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There’s nothing like a good survival story: The conflict is clear, the stakes are as high as they get, and you know exactly what you’re rooting for. Kids know all of this instinctively, which is why there are tens of millions of I Survived books in print and everyone has read Hatchet by the time they leave 8th grade.
When I was 11, an adult survival story turned me onto nonfiction, and I think every kid’s reading level rises when the material is gripping enough. In that spirit, here are five classic nonfiction survival tales written for adults—to be read and passed on to young readers with a taste for adventure.