Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Can You Survive the Call of the Wild? by Ryan Jacobson

Book: Can You Survive? Jack London's Call of the Wild by Ryan Jacobson
Genre: MG
Rating: A
For: Review
From: Sent by the author

I accepted this book for review thinking my 12 year old daughter would love to give it a try and review it with me. Maybe she'll have some words for you later!

But I decided I would also read it, so I did while sitting at the book fair last month, waiting for a customer or two, and it was really quite a fun book. It's a re-creation of sorts of Jack London's The Call of the Wild (a book I've not read by the way.) However, it's done in the "pick your own adventure" format. How long has it been since you read one of these? For me, a long LONG time! So this was quite fun for a change, though I found myself going crazy wondering what the story would be like for the decision I DIDN'T make! (And yes I did flip back and forth to see what would would happen!)

It's about a boy who doesn't want to go camping with his dad. He's mad, he's bugged, he's being really quite obnoxious about the whole thing. In fact, he is even downright mean to the family dog who gets in the way of his tirade. Then suddenly, by strange circumstances, he finds himself thrown into the middle of this wild adventure, and he's turned into a dog! One of those dogs that pulls those sleds in the snow in Alaska, of all things.

From there, we follow the basic plot of The Call of the Wild (at least I'm assuming that know, I haven't read it!) and this boy (dog) must make tons of decisions along the way. Things like, should he fight, or submit? Should he obey his master or not? Should he run away, or stay? Should he give up or keep trying? Many times the decision is not an obvious one and guess what happens if you pick the wrong thing? Yep... DEAD!!! Every time! How many times do you think I died before it was over? Like four or five at least! This is not an easy life! And you really are surprised at which decision turns out to be the right one.

I think this is an awesome way to introduce kids to classic stories and will hopefully encourage them to read the "real" thing sometime down the road.

Bottom line: I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Other Reviews:

5 Minutes for Books
The Elliott Review
There's a Book
Book Dads

P.S. Daughter is not in the reviewing mood but simply said when asked, "I liked it!"


  1. I think I would really enjoy this book! I loved the Choose Your Own Adventures as a kid, and Call of the Wild was one of my favorites as well. I used to read through every choice and its consequence, and I'd probably do that with this one, too!

  2. That's how I read it too - kept one finger in the choice page and followed each one to its conclusion. I can't handle loose ends!

  3. I only ever read one choose your own ending book and, yep, I had to follow all the choices too. I wonder if anyone just read one choice and left all those other pages unread.



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