Monday, June 16, 2008

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook : Junior Edition by David Borgenicht and Robin Epstein


This should have a different subtitle - The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook for Spoiled, Bratty, and Unimaginative Kids. The top worst-case scenario category is embarrassing events at school. Not dangerous, not life-threatening, not intellectual challenges, EMBARRASSING. Like falling down in the cafeteria or how to look cool when you don't know anybody.

The next largest category would be how to make excuses when you've gotten yourself into trouble. In other words, how to con your parents and others in authority into thinking you're sorry when you're not. And then we have ways to exploit and manipulate younger siblings, how to increase your allowance (preferably without doing extra work) and a bonus section on how to survive outdoors. In addition to the blah content, the type and illustrations are all in black and orange (is there some secret correlation with Halloween?).

I really enjoyed some of the other worst-case scenario handbooks, their wacky humor and improbable situations were fun. But I think the authors tried too hard to be "practical" and "humorous" at the same time. And is embarrassment at school really the worst thing that could ever happen to you?

Verdict: Despite my own annoyance with this book, it probably would circulate well with elementary students - the middle school version has been popular with my middle school patrons. Reluctantly recommended.


ISBN: 978-0811860659; Published August 2007 by Chronicle; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library

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