________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 31. . . April 21, 2017


Overboard! (Survivor Diaries).

Terry Lynn Johnson. Illustrated by Jan Orban.
New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books), 2017.
99 pp., trade pbk. & ebook, $13.99 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-0-544-97010-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-328-69901-5 (ebook).

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Janet Beauchamp.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



“Darkness. Black and cold. I didn’t know which way was up. How deep did I plunge? Weird hollow noises. Must get air!

Up, up, my suit pushed me up like a beach ball.

I broke the surface and gasped a loud sucking noise. Freezing water filled my lungs. I coughed and coughed.


Waves slammed my face. Wind screamed. The ocean spun around me. Cold water everywhere. Something shrieking. What was that noise?

“Mom!” I tried to yell, but my mouth filled with salty water. I gagged and wiped my eyes. Turning my head from the waves, I tried to look around. My breathing was fast and choppy. Something was in the water off to my right. What was that? A whale?”


Overboard is the first title in the new book series of dramatic adventures called the “Survivor Diaries”. In this installment, 11-year-old Travis and his family are on a whale-watching boat off the coast of the western USA when disaster strikes. Marina, the captain’s daughter, and Travis end up overboard and struggle to find their way to shore. They must be smart and resourceful in order to find a way to land.

     I could not put this book down. I had to find out what happened to Travis and Marina. Would they make it to shore? Would somebody rescue them? How could they possibly survive the frigid water and manage to stay afloat long enough to be saved? The ocean ordeal is believable, and the author has real life experience in cold water environments and has trained with the Canadian Coast Guard. While the ending is quite far-fetched, my daughters and I enjoyed the unexpected gymnastics component which was an undercurrent of the story from the beginning. I would highly recommend this book for young readers. It is a fast-paced, engaging read with two interesting characters. I am already anticipating the next few titles in the series, Avalanche, Lost and Dust Storm.

Highly Recommended.

Janet Beauchamp, a high school teacher and teacher-librarian, is the mother of three girls and lives in L’Amable, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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