Survivor Diaries {series}

by Terry Lynn Johnson

This is a quick to read book series that has a lot of action and adventure. This series might be great for reluctant readers and appeals to both boys and girls. At the end of each book you have many pages filled with survival tips, information on the topic at hand and websites to check out for more information if your curious. The books are told from the viewpoint of the kids that survived. The series has a website that comes with downloadable cards and a game as well as curriculum you can use in the classroom. However the game really isn’t a game but more of a quiz to test your knowledge on surviving an avalanche.


Avalanche! tells the story of twins Ashley and Ryan who get trapped and taken off course after they survive an avalanche. Ashley is the one retelling the story on how she was able to keep Ryan and her alive and get them to the trail where they could be found. They encounter a bear and wolverine, harsh conditions and injuries. Through it all they were able to push through with the grit and fight just like  the wolverine they saw.

Lost!  is probably one of my favorites since it involved an ancient myth. I love all things mythology. Carter and Anna on the trail and it leads them into the jungles in Costa Rica. It’s so easy to get lost in a jungle and that is what happens to them. To make matters worse they just chased by howler monkey’s making the way out even harder to figure out. This one by far has the most action and I think readers would really enjoy this.

Overboard! What started off as a grand adventure whale watching with family, turns in to icy terror when they are all thrown overboard! Travis and Marina are separated from their families and struggling to stay alive in the icy cold waters. They are on their own and in order to stay alive they need to food and shelter if they can get to the isolated island they see in the distance. They might get to the island but with wet clothes, cold temps hypothermia is a real issue. This one was my second favorite and I really liked the pace of the story.

The only one I was not able to get ahold of was Dust Storm! I’m sure it is just as good as the other’s in the series and would be a great one to read as well.



Ready, Set … Baby!

By Elizabeth Rusch

Illustrated by Qin Leng



This picture book is a perfect gift to any child that is about to become a big brother or sister. While some might feel it is a bit graphic with pictures of what babies look like in mommy’s tummy, I never got that feeling nor did any adults that I showed this to for their opinions. Kids will like the story and learn a lot about their future little brother or sister. This is THE BOOK to get it is very similar to the What to Expect when you’re expecting but tamed down fun kid version. The author tackles it all from the loud noises and smelly diapers to the fun of having the sibling around. The whole book is told through a kids point of view and eyes making this a must have on bookshelves. The illustrations are well-defined and detailed with out too much to see on each page. The thought bubble dialogue made this picture book feel a bit like a graphic novel which really made the young listeners excited. They said it made them feel like the big kids that read the graphic novels and that made this book a real hit with the book crowd. The pictures are not graphic in nature and done in a very sweet way. Kids as young as kindergarten enjoy this picture book. Many talked about how their mommy was going to have a baby or just had a baby. It opened up discussion and the kids really enjoyed it. If you wanted to read this in a classroom setting but not sure about the content you could skip some of the dialogue or pictures.  Skim parts of the book and post – it the pages that you are going to breeze over. Maybe set it out and let the parents look over it and you can find out their thoughts. Most of the kids I read this to liked it and remembered more about the stinky diapers – baby farts and screaming than what the baby looked like in mommy’s tummy. Grab a copy and look it over decide if it is right for your child or classroom. Overall I felt it was a good book – well informative – and done up in a tasteful manner. The kids liked it and enjoyed the book. Most of the comment that I wrote down from the kids that were there for the review were about the funny things their own little siblings do that was in the book.

summary: Big kids Anna and Oliver give young readers the inside scoop on what to expect when a new baby is expected. In a fresh picture book/comic style, Ready, Set . . . Baby offers up a funny, loving, reassuring peek into life as a big brother or sister—with solid information, kid-friendly humor, and even tips for parents on how to help kids thrive when the new baby arrives.

Thank you HMH Books for Young Readers for sending us a copy of Ready, Set… Baby! for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.