Below you will find lists of suggested titles for each grade level. You are not limited to the books on these lists. To get started, identify your grade level and theme. Browse the list of suggestions for ideas and inspiration. Visit your local library to borrow a book for your summer reading project. Review your assignment before you begin reading. Enjoy your book!



Personal Crisis/Survival

Scott, Elaine, 1940-. Buried alive! : how 33 miners survived 69 days deep under the Chilean desert

Relates the experiences of thirty-three Chilean miners who were trapped two thousand feet below the surface of the earth in August 2010.

Ralston, Aron. 127 hours : between a rock and a hard place

The author recounts his harrowing experience of being trapped for six days in Blue John Canyon in Utah and having to amputate his own right arm in order to save his life.

Krakauer, Jon. Into thin air : a personal account of the Mount Everest disaster

The author relates his experience of climbing Mount Everest during its deadliest season and examines what it is about the mountain that makes people willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense.

Prins, Marcel, 1962-. Hidden like Anne Frank : fourteen true stories of survival

"Presents a collection of fourteen first-person accounts that share what it was like to go into hiding during World War II. "--Provided by publisher.

Farrell, Mary Cronk. Pure grit : how American World War II nurses survived battle and prison camp in the Pacific

Chronicles the experiences of American nurses who served in the Philippines during World War II.

Dwyer, Jim, 1957-. 102 minutes : the unforgettable story of the fight to survive inside the Twin Towers

Provides a detailed account of the events that took place on September 11, 2001, when two planes flew into the World Trade Center, recounting the experiences of the men and women trapped in the buildings, the rescue workers who tried to save them, and others who were involved in the first hours of that day.

Parrado, Nando, 1949-. Miracle in the Andes : 72 days on the mountain and my long trek home

Nando Parrado chronicles his and his rugby teammates' ten-week struggle to survive in the Andes Mountains after their plane crashed on October 13, 1972.

Sasson, Jean P. Mayada, daughter of Iraq : one woman's survival under Saddam Hussein

Chronicles Mayada Al-Askari's experiences after being thrown into Iraq's Baladiyat Prison, the headquarters of Saddam Hussein's secret police.

Bashir, Halima, 1979-. Tears of the desert : a memoir of survival in Darfur

Recounts the author's experiences and observations of the genocide in Darfur, and her role as a physician treating girls who had been raped and mutilated, after tensions between Sudan's Islamist dictatorship and communities such as the Zaghawa tribe exploded.

Keat, Nawuth, 1964-. Alive in the killing fields : surviving the Khmer Rouge genocide

Nawuth Keat, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge invasion of Cambodia, describes his experiences, discussing the killings of his family members, his enslavement, the relationships that were formed between people from his community, and more.

Kramer, Clara, 1927-. Clara's war : one girl's story of survival

Presents the diary of Clara Kramer, a Polish-Jewish teenager whose family was taken in during World War II by the Becks, an ethnically German family from their town, who sheltered the Kramers, as well as two other Jewish families, in a bunker dug out of the basement for twenty months.

LeMieux, Richard. Breakfast at Sally's : one homeless man's inspirational journey

Richard LeMieux, a once happily married business man who owned several luxury cars and three boats, describes his life after he suddenly suffered economic disaster and became a homeless man on the streets of Bremerton, Washington, and how he survived countless hardships.

Krakauer, Jon. Into the wild

Tells the story of Chris McCandless, a twenty-four-year-old who walked into the Alaskan wilderness on an idealistic journey and was found dead of starvation four months later. Attempts to discover what led the young man to that point.

Murray, Liz, 1980-. Breaking night : a memoir of forgiveness, survival, and my journey from homeless to Harvard

Liz Murray, who was homeless at the age of fifteen and had drug-addicted parents, reflects on how she overcame obstacles and eventually attended Harvard University.

Pelzer, David J. A child called "It" : one child's courage to survive.

David Pelzer, victim of one of the worst child abuse cases in the history of California, tells the story of how he survived his mother's brutality and triumphed over his past.

Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken : a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption

A biography of Olympic runner and World War II bombardier, Louis Zamperini, who had been rambunctious in childhood before succeeding in track and eventually serving in the military, which led to a trial in which he was forced to find a way to survive in the open ocean after being shot down.

Aslan, Austin. The islands at the end of the world

Stranded in Honolulu when a strange cloud causes a worldwide electronics failure, sixteen-year-old Leilani and her father must make their way home to Hilo amid escalating perils, including her severe epilepsy.

Bacigalupi, Paolo. The windup girl.

Anderson Lake, an employee of AgriGen, works undercover while searching for food items thought to be extinct, and when he meets Emiko, a strange, engineered being, the two work together to survive and find meaning in a decaying world.

Brooks, Kevin. The bunker diary

Sixteen-year-old Linus Weems, a street person since leaving his wealthy father's home, is kidnapped and taken to an underground bunker where he is soon joined by five others, ranging in age from nine to seventy, who are alternately cared for and tortured by their unseen captor.

Crockett, S. D. (Sophie D.). After the snow

Fifteen-year-old Willo Blake, born after the 2059 snows created a new ice age, searches for his family, who mysteriously disappeared from their frozen mountain home, and encounters outlaws, halfmen, and an abandoned girl along the way.

Doerr, Anthony, 1973-. All the light we cannot see : a novel

"A blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II."--Provided by publisher.

Gratz, Alan, 1972-. Prisoner B-3087

Based on the life of Jack Gruener, this book relates his story of survival from the Nazi occupation of Krakow, when he was eleven, through a succession of concentration camps, to the final liberation of Dachau.

Hesse, Karen. Safekeeping

When Radley returns to the United States after volunteering abroad, she comes back to a country under military rule with strict travel restrictions, and she must find her way back to her Vermont home through the New England woods.

Lake, Nick. In darkness

In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, Shorty, a poor, fifteen-year-old gang member from the slums of Site Soleil, is trapped in the rubble of a hospital and as he grows weaker, he has visions and memories of his life of violence, his lost twin sister, and of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who liberated Haiti from French rule in 1804.

Lippert-Martin, Kristen. Tabula rasa

A girl who has been held in an experimental medical facility to remove the memories that gave her post-traumatic stress disorder begins to recover her memory after fleeing mercenaries sent to eliminate her.

Smith, Andrew (Andrew Anselmo), 1959-. Grasshopper jungle : a history

"Austin Szerba narrates the end of humanity as he and his best friend Robby accidentally unleash an army of giant, unstoppable bugs and uncover the secrets of a decades-old experiment gone terribly wrong"--Provided by publisher.

Read, Piers Paul Alive: the story of the Andes survivors
On October 12, 1972, a plane carrying a team of young rugby players crashed into the remote, snow-peaked Andes. Out of the forty-five original passengers and crew, only sixteen made it off the mountain alive. For ten excruciating weeks they suffered deprivations beyond imagining, confronting nature head-on at its most furious and inhospitable. And to survive, they were forced to do what would have once been unthinkable ...
This is their story -- one of the most astonishing true adventures of the twentieth century.
Zeiss, Joyce Burns Out of the Dragon’s Mouth
After the fall of South Vietnam, fourteen-year-old Mai is forced to flee to a refugee camp on an island off the coast of Malaysia, where she must navigate numerous hardships while waiting to be sponsored for entry into America.