“Paul!,” yelled my dad. “Where’s my Backpacker’s Guide!?!?!?”
Uh oh! I’m gonna get it! I was probably up the hill again trying to make a lean-to out of a tarp. He told me not to cut that cord… I’m in trouble!
I ate this type of book up when I was a kid. I had field guides to native plants and a Cub Scout Handbook and a subscription to Outside magazine. And The Young Adventurer’s Guide to (Almost) Anything follows directly in this vein. It is a book that speaks directly to young people between the ages of about 9-14. It covers a multitude of situations and problems, such as how to choose a knife, how to make rope, and how to cook bread on a stick.
I found the writing informative and on a level that broke the steps down well for a younger reader. It’s also quite witty with jokes that aren’t corny but will work well with a middle grade audience. I have two major criticisms with this book: the organization and the illustrations. I was unsure about the reasoning behind how the sections were put together. Instead of by theme, it might have been better to organize simply by activity, like food or shelter, etc. And the illustrations could have been a bit more clear and I think every section needed a picture to help this age group see how the skills are performed.
Despite some flaws, this outdoor guide has some good to offer for a middle-school adventurer.
3 out of 5 starts.
Thank you to NetGalley, Roost Books, and Ben Hewitt for an advanced copy for review.
The Young Adventurer’s Guide to (Almost) Anything: Build a Fort, Camp Like a Champ, Poop in the Woods-45 Action-Packed Outdoor Activities can be purchased here from Amazon.