True Grit (Junior Edition), by Bear Grylls

I recently reviewed Bear’s exercise book, and while this Bear Grylls book is a similar kind of exercise book, it’s not for your body but for your mind. Specifically for young reader’s (ages 10+) minds.

I gave True Grit to my twelve year old son so he could give me a young person’s perspective of the book. He’s the target audience after all. I gave him a few days, told him to read a few of the stories and then get back to me. After three days when I checked in with his progress, he said he wanted to read the whole book before telling me about it. Quite a good endorsement, even though I didn’t really have any information to write the review. My son loves reading and is quite the literary snob, so when he gets a good book he doesn’t give it up.

With my editor on my back, I had to get something on the page, so I figured I would have to incentivise the book reading speed. A small advance on Master Twelve’s allowance later and I got some information to help with the review.

As I knew already, Master Twelve is a big fan of Bear Gyrlls. Whether it’s his TV shows, his kids books, or watching me struggle with Bear’s workout book, Bear Grylls is somewhat of a mainstay in our house. The basics I managed to get from the book was that Bear tells the reader about several incredible people and stories that shaped his life.

Some, if not all, of the stories could easily be adapted as part of a social studies lesson for upper primary level students. Bear’s adaptation of Ernest Shackelton’s disastrous Antarctic crossing was one that my son recognised from a year seven unit on Antarctica. Along with the equally compelling story of his race to the South Pole, and Amundsen’s victory.

I am bit of a history fan myself, so when my son was in bed, I snuck the book out of his room and read a few examples myself. It was very enjoyable, and in many cases, Bear is able to relate his own personal experiences to the legendary figure he is writing about. George Mallory for example. Bear almost lost his own life on Mount Everest and took heed from the tragic death of Mallory some 80 years before Bear’s own ascent into the Death Zone above 8000 feet.

Based on the stories of true grit in this book, it was very easy to see why Bear Grylls became the adventurer that is well known to be. Each chapter is easy to read and is also very compelling. If you have a Bear fan in your home, True Grit will be a well thumbed through book for sure.

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TITLE: True Grit (Junior Edition)
AUTHOR(S): Bear Grylls
PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House
RRP: $19.99
ISBN: 9780552572620

Drew Thompson Drew operates a successful hobby farm for pampered cattle in rural South Auckland. He once dabbled in education, where he discovered any book was a good book. As with most ex-teachers, he realised he was better off spending his time and patience on his own awesome children.

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