[Book Review] How To Survive Anything by Rachel Buchholz


This is an old review, though I still feel the same about it now as I did then.

*This book was also used in a booktalk for class.

How To Survive Anything: Shark Attack, Lightning, Embarrassing Parents, Pop Quizzes and Other Perilous Situations by Rachel Buchholz (Author); Chris Philpot (Illustrator) • 2011 • National Geographic Children’s Books • 176 pages

“Volcanoes can be so rude. One minute they’re just sitting there behaving themselves, the next they’re belching and hurling all sorts of nasty stuff from their insides. And unfortunately, you can’t tell a volcano to just chill. Use these survival tips when a volcano decides to blow:

  Be a Magma Monitor
Just like your little sister’s annoying tantrums, volcanoes give warning signs. Scientists monitor these closely, so if you’re planning to hike a volcano, check with the U.S. Geological Survey to see if your mountain is about to become a monster.”

– excerpt of chapter entitled: How to Survive… A VOLCANIC ERUPTION

Genre/Theme: Guide book, Infobook, How To, Humor, Real Life Situations, WHAT DO YOU DO?!

Brief Summary: Part of the National Geographic Kids publications. “Let’s face it. With school pressures, social pressures, parental pressures… the teenage years are tough. Your best friend is with you one day, dating your crush the next. But it could be worse! You could be face-to-face with an angry grizzly, or chest-deep in quicksand. Never fear, National Geographic has the solution! In this hilariously informative take on surviving the trials of middle school and the jungles of South America, we combine our expertise on nature and adventure with the fun-and-learning approach of our Nat Geo style… and voila, the perfect advice to conquer any obstacle, whether it threatens life or social status or both.” – taken from Amazon summary

Evaluation: 4.5 of 5 stars

1-2 things you liked:

  • The well-coordinated illustrations to the humorous titles, tips, and sections.
  • The writing style and the whole concept of the book: a “how to”, which I love. I’ve always loved books like this because they are fun, quick reads that get you thinking, laughing, and wanting to share with someone else. In this case, the information in this book (at least some of it) really IS helpful to everyday life, giving mostly common sense and practical advice. Y’know. Things like maybe not running towards an overflowing volcano, but very, very far away from it. XD

1-2 things you didn’t like:

  • Some of the survival tips were a little weird or just outright silly, but still a great read.

Would you recommend this book?: Yeah, sure

Looking Back (Current Thoughts & Eval): I don’t really have anything different to say about it. I definitely still remember it and found it to be witty, downright HILARIOUS at times, and definitely suited for young kids and teens. Hands down something funny I’d suggest to a reluctant reader, definitely! Adults needing a little humor in their life would also find the tips for all sorts of random, strange, or downright scary situations helpful! …and sometimes really not. XD