________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 28 . . . . March 25, 2016


Would You Survive?

Helaine Becker.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2015.
95 pp., trade pbk., $5.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-4601-2.

Subject Heading:
Survival-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-8 / Ages 8-13.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

*** /4



Polar Peril

Your bush plane has had to make an emergency landing north of the tree line. Everyone else on the plane has been knocked unconscious, so you're on your own! Will you survive in the bitter, cold terrain of the tundra?

1. The wreck of the plane is smouldering. You fear it might explode! What do you do?
a. Run away as fast as possible!
b. Move away from the plane, but make sure to keep close enough that you can return to it. Searchers will find you more easily if you stay near it.
c. Cross your fingers. A nice big fire would help keep you toasty warm.

2. Which is your most valuable resource to help you stay alive?

a. The plane itself. You can use it for shelter.
b. Your wits. You can figure out how to radio for help.
c. Your teddy bear.

3. You should wear a hat...

a. whenever your head feels cold.
b. all the time, even when sleeping.
c. never. It traps cold air next to your head.

4. You're so thirsty! Can you eat some snow?

a. Yes, as long as it's clean.
b. Yes. It's water!
c. No. You should melt it first so you don't get hypothermia.


Give yourself one point for each correct answer.

1. b 3. b 5. a 7. a 9. c
2. a 4. c 6. b 8. c 10. a



0-3 Cold, colder, coldest. you'd better stay home, by the fire, in your footie pyjamas.

4-7 Getting warmer. You have a 50/50 chance of surviving your polar peril.

8-10 Hot stuff! You've not only survived, but you've managed to save the bush pilot and the rest of the passengers too!

Would You Survive? is a fun activity book that provides 30 "challenges", with 26 of them resembling the example found in the excerpt above. Becker first creates a scenario, and then she asks 10 questions concerning what readers would choose to do if they actually found themselves in that specific scenario. The questions are not open-ended; instead, Becker usually provides three possible responses. When readers have chosen their responses to the 10 questions, they can self-score, and, after totalling their scores, they can then turn to the HOW YOU RATE... to see how well they would have survived in that particular situation.

      The survival scenarios range from the serious ("Can You Find Your Way in the Wilderness?", "Pick Your Poison - or Not!" "Desert Disaster" and "First Aid 101") to the fanciful ("Can You Survive Stardom?", "Will You Survive Middle School?", "Kidnapped by Pirates" and "The Espionage Exam"). The remaining four activities include a maze, two knowledge-based "Game Shows" and "Are You Fit Enough to Survive?". "Are You Fit Enough to Survive?" provides eight brief scenarios with each requiring a physical response. For example:

7. You're skiiing down Mt. Kookachoo when you hear the distinctive roar of an avalanche! Can you evade the snow, or will you become a snowball yourself?

Your challenge: Do six forward rolls without stopping or rolling into anything.

      Again, Becker provides a scoring rubric, one that assesses readers' physical fitness.

      Numerous black and white illustrations are used to break up the text.

      While Would You Survive? would make a fine recreational read in library collections, its "consumable" nature also suggests it will have an audience among individual purchasers.


Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, survives in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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