Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

When the Worst Happens: Extraordinary Stories of Survival

Kyi, Tanya Lloyd (Author)
Parkins, David (Illustrator)
Annick Press 2014. 126 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781554516827 (paperback)
9781554516834 (hardcover)
9781554516919 (e-book)
Original language: English
Dewey: 613.6
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

character, conflict, language conventions, layout, multimodal, setting, structures and features

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Silver Birch Award (Non-Fiction) Nominee – 2016

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In this collection of riveting tales of courage and perseverance, young people grapple with terrifying circumstances in order to survive. They eat bugs, fight off hungry predators, drink from puddles and even perform emergency surgery. Meet 19-year-old Jimmy Sanchez, trapped in an underground mine with 32 other Chileans. Read about an eight-year-old marooned on an ice floe in the Arctic Ocean. Learn how, in extreme and demanding situations, people pull together and develop almost super-human skills.

The action-packed tales are organized into five chapters, each with a catchy opener: “You’re hungry. You’re thirsty. You’re entirely alone. That’s as bad as it can get, right? Apparently not.” Woven into the stories are tips on how to keep a cool head and effectively maximize local resources in an emergency situation.

As the stories unfold, graphic icons identify best practices and poor survival strategies, while simple illustrations capture real-time developments. The four main stories include an optional interactive feature that has readers jump ahead to another page for the next installment.

The cool visual layout and high-interest stories will appeal to every kind of reader.

  •  

    Before reading, examine the covers. Start a class list of survival techniques for each of the four scenarios previewed on the back cover. Add to the list as you read.

  •  

    Take note of the red and green survival icons on pages 5 and 6. How do they help your understanding?

  •  

    With a friend, decide how you wish to read the book: in a linear fashion, or following one survival story at a time. Pause at the end of each section to chat with your partner about what you have read. Keep track of your observations to share with others.

  •  

    Write a condensed version of one of the stories from the point of view of its protagonist. Be sure to include your feelings and sensations throughout your ordeal.

  •  Stories of survival are interwoven with information that is presented through different modes and formats. Scan the text to become familiar with its content and structure prior to reading.
  •  Review the survival tips (presented early in the text) and discuss whether or not they are sufficient. Check other sources (texts, videos, websites) and compare the processes.
  •  Use a production process to create a survival guide inspired by one of the stories. Share with an audience of peers and adults.
  •  

    Read the introduction: what are different ways to read these stories? Decide how you will proceed.

  •  Discuss the elements that the survival stories have in common such as setting, survivor’s character traits and events. How do these true stories compare with fictional or TV reality survival stories?
  •  

    Produce an illustrated pamphlet about how to survive one of the disasters. 

  •  Research a true survival story of your own or use the suggestions on pages 118 and 119. Write an introductory paragraph to the story like the ones on pages 3 and 4 to capture your reader’s interest.
  •  In John Leach’s research, he asserts that in disaster situations, people find themselves in one of three categories: the cool and collected, the stunned or the panicked. In small groups, decide where you would probably belong. Use personal experiences to support your prediction.
  •  In teams, read different sections from the book, then retell them to your classmates. Be sure to include key elements of each story (and take notes as necessary when listening to others) to help with a whole class discussion later on.
  •  Prepare a True or False quiz based on the text. As a class, answer the questions. NB: Mini erasable whiteboards, T/F flags or response technologies could be used.
  •  Pretend you are one of the characters, safe in a hospital following your harrowing ordeal. Write an email or other electronic message to your parents giving details of the event and reassuring them that you are safe and sound.
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To solve problems
  • To use information
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal Development
  • Physical Education and Health
  • Social Sciences