I know many of my students loved Brian's tale of survival after a plane crash in Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen. This is a slightly different kind of survival in the wilderness story, but a great one for fans of wilderness survival scenarios.
Twelve-year-old Willa knows they haven't stored enough meat for four people to survive the upcoming Alaskan winter. She also sees the empty whiskey bottles and hears her father's empty promises to hunt. Then there's a horrible thump as her brother argues with her father, outside, and she notes the bruise on his face when he comes in.
She can't wait any longer. She has to get her two younger brothers to safety, away from their father, who brought them to this harsh wilderness and built a cabin after their mother died. And that means leaving -- now.
Their father has hidden the oars to the small boat, so they take their handmade raft, a cobbled-together collection of discarded logs and boards. Along the way, they take her youngest brother's little wolf pup, barely escape a momma bear and her cub, and hide from their angry father as he paddles past.
Once they reach the Fort Yukon settlement, starving, she meets a girl whose father is on the tribal council of the Gwichyaa Gwich'in, and the kids are safe from the elements, at last.
Until Aunt Frances shows up. Then they're faced with an even bigger choice -- go to New York, with her, and abandon their dad and newfound friends, probably for good, or...
I won't spoil the ending. It's full of twists and turns you don't see coming and was a wonderful read!