Review Detail

Kids Nonfiction 2684
(Updated: June 13, 2012)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
I heard about the drama surrounding this book before actually getting to read it. Google to your heart's content, but the gist is that Scholastic published the "How To Survive Anything" series targeted separately towards boys and girls. I bet you can guess which sex got chapters entitled, "How to Survive Quicksand," "How to Survive a Polar Bear Attack," and "How to Survive an Avalanche," as opposed to who got "How to Teach Your Cat to Sit" and "How to Pick the Perfect Sunglasses." Yeah, this doesn't look, Scholastic.

There are some skills that would be useful to both sexes, such as speech making, surviving shyness, and showing you're sorry. Unfortunately, it is assumed that only females need to survive these things. It's insulting and sexist to both boys and girls.

Scholastic has written a tepid response, stating, "Many readers have expressed concerns about our How to Survive Anything titles, and we want to thank you for your passionate responses. The two titles have had very limited distribution to date, and no further copies will be made available." Both books are still being sold on the Scholastic website.
Good Points
The illustrations feature diverse characters
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June 14, 2012
The thing is, it would be a fun book if it were marketed correctly. The image on the cover with the safari-like font makes it look like it's going to be an outdoors survival guide. (I'd nix the pink cell phone of course!) But no, it's all about survival at school, really. So make it about that instead. I actually enjoyed books like that when I was a little girl. But I was also peeved that the Boy Scouts got to actually CAMP OUTSIDE and learn to set traps and make lures while all we did in Girl Scouts was learn songs and roast marshmallows at a park DURING THE DAY over a bbq grill. I'm a chick and I love wilderness survival. Give me an army knife, a bottle of water, and a box of matches and send me off. (Can you tell I'm just a *tad* irked about this?) ;-)
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