Bickering companions Carter and Anna quickly find themselves lost in the Costa Rican rainforest during a birding trip, struggling to make it back to safety in this survival thriller for young readers.
Real-life survival expert Johnson brings her decades of experience in various extreme habitats to bear in this third volume of the Survivor Diaries. Eleven-year-old Carter serves as the whiz, with a deep Rolodex of information on the animal species of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula and a keen sense of survival knowledge. Twelve-year-old Anna considers him a bit of a “nerd alert,” but readers learn that Carter’s commitment to preparedness is a means for him to contend with his anxiety, which has induced panic attacks in the past. Anna is the impulsive trailblazer with equal shares of bravery and naiveté, and she’s enamored with the myth of a monkey statue that imparts protective strength with a lick. Although the storyline is predictable, Johnson accents the tale with a surprising amount of depth as the two adolescents learn to find their strengths in each other. Descriptions of types of snakes, monkeys, birds, and insects give readers an informative understanding of what’s found in the Costa Rican jungle. Orban depicts Carter as black and Anna as white in her occasional black-and-white full-page illustrations.
A strong addition to this new, emerging series. (author’s note, survival tips, further information) (Adventure. 7-10)