How I Became A Teenage Survivalist, in which she appeals to the teenage sense of adventure while subtly tutoring them in the fine art of survival. The book is written from the viewpoint of sixteen-year-old Bracken, but has characters that will appeal to younger teenagers as well as the older ones about to enter adulthood.
Bracken begins his story after the advent of PF (Power Failure) Day. He recounts how a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from the sun changed his and his family's lives abruptly and permanently. The author is able to weave survival situations into the plot that will make your teenagers think of the repercussions of such an event. At the same time, she provides the solutions that the family and their neighbors develop so that your kids can see that they can adapt and thrive without modern conveniences. I especially liked that the storyline was appealing and natural; it wasn't contrived in order to present a "how to" survival manual. That would be a turnoff to teenage readers.
Instead, the book is able to present events in a manner that will captivate the interest of this age group. What would it be like to live in a world where there is no electricity? Bracken and his brothers are resourceful in inventing ways to make pop bottle "lightbulbs", and homemade washing machines. They learn the value of working the land for their food, how to conserve the gasoline they have, and enjoy riding horses into town to visit their friends. Their mother introduces them to the many ways herbs can be used for medicinal purposes, and ... gasp! ... they even realize that they don't miss all the electronic gadgets and technological time-wasters they had before PF Day!
The author also includes a touch of light romance in her story that is sure to appeal to both girls and boys as they begin to explore the concept of love in their teenage years. But lest you think the book is all sunshine and lollipops, Julie Casey introduces her readers to the dark side of what an electro-magnetic pulse can bring. She doesn't shy away from the violence that will inevitably come as those who live in the city begin roaming the countryside in search for food and shelter. She introduces the concept of martial law (being careful to keep it more benign than it likely will be) and the right to defend one's self and property. She also informs her readers that many people will die due to the lack of life-saving equipment and medical supplies. She doesn't overly sentimentalize what our lives will be like, and she presents the information in an ever-widening awareness of the reality of life without electricity, without uniform law, and with only our ingenuity and our ability to care for each other to see us through.
If you are struggling with a way to approach your teenagers with the topic of survival training or prepping for The End of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI), I suggest that you use this book as a conversation starter. Your teenager will likely have lots of questions about your own personal situation and you can begin a dialogue about how he/she can take part in preparing your family for a possible breakdown of society. In fact, this book stresses the importance of family. Everyone, including grandparents and the youngest sibling, have value in protecting the family unit during turbulent times. Think of I Was A Teenage Survivalist as a kinder, gentler strategy to introduce the younger members of your family to some scary concepts. And to be honest, it's not too juvenile for the timid adults among us, either. I give it 4 out of 5 stars!
This book is available on Amazon for under $10 in paperback, and 99 cents for the Kindle version. Not a bad investment to bring your kids into "the real world." Click on the Title link in the post to go to Amazon and order today!
Colossians 4:6 "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person."