09 June 2015

Review: Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave

I think I understand why authors want to tackle difficult ideas and concepts for a middle grade audience. I don't get some of the choices that are being made, though. Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave is closer along the lines of Sara Pennypacker's Summer of the Gypsy Moths, complete with a questionable narrative and truly unfortunate plot to go with it. The story is about a pair of siblings trying to survive in what is effectively the middle of nowhere because their father abandons them at a gas station.


I don't even know what to say about this in any real detail. Does this happen? Sure, I'm positive it's not just concocted out of nowhere. Does that mean this book really meets the needs of the intended audience? Do the complexities of the decision being made (complete, by the way, with an utter lack of understanding of those complexities, creating a black and white situation out of emotional necessity as opposed to something more nuanced) offer anything? I don't know.

Skip this one. It's too juvenile for those looking for sophistication or even YA-level narratives, and it's too complicated for most middle grade readers anyway.

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