness with only a hatchet and his wits.
  • Hurricane Song  by Paul Volponi  (Locations: Central Library, Oak Ridges Moraine Library)
    Twelve-year-old Miles Shaw goes to live with his father, a jazz musician, in New Orleans, and together they survive the horrors of Hurricane Katrina in the Superdome, learning about each other and growing closer through their painful experiences.
  • Jason’s Gold  by Will Hobbs  (Locations: Central Library, Richvale Library)
    When the news of the discovery of gold in Canada's Yukon Territory in 1897 reaches 15 year old Jason, he embarks on a 10,000 mile journey to strike it rich.
  • Kanada  by Eva Wiseman  (Locations: Richmond Green Library, Richvale Library)
    During World War II, life for Jutka, a 14-year-old Hungarian Jew, turns upside down within a matter of months. Jutka and her family are transported to Auschwitz, where her mother and grandmother perish, and where she endures unimaginable cruelty.
  • Out of Shadows  by Jason Wallace  (Locations: Central Library, Richmond Green Library)
    Set in Zimbabwe in the 1980s, just after the war for independence, a young English boy, Jacklin, is torn between his black friends at school and his sympathy for the colonial whites after witnessing the compulsory land seizures by Robert Mugabe's government. But with an imminent visit by Robert Mugabe to the school, Jacklin realizes that Ivan, his white supremacist schoolmate, plans to assassinate the black leader.
  • Sacred Leaf  by Deborah Ellis  (Locations: Richmond Green Library, Richvale Library)
    After being taken in by a family of coca farmers, Diego is devastated when the army threatens to destroy the only source of income they have and so works to stop the army and save the people he has come to love.
  • Sunrise over Fallujah  by Walter Dean Myers  (Locations: Richmond Green Library, Richvale Library)
    Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him.
  • Thunder over Kandahar  by Sharon E. McKay  (Locations: Richmond Green Library, Richvale Library)
    Best friends Tamanna and Yasmine cannot believe their good fortune when a school is set up in their Afghan village; however, their dreams for the future are shattered when the Taliban burns down the school and threatens the teacher and students with death.
  • A Wolf Story  by James Byron Huggins  (Location: Central Library)
    A novel of savage conflict and desperate faith revealed in a great gray wolf's battle to save his world from the forces of darkness.