Survive in the Outdoors!: The Ultimate DIY Guide

First Second. (Maker Comics). Jun. 2021. 128p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250620651; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781250620668.
Gr 5 Up–Alonso and Sophia’s parents are going out of town, so the kids are spending the weekend with Abuelo, at his favorite remote fishing spot. It’s a new experience for the siblings, who are not used to being disconnected from their online lives. They help Abuelo make and pack the things they’ll need for their trip, but when disaster strikes, they must step up. This graphic novel thoroughly covers how to be prepared in an isolated area, with eight projects, including fishing, fashioning a compass, and building a campfire, all of which are pictured and explained in detail. Advice on avoiding ticks, administering first aid, and making sure water is safe to drink is informative and matter-of-fact. Abuelo also offers some words of wisdom when the kids feel hesitant while fishing—it’s normal to feel upset when taking a life, says Abuelo, but if you’re going to eat meat you should know where it comes from. The family relationships are sweet and warm. Sophia and Alonso are depicted as independent, rising to the occasion and getting through the crisis. The art is colorful and engaging, expressing the characters’ emotions just as well as it diagrams project instructions. All of the characters are Latinx.
VERDICT This well-crafted graphic novel packs an incredible amount of practical and clear information for staying safe and enjoying the outdoors.

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