Review of Lost in the Mountains

Lost in the MountainsLost in the Mountains [Survival Scout]
by Maxwell Eaton III; illus. by the author
Intermediate    Roaring Brook    144 pp.
5/23    9781250790460    $19.99
Paper ed.  9781250790477    $12.99
e-book ed.  9781250330956    $9.99

This humorous and informative comic-format guide showcases all things survival in the great outdoors. After getting lost while hiking and later abandoned by her exaggeratedly incompetent grown-up brother (he gets chased away by a bear), protagonist Scout is left alone in the wilderness. She has no communication devices and only half of the gear she needs, but she is determined to pull through. Straightforward narration documents Scout’s planning and behavior as she tends to her most immediate priorities of shelter, signals, water, and food. As she confronts each challenge (how to light a fire, use a compass, etc.), readers gain access to her decision-making processes and her persistence and problem-solving skills when tasks don’t immediately go as planned. Each survival scenario is presented with tension, but none verges on scary or stressful. A silly cast of talking critters (especially a friendly skunk) lightens the tone, offering clarifications and lots of laugh-out-loud jokes. The thick-lined, brightly colored illustrations are jam-packed with diagrams, labels, and other instructions akin to what one would see in a survival handbook; a variety of layouts and visual perspectives allows for readers to focus on the facts and soak in the beauty of the setting. An appendix includes information on knot-tying, Morse code, first aid, bear safety, skunk scent remedies, and going to the bathroom; resources for further reading; and an author’s note.

From the July/August 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Elisa Gall

Elisa Gall is a teacher-librarian at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. 

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