I Survived is a New York Times Best-Selling series that is extremely popular among younger readers. This middle-grade series is designed to provide young readers with an insight into different historical disasters, told through the eyes of children who survived these events. If you plan on introducing a young reader to this series, the first question you will likely ask is: how many books are there?
There are 21 I Survived books, with a 22nd scheduled for release in late 2022. Additionally, there are five supplementary “true story” books that provide nonfiction stories of children and animals who survived various “categories” of disasters.
While 21 books may seem feasible for teen and adult readers, it can seem like an impossible task for young readers to undertake. If you want to understand these books better before introducing your child to them, you’re in the right place. This article will answer all your questions about the I Survived series.
What the I Survived Books Are About
Let’s look at what each of the I Survived books are about, in release order:
- I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912: This book recounts the events of the sinking of the Titanic through the eyes of 10-year-old George Calder, a passenger on the ship.
- I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916: This book recounts the series of shark attacks along the coast of New Jersey through the eyes of local 10-year-old Chet Roscow.
- I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005: This book recounts the events of Hurricane Katrina through the eyes of young New Orleans resident, Barry.
- I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941: This book recounts the bombing of Pearl Harbor through the eyes of 11-year-old Danny Crane.
- I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906: This book tells the story of the San Francisco Earthquake from the eyes of a 10-year-old newsboy, Leo.
- I Survived the Attacks of September 11th, 2001: This book recounts the 9/11 attacks from the viewpoint of Lucas, the son of a firefighter.
- I Survived the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863: This book tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg from the eyes of Thomas, a young boy who was born enslaved but escaped with his younger sister, Birdie.
- I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011: This book explores the Japanese tsunami of 2011 through the eyes of Ben, a young boy visiting his father’s Japanese hometown shortly after his father’s death.
- I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944: This book talks about the horrors of the Nazi invasion of Poland from the perspective of Max, a young Jewish boy who escaped the Warsaw ghetto and encountered a group of resistance fighters in the nearby forest.
- I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79: This book recounts the Mount Vesuvius explosion and the destruction of Pompeii, built close to the volcano, from the eyes of young Marcus.
- I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871: This book recounts the Great Chicago Fire from the eyes of Oscar Starling, a new young transplant to the city.
- I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011: This book explores the events of the Joplin Tornado from the eyes of 11-year-old Dexter, a young boy from Joplin interested in tornadoes.
- I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937: This book covers the history of the Hindenburg Disaster from the perspective of 11-year-old Hugo Ballard, a passenger aboard the Hindenburg.
- I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980: This book recounts the explosion of Mount St. Helens, a mountain in Washington, seen from the eyes of 11-year-old Jessie Marlowe. It features the first female protagonist in the series.
- I Survived the American Revolution, 1776: This book explores the events of the American Revolution, as seen by 11-year-old Nathaniel Fox.
- I Survived the Children’s Blizzard, 1888: This book looks at the events of the so-called “Children’s Blizzard” (also known as the Schoolhouse Blizzard) that affected North and South Dakota, as well as other states on the Great Plains. It is told from the perspective of 11-year-old John Hale.
- I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1967: This book recounts the events of the 1967 “Night of the Grizzlies” at Glacier National Park from the eyes of 11-year-old Melody Vega.
- I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944: This book explores the events of D-Day from the perspective of 11-year-old French boy Paul.
- I Survived the Great Molasses Flood, 1919: This book looks at the unbelievable events that took place during the Great Molasses Flood in Boston from the eyes of Carmen, a young Italian immigrant to the United States.
- I Survived the California Wildfires, 2018: This book recounts the most destructive wildfires in California history, which occurred during the 2018 fire season. It is told from the eyes of 11-year-old Josh, a new transplant to California.
- I Survived the Galveston Hurricane, 1900: This book explores the events of the deadliest natural disaster in American history, the 1900 Galveston hurricane, from the eyes of 11-year-old Charlie Miller.
Are the I Survived Books About Real People?
The I Survived books are not about real people. They explore real historical events from the perspective of fictional children and characters created by author Lauren Tarshis. However, Tarshis has also released four books covering the stories of real child survivors of extreme natural events.
The four “true story” I Survived books featuring real children are:
- Five Epic Disasters: This book covers the true stories of children who survived epic disasters, including stories from the Children’s Blizzard, the sinking of the Titanic, the Great Molasses Flood, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the Henryville tornado.
- Nature Attacks!: This book tells the true stories of four children who each survived a natural disaster, including shark attacks in 1916, the 1871 Peshtigo Fire, the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, and an attack by a box jellyfish.
- Extreme Weather: This book covers the story of children who survived natural disasters caused by extreme weather, including the Joplin Tornado, an avalanche in Alaska, and Hurricane Sandy.
- Tornado Terror: This collection of stories explores the real tales of children who survived tornadoes, including the Joplin Tornado and the Tri-State Tornado.
Tarshis has also written an additional “true story” I Survived book, Courageous Creatures, that tells the true stories of animals who faced and survived disasters, including oil spills and World War I.
Lauren Tarshis has written 21 I Survived books and 5 “true story” companion I Survived books. A 22nd book in the main series, I Survived the Wellington Avalanche, 1910, is expected to be published in late 2022.