July’s prompt for our Book-a-month-challenge is to read about the great outdoors:
Summer is the perfect season for learning more about the natural world. Read a book on gardening or bird-watching, or try a survival story or outdoor-based adventure. Find one that suits your fancy and enjoy it in the sunshine.
Several of my childhood favorites fall into the category of outdoor adventures.
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, the first survival story I ever read, had me imagining myself trapped in the Canadian wilderness. The story follows Brian Robeson, a thirteen-year-old boy who survives a plane crash while on his way to visit his father. Alone, in the middle of nowhere, Brian must survive armed with only a hatchet and his wits. While I was reading this book, I couldn’t help picturing myself in Brian’s shoes. Despite my lack of camping experience, I imagined myself thriving in the great outdoors. I even began carrying random tools I thought would be useful if I found myself stranded. (Although I’ll admit now, the shoelaces, tiny scissors, and deck of cards probably wouldn’t have helped much).
Another outdoor adventure I loved was Jackie’s Wild Seattle by Will Hobbs. In this tale, 14-year-old Shannon Young spends the summer with her uncle, a driver for a wildlife rescue center. As she helps rescue animals large and small, she learns about life and people and the “circle of healing” that comes from caring for others. Admittedly, what I remember best about this book is that it left me with a desire to go rock climbing and rescue animals. (For a solid year, my new life goal was to run an animal rehabilitation center. Books may have had a strong influence on me as a child . . .)
The final book I’ll share is Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083 by Andrea White. Part science fiction/ part survival adventure, this story follows a group of kids as they attempt to re-create Robert F. Scott’s failed journey to the South Pole in 1912–all for a reality T.V. show on which they’re contestants. Suspenseful and action-packed, I remember loving the range of characters in the story. I did not, however, end up with any desire to visit the South Pole.
As someone who loves both reading and the outdoors, books based in the wilderness have always captivated me.
They’ve deepened my love for the outdoors and sparked my sense of adventure. I hope as you find a book for this prompt, that’l you’ll find something that deepens your appreciation of the natural world. Don’t forget to visit the discussion board and share what you’re reading in July!