________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 7. . . .October 21, 2016


Lost in the Swamp of Terror. (Lost: Can You Survive?).

Tracey Turner.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2016.
128 pp., pbk. & hc., $11.95 (pbk.),$25.95 (List RLB), $20.76 (School RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-2356-1 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-2354-7 (RLB).

Subject Heading:
Plot-your-own stories.

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Amber Allen.

**** /4



You call out in case the rest of your group is still close by. You strain your ears for any sound that may mean humans. A bird screeches loudly from the tree canopy…and a distant low bellow sends a shiver down your spine. All around you are the sounds of drips and splashes in this watery world. But there’s nothing to give you hope that people might be nearby.


Lost in the Swamp of Terror is a new addition to the “Lost Series” of “choose your own adventure” style books for the middle school crowd. In this installment, you (the reader is positioned as the protagonist) wake up, bleary eyed and throbbing, in the middle of the Florida Everglades somehow separated from your guided tour group. With very little to defend yourself or to sustain you, you must set on a course to find another human being in the vast swamplands. Each and every corner throws a new curve with deep marshy waters and menacing animals poised to end your journey at a moment’s notice. Make a wrong choice, and you could end up bitten by a rabid coyote or poisoned by a manchineel fruit. Not to worry, the fatal ending of one story is just the opportunity to set out again, all the more determined to survive.

     Tracey Turner’s unique blend of fictional adventure story and factual text is as engaging as it is informative. You can just as easily pick up the book to learn more about the golden silk spider or sinkholes as you can set off on a death-defying escapade. Because of this seamless fusion, Lost in the Swamp of Terror will appeal to the fact lover as much as the adrenaline junky. The chance that you’ll survive the Everglades is strengthened at each respawn (a gaming term used to describe the action of a computer player or human player coming back to life after being killed.) as you take in the bullet point lists of facts and figures – arming yourself with just the right knowledge to dodge the diamondback rattlesnakes and push forward to higher ground. Here is a book that will feel right at home on any reluctant reader’s bookshelf.

Highly Recommended.

Amber Allen is a librarian in Toronto, ON, with a passion for children’s literature and writing.

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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