Small as an Elephant
Reading Level: Grades 3 - 6
Jack and his mother go camping in Maine over Labor Day weekend, but when Jack wakes up on their first morning, his mother is gone, along with her tent and the car. Jack's mother has done this before, so he's worried... but knows she'll come back eventually. But the end of the weekend looms closer, and Jack's food money has long since run out.
Jack knows that if he tells anyone his mother has disappeared again, he'll be taken away from her, so he starts heading home, alone.
Small as an Elephant is a wonderful urban survival story about a boy who loves nothing more than his mother, and elephants.
A few similar stories of kids in charge of themselves: