Tag Archives: Survival

The Porcupine Year

The Porcupine Year

The Porcupine Year

It’s 1852, 12-year-old Omakayas and her family are setting out on a dangerous and uncertain journey.  Forced from their land by incoming white settlers, Omakayas and her people are travelling by canoe and by foot west along the shores of Lake Superior in search of a new home. They set out prepared for a long, hard winter but unexpected things happen that put their survival in question. There are unfriendly enemies to avoid, a forest fire and an evil traitor who puts all their lives in peril by stealing their food and other provisions. Near starvation, the group trudges forward bouyed by their attachment to each other and the way of life they cherish. Omakaya’s story shows how people can survive and overcome even the most perilous circumstances. Author: Louise Erdrich

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Alabama Moon

Alabama Moon

Alabama Moon

This action packed adventure set in rural Alabama revolves around Moon, a ten-year-old boy who has lived his entire life living off the land in the forest with his father, a Vietnam Veteran survivalist, who dislikes rules and distrusts the government. After his father dies from a broken leg, refusing to see a doctor, Moon is left on his own. Before his father died, he told Moon to go to Alaska so Moon sets out to do this, but folks have different ideas about what is right for Moon. When Moon makes his first friend, tastes his first sweet roll and begs to stay in jail saying it has the, “best bed he ever had”, he begins to wonder if everything his father told him was right. This first time novel by author Watt Key left a memorable character in Moon that will not easily be forgotten! Recommended by: Kimberly Andersen, West Indianapolis Library

You get a real sense of what it is to live off the land in this book. The author, Watt Key, lived for 14 days in an Alabama swamp as part of a school project so he knows what he’s talking about. This experience eventually lead to Mr. Key writing this story. Author: Watt Key

An Alabama Moon movie is coming, althought I don’t know when. Here is a video clip about the premiere on September 27, 2009.

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Staff Pick: Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

Staff Pick: Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

A true story. It’s 1948 during the Berlin Airlift. Pilots, who three years earlier were bombing Berlin, are now in the business of saving Berliners from a slow, wintry starvation. One of those pilots is Lt. Gail Halvorsen. In addition to his deliveries of flour and coal, he parachutes Hershey Bars to the watching children. These children have never tasted candy.  Halvorsen’s kindness is a hit.  He receives fan mail, and in one letter, a child named Mercedes asks the “Chocolate Pilot” to please drop some candy at her house.  A knock on Mercedes’ door begins a unique friendship. Author: Margot Raven Illustrator: Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen

Recommended by: Mike Hylton – Irvington Library

More Staff Picks

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Waiting for Normal

Waiting for Normal

Waiting for NormalSixth grader Addison had a taste of “normal” while her mother and step-father Dwight were married.  She even had two younger half sisters to share her life with.  But after the divorce, Dwight got custody of her two half sisters and Addie began a new and different life with “Mommers”.

Addie’s mom sleeps most of the day and then leaves Addie alone at night to “go out” or follow her “business interests” with a new boyfriend.  It isn’t that Mommers doesn’t love Addie, it’s that she doesn’t take care of her.  Mommers is irresponsible, doesn’t tell the truth and often leaves Addie alone for days with very little food.  Mommers shows up with food and promises for the future just enough times to keep Addie believing that things will get better…get more normal…but things don’t get better.

Addie works hard in school, practices her flute and tries really hard to make it appear that her life is normal to her Grandpa, to Dwight, to her neighbors and to her teacher.  More than anything, Addie doesn’t want to get Mommers in trouble.  Addie loves Mommers, but deep down longs for the life her half sisters have with Dwight and his new wife.  A near tragedy when Addie is left alone brings out the truth. It’s time for Mommers to make a choice. Author: Leslie Connor

  • Browse Inside Waiting for Normal Online
  • Read an Interview with the author, Leslie Connor
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Camp Out

Camp Out

Camp Out!Camp Out! really is the ultimate kids’ guide to camping. It includes all the information you would expect, like what to pack and how to make a s’more…plus many unique ideas.  Who knew you could make a solar oven out of a pizza box or tell the temperature by counting cricket chirps?  Do you know the best time to spot shooting stars? – mid-August.  (Mark your calendar!)  There is a whole chapter devoted to shelter; how to pick a campsite, the labelled parts of a tent, how to make a tent between two trees, how to make a tent if there is only one tree…even how to make your own tepee.  Clear drawings for fire building, knot-tying, identifying animal tracks & the telltale signs in the sky for bad weather are also great.  I especially liked the section on freshwater creatures & what you find Camp Granadain a rotten log – these are the things you would actually see camping out in Indiana.  The book includes camp cooking ideas, games & crafts that are explained well, doable & unique.   As my mom used to say, “Go Outside!” Author: Lynn Brunelle Illustrator: Brian Biggs

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