Another Quick Audio Review!

Looking for a new audio book to listen to in your car or on the go?  Look no further!

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Stink No Surrender
By Carl Hiaasen, Read by Kirby Heyborne
7 CDs — 7 hours, 50 minutes

skink no surrender bookRichard has always been best friends with his cousin Malley.  She’s kind of a wild child, but she always tells Richard what she’s up to.  When he returns from the beach where he was supposed to meet Malley, her  parents tell him that she’s left for school and has only left him a voicemail message, Richard is suspicious.  Everyone knew that Malley was extremely unhappy about being shipped off to boarding school in New Hampshire.  So Richard starts to snoop around, and realizes that Malley hasn’t gone to school, she’s run off to meet someone she met online.

Richard is worried, but he doesn’t want to get Malley in trouble.  Before he learned of Malley’s disappearance, he had met a stranger on the beach.  A stranger who seemed determined to rescue endangered turtles and who had a stubborn sense of fairness. Richard had been intrigued, and spent some time  investigating the man’s background.  Skink, aside from the being listed as dead, is a former governor of Florida who has a reputation for relishing working for a cause, and being on the side of justice. And he has a local detective who vouches for him.  So when Richard needs advice, Skink seemed like a good source of information.

With no preparation and an alarming phone call from Malley, Richard and Skink set off to rescue his cousin. Florida is full of dangerous creatures, crazy weather, and outrageous people, but somewhere out there is Malley.  And they’re going to find her, no matter what it takes.

skink no surrender audioI really enjoyed the narrator of Skink No Surrender.  He was able to change his voice for every character, and keep you right on the edge of your seat.  Skink especially is a character, and his booming voice is fun to hear.  This audio has everything I look for in something to keep me listening.

Skink No Surrender bridges the gap between Hiaasen’s  teen books and his adult books; in fact, Skink is a character that appears in many of Hiaasen’s adult novels.  Because of the situation with Malley that sets off Richard’s and Skink’s rescue mission, this book is most appropriate for high school students.  The details of Malley’s time with her kidnapper aren’t detailed, but it’s obvious that she doesn’t want to be with him.  So I wouldn’t recommend this title for elementary students, or sensitive middle school students.  With that said, it’s a very enjoyable read–whether it’s the print or the audio version.





Booklist: Winter Survival!

It’s awfully cold out there!  Every time I take my dog outside and see the thermometer, with the temperatures in the single digits, I think about how anyone could have possibly survived the cold before central heating, fleece and down comforters!  Because I think other people might just be thinking the same thing, here’s a booklist featuring survival stories in the middle of Arctic cold…sometimes literally.  🙂

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Winter Survival !

morenaCohen, Peter. Morena (J )
When his  Boy Scout campout is cancelled because of coming snow, Alex is accidentally left behind. Lost in the hills and wearing nothing but the clothes for a bus ride, he finds a horse, abandoned in her summer pasture.  Together, boy and horse must depend on each other for survival during a heavy snow storm and the freezing weather that follows.

ice-cream-heroesCorbalis, Judy.  The Ice-Cream Heroes (J )
Oskar and his friend Henrietta (who wears a gorilla suit throughout the book because of her job delivering gorillagrams) set off for the Himalayas to deliver an ice pick to Oskar’s mountaineering mother. Along the way they meet a tribe of abominable snowmen; are held captive in a palace made of ice cream by the henchmen of The Controller, a demonic thief with a cohort of mad scientists; and meet the Great Khone, an ice cream maker searching for the world’s stolen ice cream supply.

after the snowCrockett, S.D.  After the Snow (YA)
The oceans stopped working before Willo was born, so the world of ice and snow is all he’s ever known. Willo’s survival skills are put to the test when he returns to his remote home one day to find his family gone.  It could be the government; it could be scavengers — all Willo knows is he has to find refuge and his family. It is a journey that will take him into the city he’s always avoided, with a girl who needs his help more than he knows.

I Am the Ice WormEasley, MaryAnn.  I Am the Ice Worm (J )
California girl Allison Atwood is radically out of her element when an airplane crash leaves her stranded in Alaska. Rescued by an Inupiat passing on his dogsled and taken to a local village, Allison learns the meaning of hardship and survival when she is taken in by an Inupiat family.

7 professorsFardell, John.  The 7 Professors of the Far North (J )
Sam finds himself involved in a dangerous adventure when he and his new friends, siblings Ben and Zara, set off for the Arctic to try and rescue the siblings’ great-uncle and five other professors from the mad scientist holding them prisoner.

wolf storm Garretson, Dee.  Wolf Storm (YA)
This is Stefan’s big break. He’s on location in the mountains far from home for his first movie role. It  should be  a dream job, but acting turns out to be much tougher than he ever imagined, and he feels like his inner loser is all that’s showing through. Worst of all, no one will believe his claim that there are wild wolves haunting the forest around the set. When a blizzard strikes, isolating the young co-stars and bringing hungry feral wolves into the open, Stefan must take on his biggest role yet–working together with his co-stars to survive. With no second takes, they only have one chance to get it right.

julie of the wolvesGeorge, Jean.  Julie of the Wolves (J & YA)
To her small Eskimo village, she is known as Miyax; to friends in San Francisco, she is Julie. When her village is no longer safe, Miyax runs away. She finds herself lost in the Alaskan wilderness, without food, without even a compass to guide her. Slowly she is accepted by a pack of Arctic wolves and grows to love them as though they were family. With their help, and drawing on her father’s teachings, Miyax struggles day by clay to survive. But the time comes when she must leave the wilderness and choose between the old ways and the new. Which will she choose?

the wildGolden, Christopher.  The Wild (J)
Jack London is 17, following thousands of men and women into the Yukon Territory in search of gold. For Jack, the journey holds the promise of another kind of fortune: challenge and adventure. But what he finds in the wild north is something far more sinister than he could have ever imagined: kidnapping and slavery, the murderous nature of desperate men, and, amidst it all, supernatural beasts of the wilderness that prey upon the weakness in men’s hearts. Jack’s survival will depend on his ability to quell the demons within himself as much as those without. The first book in The Secret Journeys of Jack London series.

annas blizzardHart, Alison. Anna’s Blizzard (J )
Anna loves life on the Nebraska prairie where she lives with her parents and four-year-old brother in a simple sod house. When a fierce blizzard suddenly kicks up on a mild winter day, Anna, her schoolmates, and young teacher, Miss Simmons, become trapped in the one-room schoolhouse. The kerosene is gone and the wood for the stove is low. Then the wind tears away the roof and door. Anna knows they must escape before it is too late. Does she have the courage and strength to lead the others through the whiteout to safety?

winter campHill, Kirkpatrick.  Winter Camp (J)
Toughboy and Sister live with Natasha, an elderly, cantankerous Athabascan Indian. John (Toughboy) and Annie Laurie (Sister) respect Natasha but find her clinging to the old ways and her disparaging remarks about the pair’s softness hard to swallow. In late fall she abruptly has them all flown to camp in a bush plane to teach the children how to trap and deal with the Alaskan winter. They are awed by Natasha’s stamina and knowledge of the wilderness. Things gradually become almost routine, then an old miner friend is seriously injured by a moose. When Natasha sets off by dogsled for help, the children find their spirit pushed to the limit.

far northHobbs, Will.  Far North (J & YA)
When the engine of their  plane fails during a water landing near the head of Canada’s monumental Virginia Falls, what began as a sightseeing detour turns into a survival mission for two high-school students and their elderly companion.  With the brutal sub arctic winter about to fall like a hammer, Gabe Rogers, his boarding-school roommate, Raymond Providence, and Raymond’s great-uncle, Johnny Raven, are trapped in a deadly wilderness. Braving icy rapids and desperately hunting for moose in their struggle to fend off starvation, all three travelers must rely on the others’ knowledge and courage, or survival is out of the question.

ghost canoeHobbs, Will.  Ghost Canoe (J & YA)
Nathan MacAllister helps his father tend a lighthouse off the northwest coast of Washington State. When his mother’s health fails, he moves with her to the Makah village on the mainland, hoping the slightly drier climate will speed her recovery. From the moment he arrives, it’s clear that something strange is going on: the captain of a wrecked ship has been murdered, someone is hiding in the caves around the coast, money and supplies have been stolen, and there’s a mysterious stranger around. As Nathan unravels the puzzling goings-on, he discovers that he has endangered himself.

frozenfireHouston, James.  Frozen Fire (J)
Matthew and his friend, Kayak brave the harsh winter environment in a determined effort to find Matthew’s father,  who has been lost in a storm.  They must battle wind storms, starvation, wild animals, and wild men during their search in the Canadian Arctic. This desperate struggle is based upon a true incident.

ice dogsJohnson, Terry Lynn.  Ice Dogs (J)
Victoria Secord, a fourteen-year-old Alaskan dogsled racer, loses her way on a routine outing with her dogs. With food gone and temperatures dropping, her survival and that of her dogs and the mysterious boy she meets in the woods is entirely up to her.  Together, Victoria and Chris experience setbacks, mistakes, and small triumphs in their wilderness adventure.

cold riverJudson, William.  Cold River (YA)
When on a camping trip with her father, Fourteen-year-old Lizzy Allison and her younger step brother Timothy are stranded in the frozen Adirondacks during one of the worst snowstorms of the century. Battling the untamed perils of nature, they embark on a heart-stopping journey of courage, strength, and endurance against all odds.

troubling a starL’Engle, Madeleine.  Troubling a Star (J & YA)
Vicky is overjoyed when given the opportunity to travel to Antarctica to visit good friend Adam Eddington, a college student majoring in marine biology. Her enthusiasm wanes only slightly after she receives mysterious notes warning her to stay home. When she embarks on her journey, danger indeed seems to lurk around every corner.  As Vickystruggles to stay alive after being left on an iceberg in the Antarctic, she recalls the series of events that brought her to the bottom of the world and involved her in a dangerous mystery.

blizzardMaddox, Jake.  Blizzard (CHP)
They were supposed to be attending a volunteer dinner in their honor, but instead, Owen and Gray have been stranded in the middle of a raging blizzard. Once the storm subsides, the boys decide to try to find their way back to civilization. But with no food or water, freezing temperatures, and no help in sight, both boys begin to lose hope. Can they make it safely home, or will the frozen elements become too much for them to handle?

white darknessMcCaughrean, Geraldine.  The White Darkness (YA)
Sym is not your average teenage girl. She is obsessed with the Antarctic and the brave, romantic figure of Captain Oates from Scott’s doomed expedition to the South Pole. In fact, Oates is the secret confidant to whom she spills all her hopes and fears. But Sym’s uncle Victor is even more obsessed-and when he takes her on a dream trip into the bleak Antarctic wilderness, it turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival that will challenge everything she knows and loves.

LostInBarrensMowat, FarleyLost in the Barrens (J)
Awasin, a Cree Indian boy, and Jamie, a Canadian orphan living with his uncle, trapper Angus Macnair, are enchanted by the magic of the great Arctic wastes.   When they get permission to go on a hunting trip and get separated from the adults of the party at the onset of winter, they find themselves on an adventure that proves longer and more dangerous than they could ever have imagined.

climb or dieMyers, Edward.  Climb or Die (J)
When their  car careens off a slippery Rocky Mountain road in a blinding snowstorm, injuring both parents, it’s up to Danielle and Jake to get help.  Their only chance for survival is to scale the mountain, where they know there is a staffed weather station.  To save their parents and themselves, athletic Danielle and Brainy Jake must rely on their individual skills and each other to survive.

HimalayaNeale, Jonathan . Himalaya (J)
Orrie is so mad at her dad and his girlfriend, Libby, that she can’t see straight. Orrie’s brother Jack is trying to prove he’s a real man, so the girls back at school won’t laugh at him. Their little brother, Andy, is talking to a dead yak, who is listening very carefully. Disaster strikes when Orrie decides to pursue her dad and Jack and a storm hits. The entire family is freezing to death at 20,000 feet.  Can they survive?

snowstormNetherclift, Beryl.  The Snow Ghosts (J)
Caroline, Kit, and Richard have gone to stay in the country with their Aunt Amethyst at Farthingdales while their parents are on a cruise. While there they discover a snow globe that moves them through time to when the house was in its hey-day. They meet and befriend Michael who lived there. When a blizzard strikes and the kids are left alone, will the ghosts help them find their missing aunt and solve the mystery of the lost family fortune…or will they stop them forever?

trappedNorthup, Michael.  Trapped (J & YA)
Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn’t seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision….

Brian's WinterPaulsen, Gary.  Brian’s Winter (J & YA)
In the classic book Hatchet, 13-year-old Brian Robeson learned to survive alone in the Canadian wilderness, armed only with his hatchet. He was rescued at the end of the summer. Brian’s Winter begins where Hatchet might have ended: Brian is not rescued, but must build on his survival skills to face his deadliest enemy–a northern winter.

ice islandShahan, SherryIce Island (J)
What begins as a training run with sled dogs turns into a race against time for Tatum and her new friend Cole. When a freak blizzard hits this remote island off Alaska, they seek shelter overnight in a dilapidated hunting cabin. Stranded in the untamed wilderness, they must rely on each other—as well as their faithful huskies—to survive sub-zero temperatures and bone-numbing exhaustion with very little food. When the strongest dog runs away, they decide that one person must go for help, while one must stay behind. Either way, they’ll each be alone in the wild for an uncertain amount of time.

great deathSmelcer, John.  The Great Death (J)
The Great Death arrived with the man from downriver, the one who came with the light-colored strangers and had little red spots covering his body.Millie and her sister, Maura are fascinated by the guests, but soon sickness takes over their village. As they watch the people they know and love die, the sisters remain unaffected and begin to realize that they will have to find a new home. Alone in the cold Alaskan winter of 1917, struggling to overcome the obstacles nature throws their way, the girls discover that their true strength lies in their love for each other.

peakSmith, Roland.  Peak ( YA)
After Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he’s left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. Peak quickly learns that his father’s renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings.  He wants his son to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit–and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. But is it one that could cost Peak his life?

sign-of-the-beaver-coverSpeare, Elizabeth.  The Sign of the Beaver (J)
Matt must face serious challenges in the Maine wilderness while awaiting his father’s return to their cabin. When he is saved from a terrifying bee swarm attack by an Indian chief and his grandson Attean, Matt gains a valuable friend in the young Indian boy. As the boys become closer and learn new skills from each other, Matt must face a heart-wrenching decision when the tribe decides to move north. Is it time for Matt to move on with Attean’s tribe and give up hope of his family ever returning?

anna grandpa and the big stormStevens, Carla.  Anna, Grandpa and the Big Storm  (CHP)
The whole city of New York is blanketed by snow. But it’s the final day of the spelling bee, and snow or no snow, Anna has to get to school. It’s not as easy as she expected! Set during New York City’s great blizzard of 1888, this short novel portrays the new understanding that Anna and her grandfather find when they are stranded on a train platform.

wilderness winterThompson, Mary.  Wilderness Winter (J)
One day, Zeke and Tabitha found a footprint in the woods and soon they discovered they had neighbors. However, the Aikens’ pleasure as they made friends with the new family after so many months alone in the wilderness was marred when the fathers disagreed about how to build a mill for grinding corn they planned to construct jointly. How this quarrel was resolved and progress was thereby made possible toward the growth of a village winds up an interesting story about early pioneering in New England.

Kelly Wood  -Weston Public Library – Jan 2014

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So there you go.  If you’re freezing cold and want to read about kids who are having an even tougher time with the weather, try one of these books!

(Hmmm…maybe I should have done a Tropical Survival booklist to get our minds off the cold.  Maybe next time?)


Teen: Realistic Fiction Survival Stories

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.

Backwater by Joan Bauer

While compiling a genealogy of her family of successful attorneys, sixteen-year-old history buff Ivy Breedlove treks into the mountain wilderness to interview a reclusive aunt with whom she identifies and who in turn helps her to truly know herself and her family.

Juggling Fire by Joanne Bell

Sixteen year old Rachel embarks on a solo quest to find her father, who disappeared years ago in the Yukon wilderness.

Exodus by Julie Bertagna

In the year 2100, as the island of Wing is about to be covered by water, fifteen-year-old Mara discovers the existence of New World sky cities that are safe from the storms and rising waters, and convinces her people to travel to one of these cities in order to save themselves.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island’s other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place.

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.

Maze Runner by James Dashner

Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.

Nory Ryan’s Song by Patricia Reilly Giff

When a terrible blight attacks Ireland’s potato crop in 1845, twelve-year-old Nory Ryan’s courage and ingenuity help her family and neighbors survive.

Siberia by Ann Halam

After spending two years at a prison school, thirteen-year-old Sloe sets off on a trek across frozen wastelands, tending to the secret “seeds” of wild animals her mother left in her care, trying to reach a new life for all of them.

Eleventh Plague by Hirsch

Twenty years after the start of the war that caused the Collapse, fifteen-year-old Stephen, his father, and grandfather travel post-Collapse America scavenging, but when his grandfather dies and his father decides to risk everything to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen’s life is turned upside down.

Far North by Will Hobbs

After the destruction of their floatplane, sixteen-year-old Gabe and his Dene friend, Raymond, struggle to survive a winter in the wilderness of the Northwest Territories.

Alabama Moon by Watt Key

After the death of his father, ten-year-old Moon leaves their forest shelter home and is sent to an Alabama institution, becoming entangled in the outside world he has never known and making good friends, a relentless enemy, and finally a new life.

Escape by Sea by L.S. Lawrence

When the city of Carthage falls to the Romans during the Punic Wars, Sara, the fifteen-year-old daughter of a Carthaginian senator, must gather her grief-stricken father and take to the seas, where, with only with a meager cargo to trade, her healing skills, her wits, and her courage, Sara must face a life wildly different from anything she thought possible.

Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden

Seven Australian teenagers return from a camping trip in the bush to discover that their country has been invaded and they must hide to stay alive.

The Island Keeper by Harry Mazer

Longing to disappear after the death of her beloved younger sister, 16-year-old Cleo runs away from her overprotective and oppressive family and goes to a remote island where she is the only human inhabitant.

White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean

Taken to Antarctica by the man she thinks of as her uncle for what she believes to be a vacation, Symone–a troubled fourteen year old–discovers that he is dangerously obsessed with seeking Symme’s Hole, an opening that supposedly leads into the center of a hollow Earth.

Trapped by Michael Northrop

Seven high school students are stranded at their New England high school during a week-long blizzard that shuts down the power and heat, freezes the pipes, and leaves them wondering if they will survive.

Sarah Bishop by Scott O’Dell

Left alone after the deaths of her father and brother who take opposite sides in the War for Independence, and fleeing from the British who seek to arrest her, Sarah Bishop struggles to shape a new life for herself in the wilderness.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

Nation by Terry Pratchett

After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives.

Lost in the River of Grass by Ginny Rorby

When two Florida teenagers become stranded on a tiny island in the Everglades, they attempt to walk ten miles through swampland to reach civilization.

Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury

In 1975, eleven Boy Scouts, their leaders, and some new friends camping at Halape, Hawaii, find their survival skills put to the test when a massive earthquake strikes, followed by a tsunami.

Peak by Roland Smith

A fourteen-year-old boy attempts to be the youngest person to reach the top of Mount Everest.

The Cay by Theodore Taylor

When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, a twelve-year-old white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old black man are stranded on a small desert island in the Caribbean where the boy acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion.

Hurricane by Terry Trueman

A fictional account of one of the worst storms to hit the Caribbean–Hurricane Mitch in 1998–told from the perspective of a thirteen-year-old boy living in a small village in Honduras.