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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

How to Survive Anywhere: Staying Alive in the World’s Most Extreme Places by Ben Lerwill

How wonderful - a survival book without a celebrity adventurer in sight. In fact, the introduction page is illustrated as though you have a map and a note (upon which the intro is printed) in your hands, and a trail winds its way nearby - so the young reader can really put themselves in the picture, so to speak.

Starting in the Arctic Circle, the book winds its way around the world, through deserts, rainforests, mountains, the savannah, forests and the Australian outback. Each environmental setting has similar content: a fact file, who and/or what survives here, ways to help that particular environment thrive. You’ll find out how to make different types of shelters, what to do in a sandstorm, how to react if a lion charges at you, recognise animal tracks, and much more besides - although just the right amount of information, actually: enough to learn something new, but not so much that it gets overwhelming.

I really liked the real-life survivor stories from the past interspersed throughout the book, such as the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island, who was found after living alone on a desert island for 18 years, speaking a language known to no-one else. Or how about Juliane Koepcke, at 17 the sole survivor of a plane crash over the Amazon Rainforest, who trekked for 10 days to find people.

With clear, crisp layout, beautiful illustrations and straightforward language, How to Survive Anywhere is perfect for budding adventurers in the 8-12 age range.

Reviewer: Stacey Anyan

Allen & Unwin


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