Author: Arthur Roth
Major Themes: Avalanches, Survival
Synopsis: Chris is caught in an avalanche and does all he can to survive until help can reach him.
I told a friend once that I was looking for gripping books about survival for one of my boys, hoping to get him to read. She loaned me Avalanche, saying it would be perfect for him. It took us a year to get around to reading it, but once we started (three boys and I taking turns reading paragraphs aloud), nobody wanted to quit. We just had to find out what happened!
Chris Palmer took advantage of a sunny, school-free Good Friday to go skiing. He bagged three grouse for his mother to cook for dinner, then decided to go on to Hidden Lake. On the way, he took a shot at a coyote—and set off an avalanche. When the snow settled down, Chris was buried. Would he be found? If he was found, would it be in time—or would it be too late? You won’t want to put this book down until you’ve finished.
WARNING: In a few places, Chris considers suicide, and in chapter 18 he actually attempts it; you’ll want to be sure to talk to your child about that. Also, on page 108 in chapter 15 there is one word we don’t use in our family. You also might want to make sure your child understands hallucinations.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15