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Edited by Janet Stewart and Nadia Pelowich. Burlington (Ont.), Hayes Publishing, 1987. 48pp. paper, $5.95, ISBN 0-8B625-151-6.

Grades 6 and up
Reviewed by Adele Case

Volume 16 Number 4
1988 July

For the younger set, and for those who find lengthy articles a chore. CHP (the Canadian arm of Hayes Publishing) offers this, the sixth book in their "Adventure" series. Amazing Rescues contains seventeen capsule tales in forty-eight action-packed pages.

There is ample variety for reluctant readers, since the rescues deal with shipwrecks, mine disasters, a hurricane, a near-tragedy in a subway, an airport control tower fire, and even a crisis on Apollo 13. The stories all speak about the good sense, calm and patient courage of folk who became involved in quite extraordinary incidents. These short stories follow the journalistic method of quickly getting the what - where - when - why - who? information to the reader. Moreover, each story is illustrated in full colour. Variety is further achieved through the use of a number of contributing artists and writers.

Most of the events retold in this slim book occurred in the past couple of decades, but there are a few events from before World War I. One concerns the Karluk, which was packed with Vilhjalmur Stefansson's expedition gear for his arctic quest. The ship was soon beset and was locked fast into drifting pack ice. Six months after their trip began, the sailors and explorers had to leave the sinking ship for an epic struggle to Wrangle [sic] island off northern Siberia. One of the very recent stories in the book tells of an amazing mid-air rescue by a skydiver who successfully saved the life of another diver who had experienced a mid-air collision and was unconscious.

Although half the quickly told adventures deal with crises on the water (or in the water), the book never becomes too salty or overly technical. Rather, the authors cleverly inject human interest in each one and in this way tempt any reader to carry on. Moreover, change of climate and weather conditions add to the colour and interest for a novice adventure fan. All in all, the book should spark the desire in many young readers to learn more about the events summarized so skilfully in these pages.

Adele Case, Britannia Secondary School, Vancouver, B.C.
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