Even before I lived by the ocean, I was always captivated by any story that took place in or near the sea. There's just something so mysterious, vast, and adventurous about it. Here is a collection of our favorite ocean classics that you may want to add to your summer reading list this year. Most likely, they're already on your bookshelf, at Grandma's house or in your local library. These books are suitable for upper elementary aged kids and older to read themselves, or to be read out loud to younger listeners. Let them take you away to tropical islands, adventure, and lots and lots of water. I have other book lists if your looking for more ideas.
Moby Dick by Geraldine McCaughrean (I recommend this version for the kids, it's written very well and true to the original text by Herman Melville but more suitable for children and with beautiful pictures). Captain Ahab sails the seas in his relentless hunt for his enemy the white whale, Moby Dick. (3rd grade and up)
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. A classic tale of buried treasure, pirates, mutiny, tropical islands and X marks the spot. Long John Silver as a main character in a plot full of action, and a study of morality. (5th grade and up)
Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss. Shipwrecked and stranded on a desert island, the Swiss Family Robinson have learn how to survive amongst dangers and delights in their new world. Also, so fun to read first and then watch the movie! (5th grade and up)
Paddle to the Sea by Holling Clancy Holling. The story of a hand carved little canoe, made by an Indian boy and it's journey through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. A fabulous study of the geography and history from that region. A Caldecott Honor book. (3rd grade and up)
20,000 League's Under the Sea by Jules Vernes. A classic science fiction novel of Captain Nemo and his submarine, the Nautilus. This story is about their adventures as they travel around the world underwater and the companions they meet. Ginger is reading this one right now, and keeps me up to date on the amazing adventures happening under the sea. (5th grade and up)
The White Seal by Rudyard Kipling. Such a sweet story of a rare white seal, and his search for a new home for his large family of seals. Many fun facts about the lives of seals and how their environment is affected by man. This is one of the many stories that make up the complete Jungle Book. (3rd grade and up)
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. The story of an Indian girl, Karana, and how she lived alone for many years on an island off the coast of California, watching season after season for a boat to come take her away. While she is there she learns how to survive by making shelter, making weapons, and fighting the wild dogs on the island. A story full of adventure and natural beauty. Winner of the Newberry Award. (5th grade and up)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis. Book five in the series The Chronicles of Narnia, a fantastic tale of a king and his companions on a voyage beyond all known lands. As they sail further and further towards the worlds end, they come across many challenges and adventures. (3rd grade and up)
The Cruise of the Arctic Star by Scott O'Dell. A true story of the author and his crew as they sail up the coast of California. We loved the historical anecdotes told about the places they cruised through on their voyage. (5th grade and up)
Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe. The only survivor of a shipwreck, he is cast on shore of a tropical island. He encounters cannibals, captives, and mutineers before being rescued after 28 years of living on the island. He acquires a companion, Friday, who becomes his humble and devoted slave. A tale of survival and providence. (5th grade and up)
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