Thursday, November 29, 2007

Review: The Worst-Case Scenario Suvival Handbook: Junior Edition

Ever wondered how to survive being lost in the woods? Or, maybe, heaven forbid, you want to "survive an embarrassing adult"? Maybe you need to "take the bite out of braces." Then The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Junior Edition is for you.

I can't compare the Junior edition of the popular Worst-Case Scenario series to its adult counterparts, because I haven't read them for the same reason I avoid books on brain tumors or rare aggressive skin diseases. But, The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Junior Edition is perfect for any uncertain 9-to-13-year old, particularly if they attend school. In fact, David Borgenicht and Robin Epstein's advice in regards to surviving what looks suspiciously like middle school is respectful, kind, and tongue-in-cheek enough to be fun to read. They tell the reader important things like "How to Eat Lunch by Yourself...and Enjoy It" and "How to Get a Decent Photo on Picture Day." This is vital information for an eleven year old.

Epstein and Borgenicht's advice runs from the practical and bold to the silly--so every child, regardless of temperament, has an option. The "How to Survive an Embarrassing Adult" section offers two basic approaches, for example: the "right back atcha" method or the "gentler 'moral high ground' approach." Right back atcha calls for embarrassing the offending grownup by mooing at them or speaking in pirate talk. Obviously, this approach will work for the extroverted child, but not for her introverted coevals. For the quieter child, there are three options: "justice is blind and so shall you be," "ask for a private moment," and "make an advance plan." See? Something for everyone.

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Junior Edition also includes useful practical information like how to avoid bees and how to clean gum from your hair. All and all this is a great gift book for the pre-teen reader.
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