Tag archives for Survival
BOOK NAME: Peak
AUTHOR: Roland Smith
14-year old Peak is obsessed with the sport of climbing. He attends climbing camps, has had previous experience with climbing, and it happens to be known that Peak’s parents were formerly renowned climbers. All this to say, Peak is so engrossed by climbing that he has taken the initiative to start climbing several New York skyscrapers! All fares well for Peak until the worst possible scenario occurs: Peak is caught and arrested by the New York Police Department while he is scaling the Woolsworth Building. With Peak’s story buzzing throughout New York, and the court threatening to sentence him for a few years in a Juvenile Detention Center, Peak’s father, Josh, offers to take custody of Peak for a little while until things calm down in the city. Josh takes Peak to the towering slopes of Mount Everest where he manages a climbing company. At the mountain, he offers Peak an opportunity to reach the summit of Everest, which Peak cannot resist. However, attempting to reach the summit isn’t exactly a walk in the park for Peak, as he must strike a mutual bargain with his father, endure the hardships of climbing the world’s tallest mountain (i.e weather, sickness), and deal with stubborn Chinese authorities and his father’s aggravating clients. Here, in this book, Peak writes a detailed account of his adventure in the Himalayas and the numerous emotions and struggles he must grapple with in his quest to conquer a merciless mountain.
Peak was one of the best books I have ever read that deals with the genre of adventure survival/nature. Roland Smith carves out a spectacular fictional novel about climbing Mount Everest and at the same time, decorates that novel with a rich, vivid storyline. In other words, Smith doesn’t just fill an entire book on basic knowledge facts on climbing Everest but also manipulates that knowledge part so that it revolves around a centralized story. As a result, readers are not only enriched by facts about Everest, but are also entertained by Peak’s experience scaling the mountain. I’d also like to commend the author for his excellent character depth and development, as he assembles a group of memorable characters each with their own unique traits/characteristics. For example, readers will definitely be able to remember Zopa, a strong-willed Buddhist monk whose wisdom and experience in climbing mountains are revered by those who interact with him. Other unforgettable characters include the amiable, humble Sun-Jo, one of Peak’s closest climbing partners, Holly Angelo, the grouchy journalist who always wants things her way, and Captain Shek, the Chinese captain who always seems to be suspicious about all the climbers on Everest. While readers go through the book, they will be delighted by Roland Smith’s unique style of writing as he shares every one of Peak’s thoughts. Readers will laugh at Peak’s jokes that spring out from his mind and will be able to interpret every emotion that he goes through during his climb. The book also gives great insight into the difficulties of climbing Everest, from the infamous climbing condition known as HAPE to oxygen deprivation, and also takes a cultural look at Everest, delving into the world of Sherpas (the natives of the mountain who assist the climbers).
There were barely any negative aspects in this book and I’d definitely suggest this book for all adventure/action, nature, and science readers. On a scale of 1-10, I’d give this book a 10, as it is definitely one of the best young adult novels Roland Smith has ever written. Check out this book whenever you can, and I’ll guarantee you’ll enjoy it!
BOOK NAME: How To Survive Anything
AUTHOR: Rachel Buchholz
How To Survive Anything is a unique book that conquers not only day to day
problems (think middle school), but also problems you wouldn’t want to encounter every
day (think volcanic eruptions). This handbook provides information on how to survive
anything in a compact, fun filled style. You’ll find it chock full of interesting facts and
hilarious illustrations that never fail to impress. This book is handy and could possibly
save your life, or your social life at least. It contains real advice on how to handle
perilous situations such as shark attack, lighting, falling through ice, or maybe the most
dangerous of all, embarrassing parents. The book is split into different categories so
you can find what you need almost instantly.
Another bonus is that it also contains fun quizzes to see if you could really
survive anything including one of my favorites, popularity contests. It is rare to find
something so fun and educational in the same book. I was astonished to find myself
laughing and learning at the same time. This book is now my go to for everything, but
hopefully I won’t have to use it when I’m adrift at sea. The most fickle reader will love
this sure-to-please book. This is a book for all ages to enjoy and share and would
make a great gift. I recommend it for anyone who wants a change of pace or if you’re a
magnet for trouble.
BOOK NAME: The Cay
AUTHOR: Theodore Taylor
Imagine being stranded on an isolated island unable to even see where you are. The Cay by Theodore Taylor depicts such a life. This book shows that one should never take advantage of another’s help.
Phillip, an 11 year old boy is living on the island of Curacao during World War II. When the war comes firsthand in the Caribbean, Phillip’s worried mom wants to go back to their home in safe Virginia, U.S.A. However their ship to the U.S. is torpedoed. Phillip is lost at sea on a raft with only a black man Timothy and a cat named Stew. Soon Philip gets blind due to a head injury. They arrive on a barren island, or cay. Timothy teaches Phillip how to survive on his own without his eyesight and Phillip grows more mature. Phillip has grown up learning that blacks are different, but he now realizes that that doesn’t affect the wisdom and intelligence of his guardian, Timothy. Will Phillip and Timothy ever be rescued from this island?
This book filled with adventure is one you would want to read. The author has brought Timothy’s voice by spelling words in the calypso accent making his character sound strong, rich, and powerful, like, “Why b’feesh different color, or flower b’different color? I true don’ know, Philleep, but I true tink beneath d’skin is all d’same” (79). The survival techniques that Timothy shows Phillip are very useful and portray how barren islands can be lifesaving, too. It’s interesting to read how Phillip matures because of Timothy’s influence.
BOOK NAME: Julie
AUTHOR: Jean Craighead George
Imagine visiting a modern Eskimo village. That’s exactly where Julie by Jean Craighead George takes you. This realistic fiction book is a sequel to Julie of the Wolves. Julie teaches you that if you are determined to achieve something you should never give up.
In Julie of the Wolves, Julie, a young Eskimo girl, survives the harsh winter on the tundra alone with help from a wolf pack. In Julie, she returns to her father, Kapugen, in Kangik, Alaska. Kapugen has given up Eskimo ways and has adapted to modern amenities. He has even married an American woman named Ellen. At first, Julie has a hard time adjusting to the new ways, but eventually feels happy as she learns to balance herself between the two traditions. However, problems arise when a wolf from the wolf pack Julie had befriended kills a musk ox which belongs to Kapugen. Kapugen wants to kill the wolves. But, Julie wants to save her wolves and sets out on the tundra to push them farther away from Kangik. Will the wolves stay away from the musk oxen? Will Kapugen’s desire to kill them lessen? Read the book to find out.
Julie is a book one would enjoy reading. I would suggest reading Julie of the Wolves first, so you can understand Julie better. The interaction between the wolves and Julie is described so thoroughly that communicating with animals seems simple. The details about the Eskimo village and the Eskimo ceremonies are very informative. Julie is truly a wonderful book!
BOOK NAME: Julie of the Wolves
AUTHOR: Jean Craighead George
As the main character, Julie, runs from her past, she comes to find herself living alone in the Alaskan wilderness. Her days are filled just waiting for winter to set in, offering her nothing but its blinding, cold hard months. Through some tragic circumstances, Julie finds herself almost starving to death when she discovers a pack of wolves. She watches them and learns the secret language of these wolves and finally is accepted into the pack by the leader.
As you read, you also learn the secret language of wolves with Julie. This is fascinating because it has even helped me better understand my own dog’s behavior including nipping at the nose and why she pulls her hears back or rolls over.
I loved the crystal clear words the author used to describe the sun, snow and wilderness. She slowly crafted the scene into my mind as I read and I could easily picture myself there. The author explains the story so vividly that even the strongest of heart will feel weepy. Make sure you have a box of tissues handy when you read this one!
I also enjoyed this story because it reminded me of Island of the Blue Dolphins. Like it, this is a survival story which is especially inspiring. I’m anxious to read the book’s sequel to find out what happens next. The ending of this book seems so perfect that I can’t imagine what more could happen. But I’ll let you know soon!
BOOK NAME: The Hunger Games
AUTHOR: Suzanne Collins
16-year old Katniss Everdeen lives in the country of Panem, which represents the last remnants of North American civilization as we know it. Each year, the capital hosts the Hunger Games, an event that makes the people of Panem realize that they are under the supreme power of the capital. During the Hunger Games, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are taken from each district to participate. The Games are a fight to the death in a giant arena, and the last person, or tribute, alive wins. When Katniss’s little sister Prim gets picked at random to be the female tribute for District 12, Katniss volunteers to take her place. The rest of the story follows her journey in the Games.
You’ll have to read more to find out what happens as Katniss journeys to the Capital and enters the games. Katniss really inspired me with her bravery and love for her family. She stood up for what she believed in and made sure she was doing the right thing. I think that a lot of themes from the book translate really well into everyday life, and one thing I liked about this book is that you get to see everything from Katniss’s point of view. I also love books that I can’t put down, and The Hunger Games is that kind of book-I was even reading it during class sometimes! It’s an enthralling storyline that makes me need to keep reading, and seeing it from Katniss’s perspective made me feel like it was me going through all of the terrible ordeals. This is a book that takes a more mature mindset, so I would definitely recommend it for middle-school aged kids.
BOOK NAME: Woods Runner
AUTHOR: Gary Paulsen
This book is a good historical fiction because it has a lot of Revolutionary War facts and a lot of action combined into one book. After every chapter, Gary Paulsen picked one important fact about the Revolutionary War and it would usually be a fact on the chapter you just read. Gary Paulsen actually used all of the guns in the book to get the feeling of them for the story.
The book is about a 13-year-old boy named Samuel who loves hunting and lives in a cabin with his Mom and Dad. He was out hunting one day because he feels so calm and relaxed in the woods. But before he went out, one of his neighbors told him there was a war in Massachusetts. He turned back because he heard something behind him and he saw smoke. He thought of the British Army, and he sprinted back…
I’m not going to tell you the rest because I want you to get the book and read it, but it’s about adventure and survival.
I’ve written a review on another Gary Paulsen book: Hatchet. Woods Runner is Paulsen’s newest book. It was published in 2010. It’s different than Hatchet because it’s historical fiction and Hatchet doesn’t really have any history. In Woods Runner there are more characters than Hatchet where there’s really on Brian, the main character. Gary Paulsen also read diaries from kids in the Revolutionary War so that he could get actually know how people like Samuel actually felt and acted.
BOOK NAME: Island of the Blue Dolphins
AUTHOR: Scott O’Dell
This is a book in the genre of survival which you don’t see often, so it’s a lovely break from the more popular genres such as fantasy. The author, Scott O’Dell, is an artist in my mind because from the first page to the end of the book he “paints” the scenes in your mind. Island of the Blue Dolphins features twelve year old Karana who ends up spending many years alone on the island and must learn how to survive. Fortunately, she is not exactly alone. She has her trusty companion, Rontu, a dog she tames from the wild. Together, they face many challenges and have many adventures together.
I think Karana got off easy compared to the boy in Hatchet because he had no one with him, not even any animal friends like Karana did. In Island of the Blue Dolphins, Karana had many items at her disposal such as a fence, food around her all the time, and she even had a canoe. Compared to Hatchet where he had to build his own fort and didn’t have much food or weapons, Karana did pretty well. That is, until she met the devil fish one day!
Based on a true story, it will surely become one of your favorites. I highly recommend this as a challenge for young and developing readers. It is a forgotten classic that should be known again. I also recommend another one of Scott O’Dell’s books Thunder Rolling in the Mountains.
BOOK NAME: Hatchet
AUTHOR: Gary Paulsen
Brian Robeson, a 13 year old boy, is flying to visit his divorced Dad who lives in Canada. The pilot has a sharp pain in his chest and he has a heart attack. After the pilot’s heart attack, Brian ends up flying the plane for about two minutes. After finding that the radio is broken, he crashes the plane into a lake.
This story is about Brian and how he survives in the wilderness for 42 days with nothing except a hatchet and a ripped up windbreaker. At first, he had pains all over his body, so he just slept on the sand. The next day, the pain was getting better, so decided to build a lean-to shelter. That’s just the beginning of all the excitement.
He ends up fishing, hunting and picking berries for food. And there’s also dangerous times like a tornado, and standing about six feet from a black bear.
Gary Paulsen is a three-time Newberry Honor author and he’s very good. He also has a good book called Guts which is all about his real life. It is very exciting and the reason why I wanted to read Hatchet.
That’s all for now. I hope you read this book. Until next time – bye!