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SURVIVE-O-PEDIA by David Borgenicht


by David Borgenicht & Molly Smith & Brendan Walsh & Robin Epstein & illustrated by Chuck Gonzalez

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8118-7690-2
Publisher: Chronicle

From “Airplane Crashes” to “Whitewater” and “Woods,” an alphabetical tally of hazardous situations with (usually) a few coping strategies.

The sixth “Junior Edition” in the Worst Case Scenario franchise gathers abbreviated or rewritten versions of 63 natural hazards covered in the adult volumes but probably new to the intended audience. Each gets a spread of photos and lighthearted cartoons of young folk in extremis, which accompany briefly described scenarios, background explanations, general safety tips and common-sense behaviors. Not much of all this is intended to be seriously helpful—for one thing, the format doesn’t lend itself to quick reference, and for another, the likelihood of any readers running with the bulls in Pamplona, surviving an asteroid collision or encountering a gorilla in the wild is low. Furthermore, victims of sudden amnesia are advised not to seek medical help but just wait, as it’ll go away in 24 hours, a method of cracking open coconuts with a pointed stick is actively dangerous and the only suggested strategy for dealing with killer whales is to “keep your distance.”

Mild amusement for armchair travelers, offering (as the intro puts it) “all of the adventure with none of the stitches.” (Browsing item. 10-12)