Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 2: The Worst-Case Scenario Blog Tour

Backpack? Check. Anti-venom? Check. Jungle knife? Check.
It's time for another venturous trek into the Amazon as Chronicle Books' week-long Worst-Case Scenario Blog Tour continues!
For your sake, I hope you've read the explorer's manual. The Amazon's an incredible place to hike and boat through, but it's no place to be unprepared.
Some creatures here are unlike any you've seen (including a reptile as long as a car) and show up when you least expect it (from above in the canopy and below).
Just be sure to do exactly what you've been told and whatever you do, don't panic -- or the ending of this book will come dangerously too soon.

In this clever third book in The Worst-Case Scenario series, readers hike the world's largest rain forest, and choose paths that either save their lives or stop the adventure in its tracks.

Authors Hena Khan and David Borgenicht consulted with adventurer Ed Stafford, the first person ever to walk the 4,000-mile-length of the Amazon River, to make the book as as true-to-life as possible.

As readers encounter a treacherous situation, they're given two or three ways they can react. Each choice directs them to a different page. If it's the right choice, they continue the journey, but if it's wrong, their adventure ends.

There are 22 possible endings, but only one leads readers all the way from the beginning of the route, the source of the Amazon River (a spring on Mt. Nevado Mismi 18, 363 feet above sea level) to where the river feeds into the Atlantic.

About a month ago, myself and eight other bloggers set off on an adventure of our own, when Chronicle invited us to find a reluctant reader aged 8-12 to read the book, then chronicle through posts or interviews how their reader did.

The tour capped off yesterday on Ruth Ayres Writes and will move on tomorrow to Pragmatic Mom, with five more blogs to come through May 5. (A full list with live links appears at the end of this post.)

For my posts, I asked our youngest son, age 8, to be my reader. Our son struggles with fluency and for that reason is sometimes reluctant to read chapter books (short or long) to the end.

But he's reluctant only for that reason.

For he loves books and he loves being read to, often pleading with us to read "just one more" chapter at bedtime. (Unfortunately, either we nod off before he does, or it's late and we can't stretch his bedtime any further.)

Our challenge has been to bolster his confidence as a reader and find ways he feels encouraged to read full stories, either silently to himself or out loud to us, without letting the pace of his reading discourage him.

Because it takes him longer to read, reading can be tiring and endings to books can seem out of reach.

That doesn't mean he doesn't read, but he does struggle to do so with ease.

Our son's a reader, but mostly a reader of bits and pieces. He prefers fact books or children's encyclopedias -- which themselves are fantastic. None of our children recite animal facts like he does.

But he also loves hearing stories and we want him to feel empowered to read them too.

So when Chronicle's blog tour came along, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try a new format. Though the book is advanced for him, it had everything else we could want.

Animals, insects, and survival tactics -- all things he's loves -- and a format that took the pressure off and distracted him away from, well, the process of reading.

Here was a book that was not just a book. It was an adventure and he could be part of it.

Since we had a short deadline to read the book and we had to juggle school, homework and soccer, I traded off reading with him and let him choose how far and how long he wanted to read before I took my turn. This way, he felt accomplished and we both made it to the end in time!

In the next two posts, I share a profile of my reader, then describe his experience over the last week reading the book with me to the end. That's right, all the way to the end.

Thank you, Chronicle -- it's been an incredible trek! (The only thing is, now our son wants to go to the Amazon in real life. I don't suppose you're offering a tour for that?)

4/27 Ruth Ayres Writes,

4/28 Where the Best Books Are!,

4/29 PragmaticMom,

4/30 Middle Grade Mafioso,

5/1 The O.W.L.,

5/2 books4yourkids,

5/3 Muse Reviews,

5/4 Write for a Reader,

5/5 Amber Keyser,

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to hear your son, not a fluent reader, loves this too. All the different parts sound fun, & just right for a number of kinds of readers.