Ingram Blog

Surviving Disasters

by Gina Molter, MLIS, Collection Development Librarian
According to the book Under Pressure: The Science of Stress by Tanya Lloyd Kyi, adolescents are faced with a wide variety of stressors in their lives, but knowledge is power—specifically the power to reduce stress to a more manageable level. With that in mind, the following series are recommended to help children and teens reduce their stress levels through knowledge—not the knowledge of how to achieve inner peace through deep breathing or guided meditation—but the knowledge that even in the worst of disasters, people can and do survive.

Younger children in grades kindergarten through 5th may worry and become anxious when they face the thought of What if…, so the series Super Simple DIY Survival (Abdo Publishing) offers books that feature projects that will help children become problem-solvers. Young readers will gain knowledge and skills so they can take actions to help themselves in an emergency. For example, in Make a Light Your Way by Rachael L. Thomas, readers will learn how to use the tools at hand to make their own instruments to help them see in the dark. Or perhaps readers would be more interested in learning how to Design Survival Clothing Your Way by Elsie Olson. Here readers will learn how to craft weatherproof clothes in case they are ever caught in a weather emergency. There are six titles in this series, and each one provides clear steps and colorful pictures to help young makers succeed.

The series Surviving (Weigl) is written for middle schoolers in grades 4th  through 7th  grades, and each book in the series focuses on a different survival situation, with an emphasis on real stories and how people survived. There are eight titles in the series, with topics ranging from the “typical” disaster, such as Tornadoes in paperback and library binding by Marne Ventura, to the more unusual situations a person might face, such as Deserted Islands in paperback and library binding by Samantha Bell. This series also includes a unique book code in each volume that will link readers to multimedia content about the topic.

For tweens and teens in grades 5th  though 9th  who are ready for a little more grit in their tales of survival, I recommend the series Iron Will (Full Tilt Press). From harrowing tales of Surviving in Space by Kristin J. Russo to chilling tales of Surviving the Sea by M. Weber, each book in the series features five real-life stories of daring feats and quick thinking that helped people survive extreme conditions and make their way back to safety. This hi-lo series includes eight titles.

Anxiety in a child’s life can be a great source of stress, but with these books, young readers can learn the power of preparedness.