Monday, December 18, 2017

MMGM-Survivor Diaries: Avalanche!

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Always in the Middle and #IMWAYR day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

33413947Johnson, Terry Lynn. Survivor Diaries: Avalanche!
January 2nd 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Ashley and her twin brother Ryan are skiing with their parents in the Grand Tetons mountains. They are both very interested in catching a glimpse of a wolverine, so ski off trail in order to look for one. Unfortunately, they get caught in an avalanche! Luckily, both survive and are able to find each other. Ryan has hit his head and disoriented, but Ashley has her well stocked back pack, and the two build a snow shelter and hunker down for the night. The next day, Ryan can remember more, but his feet have gotten frostbitten. Undaunted, Ashley makes a skid and sets off to drag him to where she knows a trail is so that they can get help. During their adventures, they see a bear and a wolverine. Thanks to their knowledge and preparation, an ill-advised outing does not turn into tragedy.
Strengths: Johnson's outdoor details are without parallel, and her writing is crisp and compact, making this a great choice for struggling readers who still want a quality story. Ashley is well prepared, thinks through things before acting (with the exception of the first time going off trail), and has a lot of "grit". I can't wait to see more of these; Lost comes out 3 July 2018.
Weaknesses: Ryan is not very well developed, but he does have a head injury. In the first book, I was somehow annoyed by the premise of the main character being interviewed about the experience, but it worked much better in this book.
What I Really Think: Chances are not good that I will EVER go skiing, but if I did, I would definitely want to go with Ms. Johnson! I love all the details about how to survive things like being washed Overboard! This reminded me a bit of my mother's preparations for driving twenty minutes through the country to work in the 1970s. She had salt, blankets, a candle in a flower pot, and all sorts of other things to survive if her car went off the road in the snow between Boardman and East Palestine Ohio. She even had a CB radio!

Ms. Yingling


  1. I've not read this series yet but have seen it around. It seems to do well at altitude and close to ski country in my neck of the woods. I've added it to my list of books to read. have a great holiday break.

  2. Ms. Johnson would be my first choice for anything adventurous! I really enjoyed the messaging of Avalanche and the link between Ashley's perseverance and the wolverine.

  3. I reviewed Overboard, but haven't read Avalanche. Youth love survival stories and this one doesn't disappoint. Enjoyed your review. I agree with you about having Johnson with you on an adventure. She really knows about survival.

  4. I love this kind of story. I will be looking for this one. Thanks for the review.

  5. This sounds great for the boys! And your mom was smart--that's a big 10-4, good buddy!