An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

Boats, Ships And Underwater Vehicles: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about boats, ships and underwater vehicles?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to boats, ships and underwater vehicles. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about boats, ships and underwater vehicles.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

We hope this list of kids books about boats, ships and underwater vehicles can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

Share this list
Add to list
Seven and a Half Tons of Steel
Written by Janet Nolan & illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

The USS New York is big like other navy ships, and it sails like other navy ships, but there is something special about this navy ship.Following the events of September 11, 2001, a beam from the World Trade Center Towers was given to the United States Navy. The beam was driven from New York to a foundry in Louisiana, where the seven and a half tons of steel, which had once been a beam in the World Trade Center, became a navy ship’s bow.Powerful text from Janet Nolan is paired with stunning illustrations from New York Times best-selling illustrator Thomas Gonzalez (14 Cows for America) in this inspiring story that reveals how something remarkable can emerge from a devastating event.

Add to list
What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“A story with the echoes of Seuss and Willems.”– Publishers Weekly (starred review)”A boatload of giggles will keep the reader returning for more easy-to-read fun.”– Kirkus ReviewsThe first book in the vibrant and laugh-out-loud funny early reader What This Story Needs series is perfect for fans of Dr. Seuss and Mo Willems!What this story needs is a pig in a wig, on a boat in a moat with a frog, a dog, and a goat on a log…As a panda in a blouse, a skunk on a trunk, and more hop on board, it becomes clear that what this story really needs is a bigger boat! Join Pig on an exciting boat ride as she discovers that life is more fun with friends in this fantastic, funny read-aloud about friendship.What this reader needs are all the books in the series!What This Story Needs Is a Hush and a ShushWhat This Story Needs Is a Munch and a CrunchWhat This Story Needs Is a Bang and a ClangWhat This Story Needs Is a Vroom and a Zoom

Add to list
Boats on the Bay
Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey & illustrated by Grady McFerrin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Illustrations and easy to read text portray a variety of vessels, from houseboats to dredgers, through the course of a busy day on the bay.

Add to list
Off & Away
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

How would you get mail if you lived in the middle of the sea? It’s Jo’s dad’s job to deliver it, taking bottles wherever they need to go. He always comes home with exciting stories to tell-but Jo is far too afraid to go out on the ocean herself. Until Dad gets a bad sea cold, that is. With no one but Jo to deliver the bottles, she must find her courage and set sail alone. As she embarks on her mission, her fears just might be replaced with new friendships . . . and grand stories of her own. With beautiful, atmospheric art and endearing new characters by author-illustrator Cale Atkinson, this picturebook is a treasure.

Add to list
Ocean Meets Sky
Written by Terry Fan & illustrated by Eric Fan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s a good day for sailing. Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float. Finn’s grandfather is gone now but Finn knows the perfect way to honor him. He’ll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself! And when he arrives, maybe, just maybe, he’ll find something he didn’t know he was looking for.

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Dream Away - Dream away, dream away, sleepyhead, love Set sail for the ocean of stars up above. You be the captain and I’ll be your mate. We’ll journey together, the heavens await. From author Julia Durango and new illustrator Robert Goldstrom, a story of the dreams that are possible as you drift to sleep. A father and son venture into a dream and encounter some new and familiar faces and along the way discover the possibilities the universe can hold. Accompanied by Robert Goldstrom’s sweeping paintings, Dream Away is the perfect combination of dreams and reality.

  • Here Comes the Garbage Barge! - When a little town on Long Island is inundated with garbage, its citizens become more environmentally aware, while a garbage barge travels the North American coast in search of a dumping location.

  • The Fisherman & the Whale - Jessica Lanan’s dreamy and dramatic watercolor paintings bring to life a wordless story about wonder in the natural world. A fisherman takes his son for a trip out on the water. When they encounter a whale entangled at sea, they realize a connection that transcends the animal kingdom.

  • The Giraffe That Walked to Paris - Retells the true story of how the first giraffe ever to come to Europe was sent by the Pasha of Egypt to the King of France in 1826, and the giraffe walked from the disembarkation point of Marseilles to Paris to see the King.

Add to list
Yellow Kayak
Written by Nina Laden & illustrated by Melissa Castrillón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A child and his beloved best friend go on a grand sea adventure in this magical picture book by the author and artist who created If I Had a Little Dream.

You just never know what a new day will hold if you are brave enough to find out. On one quiet afternoon, a boy and his special friend’s unexpected adventure bring joy and excitement and sights never imagined. And the best part of any adventure is returning home with stories to tell and you best friend at your side.

Add to list
Here Come the Helpers
Written by Leslie Kimmelman & illustrated by Barbara Bakos and Leslie Kimmelman
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Look for the Helpers is a shaped board book that highlights the emergency vehicles that help make our world a better place.

It’s a big, beautiful world, filled with awesome adventures.

But sometimes emergencies happen. When they do, look for the helpers! Helpers are all around you.

Fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, and more crowd the pages of this shaped board book that teaches children to look for helpers wherever they go. With a search-and-find twist, each scene highlights different types of emergency vehicles in action. Look for the Helpers is an adventurous book that introduces little ones to the caring helpers who make the world safer.

Add to list
Bear Came Along
Written by Richard T. Morris & illustrated by LeUyen Pham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

A cheerful and action-packed adventure about the importance of friendship and community from a successful author and illustrator duo!

Once there was a river flowing through a forest. The river didn’t know it was capable of adventures until a big bear came along. But adventures aren’t any fun by yourself, and so enters Froggy, Turtles, Beaver, Racoons, and Duck. These very different animals take off downstream, but they didn’t know they needed one another until thankfully, the river came along.

This hilarious picture book and heartfelt message celebrates the joy and fun that’s in store when you embark together on a ride of a lifetime.

Add to list
Slaves of Socorro
Written by John Flanagan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-

The fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Brotherband series, for fans of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones Hal and his fellow Herons have returned home to Skandia after defeating the pirate captain Zavac and reclaiming Skandia’s most prized artifact, the Andomal. With their honor restored, the Herons turn to a new mission: tracking down an old rival turned bitter enemy. Tursgud–leader of the Shark Brotherband and Hal’s constant opponent–has turned from a bullying youth into a pirate and slave trader. After Tursgud captures twelve Araluen villagers to sell as slaves, the Heron crew sails into action . . . with the help of one of Araluen’s finest Rangers!

Add to list
What Was the Titanic?
Written by Who HQ & illustrated by Gregory Copeland
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

For more than 100 years, people have been captivated by the disastrous sinking of the Titanic that claimed over 1,500 lives. Now young readers can find out why the great ship went down and how it was discovered seventy-five years later. At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the Royal Mail Steamer Titanic, the largest passenger steamship of this time, met its catastrophic end after crashing into an iceberg. Of the 2,240 passengers and crew onboard, only 705 survived. More than 100 years later, today’s readers will be intrigued by the mystery that surrounds this ship that was originally labeled unsinkable.

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections: Man-Of-War - The author of Incredible Cross-Sections takes a detailed look inside an eighteenth-century warship, providing fascinating facts about the ship and the people aboard it. BOMC Main.

  • The Bravest Man in the World - One afternoon, Jonathan Harker Weeks didn’t feel like practicing the piano. So his grandfather decided to tell him a story to show how much of an impact music can have. When he was a child growing up poor in Ireland, his mother made sure he learned to play the fiddle, despite their challenges. After his mother passed away and he was on his own, Jonathan’s grandfather fell asleep hiding in a mail sack and was taken to a ship. When he woke up, he realized he was on the Titanic on its maiden voyage, and it was there that he met Wallace Hartley and Mrs. Weeks, a kind man and woman who took him in. Then one night, the majestic ship hit an iceberg. He and Mrs. Weeks were put on a lifeboat—and Mr. Hartley and his band bravely continued to play to calm the crew and passengers. The story of Wallace Hartley is true and he is known throughout the world as a hero. The New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of The Keeping Quilt Patricia Polacco offers this stunning and heartbreaking picture book to celebrate the memory and bravery of a single man who used the power of music to comfort thousands of people during a catastrophic situation.

  • Pop-Up Things That Go! - The illustrator of the oversize hit Animals offers a pair of eye-catching miniature pop-up books sure to make waves and transport imaginations. Modes of transportation are exciting and ever popular – and here they get an attractive makeover in a kid-friendly pop-up with pages of things that go, from ice-cream trucks to helicopters, fire engines to tricycles. Bright colors and clean graphics set this attractive little book zooming ahead of the pack.

  • Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure - Award-winning illustrator Torben Kuhlmann’s stunning new book transports readers to new depths where imagination lights the way! A long time ago, one mouse learned to fly, another landed on the moon…what will happen in the next Mouse adventure? From the creator of Lindbergh—The Tale of a Flying Mouse and Armstrong, comes Edison—The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure. When two unlikely friends build a vessel capable of taking them to the bottom of the ocean find a missing treasure—the truth turns out to be far more amazing.

Add to list
The Escape of Robert Smalls
Written by Jehan Jones-Radgowski & illustrated by Poppy Kang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

The mist in Charleston Inner Harbor was heavy, but not heavy enough to disguise the stolen Confederate steamship, the Planter, from Confederate soldiers. In the early hours of May 13, 1862, in the midst of the deadly U.S. Civil War, an enslaved man named Robert Smalls was about to carry out a perilous plan of escape. Standing at the helm of the ship, Smalls impersonated the captain as he and his crew passed heavily armed Confederate forts to enter Union territory, where escaped slaves were given shelter. The suspenseful escape of the determined crew is celebrated with beautiful artwork and insightful prose, detailing the true account of an unsung American hero.

Add to list
History Smashers: The Titanic
Written by Kate Messner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Myths! Lies! Secrets! Uncover the hidden truth behind the sinking of the Titanic with beloved educator/author Kate Messner. The fun mix of sidebars, illustrations, photos, and graphic panels make this perfect for fans of I Survived! and Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales. On April 15, 1912 an “unsinkable” ship called the Titanic unexpectedly hit an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic. Right? Wrong! Nobody was really talking about the Titanic being unsinkable until after it sank. The truth is, four different ships wired the Titanic to report icebergs and field ice in the area. But the Titanic never slowed down. In fact, when the Californian warned that it was trapped in ice, the Titanic’s wireless operator was so busy sending outgoing messages that he replied, “Shut up!” No joke. Discover the nonfiction series that demolishes everything you thought you knew about history. Don’t miss History Smashers: The Mayflower, Women’s Right to Vote, and Pearl Harbor.

Add to list
The Titanic Treasure
Written by Eric Luper
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Getting lost in a good book has never been this dangerous!Cleo and Evan have a secret. A collection of books so dangerous they are locked up tight. And only they can find the keys to release the magic inside!A FORTUNE LOST AT SEA!When Cleo and Evan set sail on the Titanic, time is not on their side! The famous ocean liner is destined to hit an iceberg. If they can stop a thief from stealing a priceless jeweled book – and find their next key – they might avoid sinking with the ship in this historic disaster!

Add to list
Disaster on the Titanic
Written by Kate Messner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Ranger, the time-traveling golden retriever with search-and-rescue training, finds himself in 1912… on board the Titanic!Everyone says the Titanic is unsinkable, and Patrick Murphy believes this most of all. He grew up near the shipyard where the magnificent ship was built and officially started working there when he turned thirteen. He’s even been chosen to be part of the crew during the Titanic’s maiden voyage! Ranger meets Patrick before the ship sets sail, and once on board, they befriend Maryam and Hamad. But one night, the ship hits an iceberg and starts to take on water. It’s a race against time for Ranger and his friends to help get as many passengers – including themselves – off the ship before it’s too late.

Add to list
Daughter of the Deep
Written by Rick Riordan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

New York Times #1 best-selling author Rick Riordan pays homage to Jules Verne in his exciting modern take on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. If you have ever craved a story that will leave your heart racing, your lungs gasping from the numerous twists and turns, your soul heaving from the effort of now carrying an ensemble cast, you will find all that and more in these pages.–New York Times best-selling author Roshani Chokshi Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. Ana’s parents died while on a scientific expedition two years ago, and the only family’s she’s got left is her older brother, Dev, also a student at HP. Ana’s freshman year culminates with the class’s weekend trial at sea, the details of which have been kept secret. She only hopes she has what it’ll take to succeed. All her worries are blown out of the water when, on the bus ride to the ship, Ana and her schoolmates witness a terrible tragedy that will change the trajectory of their lives. But wait, there’s more. The professor accompanying them informs Ana that their rival school, Land Institute, and Harding-Pencroft have been fighting a cold war for a hundred and fifty years. Now that cold war has been turned up to a full broil, and the freshman are in danger of becoming fish food. In a race against deadly enemies, Ana will make amazing friends and astounding discoveries about her heritage as she puts her leadership skills to the test for the first time. Rick Riordan’s trademark humor, fast-paced action, and wide cast of characters are on full display in this undersea adventure.Complete your middle grade action-adventure collection with these titles: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanArtemis Fowl by Eoin ColferRick Riordan Presents: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani ChokshiRick Riordan Presents: City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Pop-Up Ocean - The illustrator of the oversize hit Animals offers a pair of eye-catching miniature pop-up books sure to make waves and transport imaginations. Dive into a cool underwater who’s who and what’s what of the sea in this palm-size pop-up treasure. Discover ocean dwellers like the crab, octopus, and sea horse as they make a splash in vivid hues of coral and ultramarine and swim through spreads featuring familiar aquatic items – from a fishing boat to a lighthouse to a submarine.

  • Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey - The John J. Harvey fireboat was the largest, fastest, shiniest fireboatof its time, but by 1995, the city didn’t need old fireboats anymore. So the Harvey retired, until a group of friends decided to save it from the scrap heap. Then, one sunny September day in 2001, something so horrible happened that the whole world shook. And a call came from the fire department, asking if the Harvey could battle the roaring flames. In this inspiring true story, Maira Kalman brings a New York City icon to life and proves that old heroes never die.

  • Scorpion Mountain - From John Flanagan, author of the worldwide bestselling Ranger’s Apprentice – an all-new adventure featuring the Brotherband crew and one of our favorite Rangers! Hal, his Brotherband crew, and the Ranger Gilan have freed the twelve Araluens sold into slavery. Returning to Araluen, Gilan is given a new mission by King Duncan: protect his daughter’s life. Princess Cassandra has survived one attempt on her life already, and now whispers of a second attempt have reached the kingdom. A deadly sect known as the Scorpion Cult is thought to be behind the assassination threat. Not waiting to see if the knife will strike true, the Brotherband again team up with Gilan to track down the would-be killers. In this fifth book in the Brotherband Chronicles, old friends reemerge to take on new enemies as the worlds of Ranger’s Apprentice and Brotherband join forces in battle!

  • Paddle-to-the-Sea - A toy Indian and his canoe travel from Lake Nipigon to the Atlantic Ocean.

Add to list
Crossing on Time
Written by David Macaulay
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

David Macaulay, creator of the international bestseller The Way Things Work, brings his signature curiosity and detailing to the story of the steamship in this meticulously researched and stunningly illustrated book. Prior to the 1800s, ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean relied on the wind in their sails to make their journeys. But invention of steam power ushered in a new era of transportation that would change ocean travel forever: the steamship. Award-winning author-illustrator David Macaulay guides readers through the fascinating history that culminated in the building of the most advanced—and last—of these steamships: the SS United States. This book artfully explores the design and construction of the ship and the life of its designer and engineer, William Francis Gibbs. Framed around the author’s own experience steaming across the Atlantic on the very same SS United States, Crossing on Time is a tour de force of the art of explanation and a touching and surprising childhood story.

Add to list
Paddle-To-The-Sea (Turtleback School & Library)
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

A young Indian boy carves a little canoe with a figure inside and names him Paddle-to-the-Sea. Paddle’s journey, in text and pictures, through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean provides an excellent geographic and historical picture of the region. “Geography of the best kind made vivid by the power of imagination.” – Horn Book

Add to list
Lifeboat 12
Written by Susan Hood
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-13

In the tradition of The War That Saved My Life and Stella By Starlight, this poignant novel in verse based on true events tells the story of a boy’s harrowing experience on a lifeboat after surviving a torpedo attack during World War II. With Nazis bombing London every night, it’s time for thirteen-year-old Ken to escape. He suspects his stepmother is glad to see him go, but his dad says he’s one of the lucky ones—one of ninety boys and girls to ship out aboard the SS City of Benares to safety in Canada. Life aboard the luxury ship is grand—nine-course meals, new friends, and a life far from the bombs, rations, and his stepmum’s glare. And after five days at sea, the ship’s officers announce that they’re out of danger. They’re wrong. Late that night, an explosion hurls Ken from his bunk. They’ve been hit. Torpedoed! The Benares is sinking fast. Terrified, Ken scrambles aboard Lifeboat 12 with five other boys. Will they get away? Will they survive? Award-winning author Susan Hood brings this little-known World War II story to life in a riveting novel of courage, hope, and compassion. Based on true events and real people, Lifeboat 12 is about believing in one another, knowing that only by banding together will we have any chance to survive.

Add to list
Flying Deep: Climb Inside Deep-Sea Submersible Alvin
Written by Michelle Cusolito & illustrated by Nicole Wong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Climb aboard Alvin, the famous deep-sea submersible credited with helping to find the Titanic, and take a trip two miles down to the bottom of the ocean. Experience a day in the life of an Alvin pilot and join scientists at the seafloor to collect samples and conduct research. Along the way, discover what one wears, eats, and talks about during a typical eight-hour trip in a underwater craft and find out more about the animals that live deep in our oceans. Extensive back matter explains how Alvin works, describes the author’s research, and includes a glossary and further reading. An appealing, exhilarating, and informative vicarious journey of discovery –Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW Wong’s detailed illustrations add an exciting immediacy to the descent and to the glowing wonders of the deep”–Washington Post

Add to list
The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland's Good Fortune
Written & illustrated by P. J. Lynch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

In the first book he has both written and illustrated, master artist P.J. Lynch brings a Mayflower voyager’s story to vivid life.

At a young age, John Howland learned what it meant to take advantage of an opportunity. Leaving the docks of London on the Mayflower as an indentured servant to Pilgrim John Carver, John Howland little knew that he was embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. By his great good fortune, John survived falling overboard on the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, and he earned his keep ashore by helping to scout a safe harbor and landing site for his bedraggled and ill shipmates. Would his luck continue to hold amid the dangers and adversity of the Pilgrims’ lives in New England? John Howland’s tale is masterfully told in his own voice, bringing an immediacy and young perspective to the oft-told Pilgrims’ story. P.J. Lynch captures this pivotal moment in American history in precise and exquisite detail, from the light on the froth of a breaking wave to the questioning voice of a teen in a new world.

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Flying Deep - Climb aboard Alvin, the famous deep-sea submersible credited with helping to find the Titanic, and take a trip two miles down to the bottom of the ocean. Experience a day in the life of an Alvin pilot, diving two miles down to explore the seafloor, collect samples, and conduct research. Along the way, discover what one wears, eats, and talks about during a typical eight-hour trip in a underwater craft, and find out more about the animals that live deep in our oceans. In expressive, poetic language and gorgeous illustrations, the mysteries of the deep sea are revealed. Backmatter includes an author’s note about researching this book, a glossary, and suggested further reading.

  • Mr. Putter & Tabby Clear the Decks - Mr. Putter and his fine cat, Tabby, are itchy. Not because of fleas, but because it is hot, they’re bored, and they’re out of orangesicles. So when their neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, suggests a sightseeing cruise, they’re excited about an adventure. The boat makes them feel free! Plus they get orangesicles! But when it’s time to go home, there’s a little problem with Mrs. Teaberry’s good dog, Zeke. The nineteenth Mr. Putter & Tabby book has all the sly, sweet humor that has made the series a huge success. Cynthia Rylant’s perfect ear for rhythm and Arthur Howard’s comical illustrations continue to bring to life the quartet of characters readers know and love.

  • Shell Game - As the Disney Fantasy joins the cruise fleet, a special treat is in store for guests aboard its inaugural sail from Cape Canaveral to Los Angeles: the Disney Host Interactive teenage guides will be part of the Fantasy crew. Finn, Maybeck, Charlene, Willa, and Philby are to attend the cruise as celebrity guests, and to perform a ribbon cutting for the DHI server to go live. The Fantasy is now the most advanced cruise ship in the world. But all is not right belowdecks. Strange things are happening. Unexplained phenomena. Only the Kingdom Keepers know the truth behind their invitation: nearly every Disney villain is represented onboard the new ship: whether on its decks or in its theaters. It’s believed the Overtakers have infiltrated the cast and are “stowaways.” Worse: it is believed they have stolen an important journal that once belonged to Walt Disney himself–Finn has been having dreams about this–and that some kind of mission is planned. The ship sets sail filled with enthusiastic guests and crew, and the battle is on in new and exotic arenas: the beaches of Castaway Cay, the caves of Aruba, the locks of the Panama Canal, Costa Rica’s rain forest zip line . . . But the end game is far more complicated and intense than anything the Kingdom Keepers had planned on. If the Overtakers get their way, a power will be unleashed that no one will have the ability to vanquish: Chernabog, dormant for years, is about to have his full powers restored. . . .

  • Kaspar the Titanic Cat - When kaspar the cat first arrived at London’s Savoy Hotel, it was Johnny Trott who carried him in. After all, Johnny was a bellboy and was responsible for all of Countess Kandinsky’s things– including Kaspar. But when tragedy befalls the Countess during her stay, Kaspar becomes more than Johnny’s responsibility: Kaspar is Johnny’s new cat, and his new best friend.And when Kaspar and Johnny meet Lizziebeth, a spirited young heiress, they find themselves journeying across the Atlantic with Lizziebeth’s family on England’s newest and most magnificent ship, the Titanic. Because there is always adventure in the air with a cat like Kaspar around. After all, he’s Kaspar Kandinsky, Prince of Cats, a Londoner and a New Yorker and, as far as anyone knows, the only cat to survive the sinking of the Titanic. . . .

Add to list
The Titanic Mission
Written by Dan Gutman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

In New York Times bestselling author Dan Gutman’s thrilling Flashback Four series, four very different kids are picked by a mysterious billionaire to travel through time and photograph some of history’s most important events. Blends fascinating real history with an action-packed adventure!This time, Luke, Julia, David, and Isabel are headed to the deck of the doomed Titanic. Their mission? Capture a shot of the sinking ship, then come right back.The only problem is, once they arrive aboard the ship, the four friends can’t agree on what to do next. Should they try to save the passengers? Or maybe bring back a priceless book before it sinks with the ship?With real historical photographs to put young readers right in the action, plus back matter that separates fact from fiction, The Titanic Mission tells the story of the ship’s fateful last voyage like you’ve never seen it before.

Add to list
I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Ten-year-old George Calder can’t believe his luck – he and his little sister, Phoebe, are on the famous Titanic, crossing the ocean with their Aunt Daisy. The ship is full of exciting places to explore, but when George ventures into the first class storage cabin, a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Suddenly, water is everywhere, and George’s life changes forever. Lauren Tarshis brings history’s most exciting and terrifying events to life in this new fictional series. Readers will be transported by stories of amazing kids and how they survived!

Add to list
Field Trip to the Ocean Deep
Written by John Hare
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Come join the fun as students take a submarine bus on a field trip to explore the ocean deep, in this wordless picture book from the creator of Field Trip to the Moon! Students dressed in deep sea helmets travel to the ocean deep in a yellow school-bus submarine. When they get there, they frolic with fish, chase luminescent squid, and discover an old shipwreck. But when it’s time to return to the submarine bus, one student lingers to take a photo of a treasure chest and falls into a deep ravine. Luckily, the child makes an unexpected friend– a maybe-not-so-extinct sea creature called a Pleiosaur- that’s happy to entertain the young explorer until the teacher returns. In his follow-up to Field Trip to the Moon, John Hare’s rich, atmospheric art in this wordless picture book invites all children to imagine themselves in the story- a tale full of mysteries, surprises, and adorable aquatic friends. Named a LITA Golden Duck Picture BookA Junior Library Guild Selection

Add to list
I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
Written by Lauren Tarshis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A thrilling graphic novel adaptation of Lauren Tarshis’s bestselling I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912, with text adapted by Georgia Ball and art by Haus StudioGeorge Calder must be the luckiest kid alive - he and his little sister, Phoebe, are sailing with their aunt on the Titanic, the greatest ship ever built! George can’t resist exploring every inch of the incredible boat, even if it gets him into trouble.But one night while George is off exploring, a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Soon the impossible is happening: The Titanic is sinking.George has always gotten out of trouble before. Can he survive this nightmare?With art by Haus Studio and text adapted by Georgia Ball, Lauren Tarshis’s New York Times bestselling I Survived series takes on vivid new life in this bold graphic novel edition. Includes nonfiction back matter with facts and historical photos of the real-life Titanic disaster.Perfect for readers who prefer the graphic novel format, or for existing fans of the I Survived chapter book series, I Survived graphic novels combine historical facts with high-action storytelling that’s sure to keep any reader turning the pages.

Add to list
One Summer Up North
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-10

A wordless picture-book journey through the Boundary Waters, canoeing and camping with a family as they encounter the northwoods wilderness in all its spectacular beauty It’s a place of wordless wonder: the wilderness of the Boundary Waters on the Minnesota-Canada border. Travel its vast distances, canoe its streams and glacial lakes, take shelter from rain under a rocky outcropping (or in your tent), camp in its vaulting forests as stars embroider the darkening sky. Is this your first visit? Or is it already your favorite destination? Come along–join a family of three as their journey unfolds, picture by picture, marking the changing light as the day passes, the stillness before the gathering storm, the shining waters everywhere, rushing here, quietly pooling there, beckoning us ever onward into nature’s infinite wildness one summer up north.

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Who Sank the Boat? - A charmingly funny read-aloud that asks an important question: “Who sank the boat?” Beside the sea, there once lived a cow, a donkey, a sheep, a pig, and a tiny little mouse. They were good friends, and one warm, sunny morning, for no particular reason, they decided to go for a row in the bay. Do you know who sank the boat? “The idea is funny, the pictures are splendid, and the easy text is just right for the very young.”–The New Yorker “A bright, brisk tale, simply told, illustrated by cheerful, comical pictures.”–The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

  • One-Dog Canoe - I set off one morning in my little red canoe.My dog wagged his tail.Can I come, too?You bet, I said.A trip for two–just me and you. When a girl and her dog set out on a canoe trip together, they’re expecting a quiet afternoon for two. Then a beaver decides to join them, even when the girl protests that It’s a one-dog canoe. And when a loon, and a wolf, and a bear, and a moose all ask for a ride, it’s almost too much. But they all manage to fit in this one-dog canoe–until a frog comes along. . . .

  • Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue - From debut author Jeff Seymour and bestselling illustrator Brett Helquist (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events) comes this breathtaking fantasy adventure, starring an extraordinary new heroine and set in an unforgettable world where ships can fly. It takes a very special crew to keep the cloudship Orion running, and no one knows that better than Nadya Skylung, who tends the cloud garden that keeps the ship afloat. When the unthinkable happens and pirates attack, Nadya and the other children aboard–all orphans taken in by the kindhearted Captain Nic–narrowly escape, but the rest of the crew is captured. Alone and far from help, only Nadya and her four brave and loyal friends can take back the Orion and rescue the crew. And she’ll risk life and limb to save the only family she’s ever known. But . . . this attack was no accident. What exactly are the pirates looking for? Could it be Nadya they’ve been after all along? Nadya Skylung is one smart, sassy, spitfire heroine with gills. I love her! –Liesl Shurtliff, New York Times bestselling author of Rump A stunningly imaginative world unlike anything I’ve seen before. It is thrilling, it is emotional, and it is wholly original. –M. A. Larson, author of Pennyroyal Academy A stunning debut filled with derring-do, surprises, and truly original world building. –J. A. White, author of The Thickety

  • Houndsley and Catina: Plink and Plunk - This Candlewick Sparks title offers newly independent readers the chance to experience early fiction from one of today’s most talented author-and-illustrator teams.Houndsley loves to canoe. Catina loves to ride bikes. But when Houndsley takes Catina out canoeing, she chatters the whole time, drowning out the sounds Houndsley loves, like the call of birds or the plink and plunk of the paddles. And when Catina wants to go biking, Houndsley balks at going. What is wrong with Catina? And what is wrong with Houndsley? From the creators of the E. B. White Read Aloud winner Houndsley and Catina comes another adventure about a charming pair of friends.

Add to list
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster
Written by Deborah Hopkinson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Critically acclaimed nonfiction author Deborah Hopkinson pieces together the story of the TITANIC and that fateful April night, drawing on the voices of survivors and archival photographs.Scheduled to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the TITANIC, a topic that continues to haunt and thrill readers to this day, this book by critically acclaimed author Deborah Hopkinson weaves together the voices and stories of real TITANIC survivors and witnesses to the disaster – from the stewardess Violet Jessop to Captain Arthur Rostron of the CARPATHIA, who came to the rescue of the sinking ship. Packed with heartstopping action, devastating drama, fascinating historical details, loads of archival photographs on almost every page, and quotes from primary sources, this gripping story, which follows the TITANIC and its passengers from the ship’s celebrated launch at Belfast to her cataclysmic icy end, is sure to thrill and move readers.

Add to list
River
Written & illustrated by Elisha Cooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Caldecott Honor winner Elisha Cooper invites readers to grab their oars and board a canoe down a river exploration filled with adventure and beauty.In Cooper’s flowing prose and stunning watercolor scenes, readers can follow a traveler’s trek down the Hudson River as she and her canoe explore the wildlife, flora and fauna, and urban landscape at the river’s edge. Through perilous weather and river rushes, the canoe and her captain survive and maneuver their way down the river back home. River is an outstanding introduction to seeing the world through the eyes of a young explorer and a great picture book for the STEAM curriculum. Maps and information about the Hudson River and famous landmarks are included in the back of the book.

Add to list
Along the Tapajós
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A USBBY Outstanding International BookAn Amazon Best Book of 2019 in the Ages 6-8 categoryA Junior Library Guild SelectionA Capitol Choices BookCauã and Inaê are a brother and sister who live in a small community along the Tapajós River in Brazil. Here, the homes are on stilts and everyone travels around by boat–even to school! When the rainy season comes, they must leave their village and relocate to higher ground for a while. But after moving this year, Cauã and Inaê realize they’ve left behind something important: their pet tortoise, Titi! Unlike turtles, tortoises can’t swim, and Cauã and Inaê are really worried. So the pair sneaks back at night on a journey along the river to rescue him. Will they be able to save Titi?This picture book, first published in Brazil, offers kids a unique look into the lives of children who live along Brazil’s beautiful Tapajós River.

Add to list
I'll Catch You If You Fall
Written by Mark Sperring & illustrated by Layn Marlow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the spirit of Someday and Guess How Much I Love You comes a lyrical and endearing picture book about the people in our lives who are always there to look out for us. Who will keep the boy safe? “I will,” said his mother. “I will hold him close… and never let him lean too far.” Big or small, near or far, we all need someone to watch over us. This touching picture book is a reassuring tale about a journey and the people who are with us as we travel through life. It is for anyone who has wondered, Who will keep me safe? and for anyone who has answered, I will.

Add to list
Boat Book
Written & illustrated by Gail Gibbons
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A nonfiction board book that introduces a flotilla of different exciting boats to toddlers.

Rowboats, canoes, sailboats, speedboats, cruise ships, submarines, tugboats, and more! Boats come in all sizes and we use them in different ways: for recreation, for transportation, and even for police work and fighting fires. This bright and strikingly graphic introduction to boats from award-winning author and illustrator GAIL GIBBONS is both basic and inviting, making it perfect for very young children.

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.