When the Worst Happens: Extraordinary Stories of Survival

illus. by David Perkins. 128p. further reading. index. notes. Annick. Sept. 2014. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781554516834; pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781554516827.
.span style = 'font-weight:bold'>Gr 4–8—Survival stories are hot, and these true—and astonishing—tales should have no trouble finding an eager audience. A variety of survivors are described here: Juliane Koepcke, who fell from an airplane into the South American rainforest; Jimmy Sanchez, who was trapped in a Chilean mine; and Kathy Ledtke, who found herself aboard the ill-fated Costa Concordia, among others. The stories are broken up "Choose Your Own Adventure" style, with readers instructed to flip ahead to another page to see what happens next (though they aren't permitted to sway the outcomes), resulting in a somewhat choppy feel. Though the illustrations won't draw in readers, the fast-paced writing and intriguing topic will easily attract children. Overall, this is a thrilling, well-sourced book, ideal for research or for browsing.—Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI

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