Survivor Stories: Real-Life Tales of Triumph and Survival
These survival tales from across the globe range from frozen seas to parched deserts – this collection boasts some of the most gripping tales ever published.
This book highlights the risks associated with succumbing to peer pressure or “expert” advice instead of following your gut instincts, showing how even small mistakes can have devastating repercussions.
The Long Walk
One hundred teenage boys participate in The Long Walk, known as Walkers in this dystopian America. If any Walker falls behind for more than 30 seconds they are ticketed and receive “The Prize”, which essentially grants whatever the winner desires in life.
The Walkers don’t understand why they were chosen to participate in the Walk; some blame an aimless malaise associated with adolescence while others harbor subconscious desires for death. Others simply join because it seems like an amazing adventure – regardless of their motives for applying, none seem aware of what they’re getting themselves into.
Over the course of their Long Walk journey, Walkers form friendships, rivalries, and an unusual cult-like group dubbed the ‘Eight Musketeers.’ Garraty leads this cult and boasts one of its strongest members – Garraty has an irreverent and cynical sense of humor while being one of the smartest and strongest individuals among his crewmates.
McVries stands out as being the only Walker with any real personality; most other Walkers lack any distinct features that allow them to distinguish themselves from one another, which makes forming attachments or showing any form of loyalty difficult.
The Long Walk is an engaging yet disquieting film by Mattie Do, recalling both David Lynch’s ability to present audiences with something striking that they might not initially grasp as well as Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s fondness for negative space and atmospherics.
Do is a Laotian American filmmaker with an intimate understanding of culture and people in her native Southeast Asian nation. Her directorial style gives The Long Walk its unique flavor, creating an intriguing yet challenging piece of fiction. Furthermore, this is an unusual example of genre filmmaking which confidently shifts between thriller, sci-fi and horror genres; should more filmmakers follow in her footsteps by finding new ways of telling old tales then maybe sci-fi and horror will finally enter a whole new era of storytelling!
Unbroken stands out among war movies in many ways. Directed and written by Angelina Jolie along with the Coen brothers, Richard LaGravenese, and William Nicholson (including Louis Zamperini’s true tale as depicted by Unbroken), Unbroken tells his incredible true tale: his service as an Olympic athlete as a bomber pilot during World War II; surviving an aircraft crash into the Pacific Ocean before ending up in Japanese POW camps before eventually forgiving those who wronged him and forgiving those who wronged him throughout his life. This film successfully depicts Zamperini’s incredible strength of spirit while forgiving those who wronged him along the way – making for a remarkable watch!
Jolie’s film stands out from its counterparts by depicting an engaging yet emotionally draining narrative, showing both its physical brutality and emotional cost of war in such a tragic conflict. Additionally, this tale tells a powerful tale of forgiveness: Zamperini eventually sought out former captors to meet them face-to-face and offer some peace to each.
Jolie’s direction of this film is excellent and her cast of actors do an admirable job. O’Connell stands out in particular, channeling Zamperini’s willpower throughout his life as an athlete inspired by both his mother and older brother to become world-class athletes.
Unbroken’s true power lies postwar, when Zamperini begins struggling with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and finds solace in religion. Ultimately, he seeks forgiveness from his former captors; that scene in particular stands out amongst all others in Unbroken.
I have spoken with family members of American POWs held in Japan and they all concur that this film does an outstanding job of showing what these men went through while held captive, as well as its lasting effects on themselves and their loved ones. Their experiences should never be forgotten!
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Kids who appreciate adventure and survival stories will be mesmerized by this collection of real-life tales that showcases human resilience during times of difficulty. From overcoming wilderness challenges to weathering natural disasters, these books show readers just how incredible our spirits can be during times of crisis.
Readers of survival thrillers will experience everything from plane crashes and sinking ships, parched deserts, and frigid tundras. Some stories such as Aron Lee Ralston (portrayed by James Franco in 127 Hours), are heart-wrenchingly tragic; others focus on celebrating human perseverance when under extreme duress.
Many survival tales center around individuals struggling to overcome loneliness and despair to find ways to survive, while Alex Messenger provides an excellent example of groups coming together for mutual survival. Both the book and movie versions of his compelling true story offer exceptional examples of resilience under pressure.
This story of one man’s struggle for survival in remote Canadian tundra is both terrifying and inspirational, featuring true events. A canoe trip turned into a life or death situation when attacked by a grizzly bear; yet through it all he found strength within himself to continue with his journey and eventually discovered more about himself than ever before.
Middle grade survival books tend to be action-packed reads. They usually center around one or two students left alone to “survive” life-threatening situations using only their intellect and lifesaving skills in order to find their way back home to other humans.
This thrilling survival tale will appeal to fans of I Survived series and Hatchet. Four classmates find themselves trapped in the desert wilderness after their field trip is washed away by a flash flood, facing dehydration, wild animals and other dangers en route to survival.
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why by Laurence Gonzales provides readers with a scientific basis of human survival in crisis environments such as war zones. Drawing upon neuroscience and psychology research this thrilling book shows what it takes for humans to come out unscathed through crises – such as terrorist attacks on homes or in wilderness situations.
Surviving situations usually requires clear thinking, focused action and the ability to ignore thoughts of hopelessness. They understand the significance of using fear for good rather than allowing it to consume them; furthermore they recognize finite resources need to be managed carefully if survival is the goal; in survival situations often hear an inner voice telling them what needs to be done and then follow its lead.
Gonzales provides numerous examples to illustrate how people get themselves into trouble, from climbing accidents and plane crashes to sailing misadventures and hiking tragedies. He then shows how seemingly irrational decisions, actions, and outcomes make perfect sense from the perspective of survival theory; for instance he cites research showing how lost hikers often rush in the direction of familiar landmarks rather than staying put – making their situation even worse!
One of the most compelling and inspiring survival tales ever told is of those who survived the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which claimed over 250,000 lives. Nalini Deraniyagala details in Wave how she and seven friends were rescued when it hit their home in Sri Lanka; for nearly 30 days they lived off-shore living off food, water, shelter and heat; fighting tropical diseases as well as violent sea creatures amid this unimaginable tragedy.
With its unique combination of personal memoir and journalistic reportage, this book illuminates how survivors survived and what it took for them to rebuild their lives following such an unprecedented tragedy. Deraniyagala not only details these terrifying events; she also describes grief, depression and anger she faced afterward – her candid accounts of psychological trauma she experienced trying to cope with her family’s deaths are both eye-opening and fascinating.