Reviews for Defying Death in the Desert

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 July

Gr 4-7--These compilations feature three comic-book retellings of notable tales of survival--one classic and two modern--and a quick trio of prose accounts. Each book opens with a summary of the hazardous environment that is the focus of the title, with a handy checklist of what will aid in conserving resources and staying alive. These introductions look like excerpts from flashy, modern textbooks, but come across as formal when contrasted with the subsequent content. While these are survival stories, and the outcome therefore isn't in doubt, the details are gruesome enough to attract readers who enjoy the extreme--for example, many of the protagonists in the comic-book-style tales satisfy their need for water by drinking fresh animal blood. The only instance of cannibalism (in Sea) is given a much lighter touch. More visceral thrills than how-to references, these grisly depictions of harrowing experiences will entertain.--Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH

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