What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Survivors is the third and final installment of a series about kids stranded on a deserted island, cowritten by Survivor host Jeff Probst. There's no vivid violence, but the kids are in constant peril: Buzz is stung by a jellyfish, Carter has a fever as a cut on his hand grows more and more infected, and Vanessa nearly suffocates when she's trapped under mud. Vanessa also shows the skeleton of a former shipwreck victim, which underscores their small chances of survival. Some readers may be disturbed that the hungry kids use a rock, a knife, and a spear to kill animals, including a snake, grubs, and fish. Each character works hard to push past his or her comfort zone to help the group survive. Although characters have squabbled in the past, here they learn to appreciate one another and openly praise one another's smart solutions. The overall message of this book (and the series) is that each character has individual strengths, but, if they want to survive, they all need to work together. Readers will pick up some basic information about survival: that grubs are full of protein, fresh fronds will create bright white smoke (good for signal fires) -- even that peeing on a jelly fish sting reduces the pain.
What's the story?
As Jane, Buzz, Carter, and Vanessa enter their second week shipwrecked on a deserted island, things initially start to look up: Vanessa finds another boat, which crashed long ago, that provides the kids shelter and other important supplies, such as oil for stoking fires, and Carter's able to hunt and kill a snake. But their hard times aren't over: Vanessa nearly suffocates during a mudslide, Buzz is stung by a jellyfish -- and, worst of all, Carter may die from an infected cut that's made him feverish and lethargic.
Is it any good?
This short, fast-moving book provides a fun, satisfying finish to the series. It's basically one perilous adventure after the next, but there's also a sweet, if heavily underscored, message about the importance of working together.
Although the kids never really break out of their prescribed roles -- sweet and smart Jane, tough Carter -- they do each show real growth here. They also demonstrate some amazing problem-solving skills in the face of constant danger. Readers who've followed the Benson-Diaz kids through the first two books will certainly enjoy the adventure here. In fact, they'll likely feel disappointed the series is ending, just as the kids are getting so much better at surviving.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Survivor host Jeff Probst, one of the authors of the series. Do you think his name helped sell the idea -- and the books?
Buzz learned how to live on the island by watching reality TV shows. Do you think this does anything to promote shows such as Survivor?
Which character do you connect with most? What do you think would be your strength if you found yourself on an uninhabited island with a group of kids?
|Authors:||Chris Tebbetts, Jeff Probst|
|Topics:||Adventures, Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Science and nature, Wild animals|
|Publication date:||November 19, 2013|
|Number of pages:||224|
|Publisher's recommended age(s):||8 - 18|
|Read aloud:||8 - 10|
|Read alone:||8 - 13|
|Available on:||Audiobook (unabridged), iBooks, Kindle, Nook, Paperback|