Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Adventurer’s Handbook – An Extreme, Extraordinary, and Exciting Journey Around the World (Book)

Author: Anita Ganeri. Illustrator: Dusan Pavlic Release date: 2010. Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends. ISBN: 9780312580902.
Plot summary: This guide to adventuring features lessons in how to have various adventures that are actually science lessons in disguise. Some of the activities outlined in the chapters include “How to Drive a Dog Team Across Polar Ice,” “How to Jump High with the Maasai in Kenya,” “How to Avoid a Sea Wasp in Australia,” “How to Avoid Hippos on the Zambezi” and “How to Survive a Hurricane in the Caribbean.” Each chapter begins with an introduction to the topic. For example, in the chapter “How to Track a Twister in Tornado Alley,” the science behind a tornado is explained as well as the geographic area that makes up “tornado alley.” The enhanced Fujita Scale for measuring tornado intensity is even included before the actual guide to tracking a twister is presented. The book continues in much the same fashion from chapter to chapter, most including one to two pages of factual information prior to the instructions on performing the various activities.
Review:  The Adventurer’s Handbook is a science lesson cleverly disguised as a guide for adventuring. The information presented in the various chapters is not only clear, it is also fun and interesting. This title would be perfect for a science classroom or reluctant readers, especially tween males. It will also likely spark an interest in topics included in the book, such as geography, geology or various indigenous or cultural groups presented.
Genre: Non-fiction
Reading level: Grades 4-8
Similar titles:  N/A
Personal thoughts:  As someone with an interest in science, I really enjoyed reading this fun, easy-to-read and educational title. I definitely have observed the statistic that tween and teen boys often prefer reading non-fiction books over “girlie” titles, and I think The Adventurer’s Handbook is wonderful for not only that purpose but for teaching them a little something about science as well.
Themes:  Survival, science, adventure.
Awards/Reviews: Written by Anita Ganeri, award-winning author of Horrible Geography series.
Series Information:  N/A
Character information: N/A
Annotation:  Would you know what to do if you were trapped in a blizzard in Antarctica? Can you crack a coconut on a deserted island? Read The Adventurer’s Handbook to learn all about navigating some of the trickiest, but most exciting, situations the world has to offer.

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