NONFICTION

Wild Girl: How To Have Incredible Outdoor Adventures

Candlewick. Oct. 2020. 144p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781536212860.
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Gr 5-8–Helen Skelton, a white English woman, has a list of impressive accomplishments, including an ultra marathon across the Namib Desert and a high-wire walk above London. The format of the text mimics a scrapbook. Each section describes the necessary training and gear, the highs and lows of Skelton’s experiences, fascinating facts about the location or activity, and stories of other notable women adventurers. Most readers would find it difficult to emulate feats such as Skelton’s kayak journey down the Amazon. However, there are appropriate reminders to seek adult supervision when participating in adventures as well as ideas for safe outdoor excitement a little closer to home. Kay’s vivid illustrations and photographs bring Skelton’s experiences to life and enhance the detailed descriptions on each page. The subtitle may be a bit misleading; the book is more of a memoir than a “how-to” manual. Still, many readers will be motivated by Skelton’s experiences, and her perseverance and grit are inspiring. Readers gain a wealth of information about the landforms and wildlife of various regions on Earth, which may spark wanderlust.
VERDICT A unique and invigorating addition to nonfiction collections for young adolescents.

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