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Classical Childrens Books

Ocean Stories

These ocean stories contain the world's classic tales of the sea.

Batten down the hatches for a storm's a' brewin'. Set sail for some of the most adventurous ocean stories ever written by authors who loved traveling the high seas.

Captains Courageous

By Rudyard Kipling

Realistic Fiction
Reading Level: 6th - 8th grade
The spoiled, teenage son of a wealthy tycoon falls overboard on his voyage to Europe and is rescued by a fishing boat out to sea for the season. The fisherman do not believe his story of his father's wealth. What happens when the arrogant boy is required to work for his wages?

The Dark Frigate

Charles Hawes
Historical Fiction
An English youth is left alone after the death of his father. He becomes a sailor like his father. His ship is captured by pirates, but after he escapes to a British warship he is accused and stands trial for piracy.

The Long Black Schooner

By Emma Gelders Sterne

True story
A true story of the revolt on a slave ship and the trial of those involved; this book was originally entitled "The Long Black Schooner" and is now published under the title "The Story of the Amistad," "The Slave Ship," or other titles.

Call It Courage

Armstrong Sperry
A young native boy on a Pacific Island is stigmatized because of his fear of the ocean. However, when he takes a canoe to an island by himself and faces cannibals, he discovers he has courage he didn't know he had. This is more of a story of life on the islands surrounded by the Pacific ocean, rather than life on board a sailing ship.

The Wanderer

Sharon Creech
Twelve year old Sophia and her three uncles and two cousins set sail on a 45 foot boat across the Atlantic Ocean. While they don't always get along, they find out they need each other (particularly in a storm that almost ends their life.) And while Sophia wants to sail into a new adventure, her cousins are determined to uncover the secrets of her past. This is a 2002 Newbery Honor book.

Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson
A young boy finds himself embattling the infamous Long John Silver while on a treasure hunt to find the treasure of the dreaded Captain Flint. One of the world's most loved ocean stories.

Mr Midshipman Easy

by Frederick Marryat
A spoiled young man decides he will find adventure at sea, and becomes a midshipman in the royal navy. On board, he becomes friends with an African prince who was captured. Full of humor and satire.

The Cruise of the Snark

by Jack London
The true story of a two year voyage in the South Pacific by Jack London is recounted in this book. They stopped on the Solomon Islands and Hawaii. Photos of their adventures are included in the book.

Moby Dick

by Herman Melville
Moby Dick is the most famous whale in literary history, as well as Ahab, the obsessed captain who is willing to forfeit his life and ship to seek revenge on the great whale.

The Old Man and the Sea

by Ernest Hemingway
Often read in middle school, this is one of the most widely read ocean stories. It tells the story tells the struggle of Santiago, an elderly fisherman, against the forces of nature as he tries to catch a large marlin and end several months without catching any fish.

Kon Tiki

by Thor Heyerdahl
True Story: 1947
An amazing story of six men who travel more than 4000 miles on a primitive raft. There mission was to prove the theory that the Polynesian Islands had been settled by people who migrated from Peru, so they set out themselves to show the long voyage was possible. They encountered dangers and sea animals never seen before - and several times almost did not survive to tell their discoveries.

Not written for children, but appropriate for sixth grade and above.

Ocean Unit Study

Don't stop with great stories! Our MatchCard Science Oceanography Unit Study will give your kids a great time learning about the science of the oceans. Essential scientific objectives, game-like review with the MatchCards, suggested activities, art projects, field trip ideas, lapbook templates and more will make this a captivating learning adventure.


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