Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book Review: True Survival Stories

I just finished an excellent book called True Survival Stories by Paul Dowswell. I found it at our local book thrift store for just 75 cents. I like to know what sort of books I'm putting in my classroom library, so I typically at least glance through them before placing them on the shelf. There really are a lot of garbage-filled books out there that I don't want to provide for my students. I actually read this book cover to cover because it was so intriguing.

It's broken into about 10 different chapters on 10 different true survival situations. Some of them are famous survival situations and others are lesser-known. It's at a 6.2 reading level with a Guided Reading Level of X. I found it to be an easy read with plenty of rich vocabulary that can easily be deciphered with context clues.

In my four years of teaching, I've found that 6th graders (boys especially) love survival stories. Some of the most-read books on my bookshelf are the I Survived...books put out by Scholastic. Surprisingly, some of my students prefer non-fiction to fiction, so this book is excellent for those students. Each survival story is told in a story format including diagrams to help explain some of the more technical details.

There are no objectionable elements or language in this novel, which makes this Christian school teacher happy! I really get tired of foul language and mature themes creeping into children's literature. Don't even get me started!

Click here for a link to a copy on Amazon.

I can't wait to suggest this book to reluctant readers! How bout you? Do you have any suggestions for reluctant readers/survival fanatics?


  1. My fifth graders loved that book last year! There is also another series that is historical fictional that is very similar called the I Survived series... my students also really loved those books. They are more of an entire story but once they get hooked on survival tales, that's a great series. They have books on the shark attacks, the titanic, the San Fransisco Earthquake,etc.

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    1. I have a few practically read-to-death copies of that series. I'll have to find the earthquake one. Thanks!


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