Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kid Konnection: Empowering Books for Middle Graders

Lost in the Wild by Ryan Jacobson (Rated: C)
Adventure Publications
ISBN: 978-1591930907
Published Sept 22, 2008
Paperback, 152 pages
Ages 9 - 12

I haven't read one of these books in years. Lost in the Wild is a choose-your-path book—an adventure book with dozens of possible endings depending on the decisions you make throughout the story.

You are the main character. You and your sister Kate (story written in the second-person POV) are on a camping trip with your family. But when you and Kate get caught in a terrible thunderstorm your struggle for survival begins. And what an adventure it is!

My kids and I had so much fun reading this story together. We also learned a lot about surviving in the outdoors where there are bears and wolves. We made it to the end after dying...three times? Yes, we had to retrace out paths several times and try to figure out how to survive. The first night we read it my husband joined us as we were deciding which four items from the list of ten we should pack into our backpack. They all seemed essential to us, especially me, the city girl who would bring everything I possibly could. I am so not an outdoors person.

At one point in the story we made a wrong choice and ended up getting rescued but not the sister. But then at another time, we also ended up getting rescued and our sister did too and we failed to see why it was different the second time around when the circumstances seemed the same. Apart from this, the choices we made really helped us see the value in survival knowledge and preparedness.

We found this book exciting and suspenseful and we finished it in two sittings. But of course, one could re-read this book many times and always have a different adventure exploring the various choices along the way. It's a great book to read as a family as each member can give their input and then decide together what to do. It's an ideal book for both boys and girls and also for the reluctant reader. Both my 9 year-old girl and my 6 year-old boy loved it. My son actually said to me that it's now one of his favourite books. 

I thought the book trailer was great too. Check it out:

For more information on this book and its author, visit

Disclosure: Thanks to Nicole Bonia for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet, written and illustrated by Janet Wilson (Rated: C)
Second Story Press
ISBN: 978-1897187845
Published Sept 1, 2010
Hardcover, 32 pages

Janet Wilson portrays ten youths from around the world who have taken action to do something for our Earth, whether it's saving the rainforest, building wells in Africa, or starting an organic school vegetable garden. This colorful book begins with the African proverb:

If many little people,
in many little places,
do many little things,
they can change
the face of the Earth.

How empowering for our children!

Each page spread is dedicated to a child environmentalist, containing beautiful illustrations, photos, and Website links. It's a visually stimulating book that ends with further examples of what other kids have created and how we can help save the planet such as getting unplugged or giving your school an e-report card.

My children were impressed with the things these kids from 7 to 17 years of age accomplished. They were also taken aback with the problems we are currently facing with climate change, pollution, endangered species, poverty, deforestation, and global warming. It has raised awareness in them and myself too, and it makes us think twice about some choices we make and how we can be more conscientious.

Not long after reading the book, as I was driving on the highway, my 6 year-old son pointed to the black smoke spewing from the factories and said, “Mom, look at all that pollution!” He was suddenly seeing the implication of something he hadn't noticed or been aware of before we read this book. During our reading, my children and I discussed how precious the gift of the Earth, our home, is for us and what we can do to show God our appreciation of it.

This is an inspiring book for children and an excellent gift for the active child who loves to get involved and bring about positive changes to the world.

This book is printed on paper from responsible sources (FSC).

Disclosure: Thanks to Lauren Connor from Second Story Press for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

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  1. I used to love the Choose Your Own Adventure books!

  2. Our Earth sounds like a great book! I love books that show kids how even something small can make a difference in the world.

  3. Visiting from the Kid Konnection! I have never heard of a "choose your own ending" book. This is a neat concept. Very cool.

  4. My 7-year-old has just gotten into choose-your-own adventure books. I'll have to check this one out.

  5. Thanks for joining WMCIR! I heard about Choose Your Own Adventure books, but we are yet to try them out. The one you read sounds like fun.


Thank you for commenting! I appreciate your feedback.

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