Teacher Resources

Survival: Real Tales of Endurance in the Face of Disaster

By Tom McCarthy  
Tales of survival are as old as humanity! In Survival: True Stories, the second book of the Mystery & Mayhem series, readers discover accounts of survival that required innovation, a thirst for adventure, and even a bit of brutality.

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"Nomad Press has a TON of history-themed books, and my son and I are going through the online list to identify some new titles after he recently finished two of them. The first book he tackled was Survival: True Stories, a 124-page paperback that provided amazing details on five different tales of survival... Each of the five tales provides a close-up map of the journey and a thumbnail map that shows the story's location with respect to the continents. The chapters are not sensational in any way… each tale is told clearly and fairly, with nice summaries that should help with the "what happened to them?" questions. Read the entire review online

Warning: these feats aren't for the faint of heart. From icy depths and scorching valleys to the rumored consumption of human flesh, this entry in the Mystery & Mayhem series examines notorious survival stories. In five succinct chapters, each bookended by annotated expedition maps and a brief bill of historical context, McCarthy covers Ernest Shackleton's voyage from Plymouth, England, to Antarctica; William Bligh's trek to Timor; William Lewis Manly's slog through Death Valley; Charlotte Picard's course to Senegal; and the Donner Party's infamous tussle with an early winter... The conversational tone, hair-raising anecdotes, and fairly comprehensive glossary make this a handy primer for any budding thrill seeker."

This Kid Reviews Books Blog
This was a good book. I like that in the introduction Mr. McCarthy points out that he chose true stories that make you wonder whether you would actually survive, and not think that anybody could just do that. The stories are all true, and kids will enjoy reading about them. They learn a little bit of history, and they may not even realize it. There should be a little bit of reader discretion, as there are parts where it is pointed out that there may have been cannibalism, or just mentioning the death of explorers. The book doesn't go into detail, but it does mention those parts. A neat part of the book is that there are fact boxes at the end of each chapter that tell of other important events going on at the time. Altogether a really neat book. I give the book five out of five bookworms!"

Mom Read It Blog
Five stories of survival against all odds: Antarctic explorer Ted Shackleton and his men, fighting for their lives in the ice; legendary Mutiny on the Bounty Captain William Bligh and his men, set adrift in the Pacific Ocean; a young man and his companions struggle to travel through Death Valley to reach California during the gold rush; a young girl is one of the survivors of a shipwreck and then a trek through the Sahara Desert; and young Eliza Donner, one of the survivors of the Donner party's fateful journey to the American West. Five stories, all terrifying, and all true... These books read like the adventure and scary true tales I read when I was a kid." Read the complete review online.

Kirkus Reviews
A breezy offering just right for fans of survival tales."



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Detailed Book Description

Tales of survival are as old as humanity! In Survival: True Stories, the second book of the Mystery & Mayhem series, readers discover accounts of survival that required innovation, a thirst for adventure, and even a bit of brutality.

  • These nonfiction titles for ages 9-12 introduce relevant and fascinating historical stories while integrating civics, social studies, and language arts.
  • High-interest narrative nonfiction books are popular with middle grade students and educators because of the potential to engage low-interest readers with captivating action and compelling characters.
  • Glossaries and indexes provide opportunity to practice using essential academic tools.
Available In:
Hardcover, $19.95
Paperback, $9.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Maps | Glossary
Specs: 5.75 x 9 size | black and white interior | 128 pages
Content Focus: Language Arts | World History


Would You Survive?

Chapter One
Escape From the Ice

Chapter Two
Adrift in the Pacific

Chapter Three
Lost in Death Valley

Chapter Four
The Two Trials of Mademoiselle Picard

Chapter Five
A Most Horrible Journey