Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Way Better Than I Anticipated

Stranded by Jeff Probst and Chris Tebbetts

Adolescent Survival

I was fully set to dislike this, but.......I found myself really liking it!  I would definitely recommend it for its target audience-adolescents.  While the book is probably mostly written by Tebbetts, I felt as if the voice of Jeff Probst came though loud and clear-a very direct, no-nonsense style.

Four young people (and brand new step-siblings) are off on a sailing adventure with their uncle.  But, of course, nothing goes as planned.  A huge storm cripples the boat; the uncle is swept overboard; and, the kids get shipwrecked on a deserted island.  It's not surprising that the book is set on an island (Probst is the host of the mega-TV show Survivor), and the characters have to survive on their own with just their wits and natural elements.  That's what Probst is good at.  However, unlike the Survivor TV show, there is no backstabbing, lying or power-hungry, morally bankrupt contestants intent only on greed and selfishness.  (Can you tell I can't stand the show?)  While I don't like my kids to watch the TV show, I would recommend this to readers in middle school.

While the adventure/survival aspect was cool, I was most impressed by the family dynamics here.  The reactions of the teens were realistic and thoughtful and gripping.  They weren't just cardboard cutouts of characters, which is what I thought I would get. 

It's a little book that packs  a lot of punch.  Fast and easy to read at 192 pages.

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