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Can anyone recommend some 'survival stories' for a 14-year-old boy?

(18 Posts)
ComeAlongPond Wed 15-Jun-11 17:40:25

He wants to read 'a cool book about having to amputate your own leg in the jungle or something - a bit like 127 hours!' hmm

He doesn't like reading because 'pages are made of horrible-feeling paper' and 'books are so long and I'd rather be outside' so nothing too huge and daunting please. But he also doesn't want anything childish.

Oh, and if there could be any with female heroes as well as male, that would be extra fab.

Thanks in advance, and sorry for the many requirements!

madamehooch Wed 15-Jun-11 17:54:06

Bear Gryls writes 'survival stories' for teens - don't think there are many girls though.

ComeAlongPond Wed 15-Jun-11 18:03:00

Thanks smile Doesn't have to be girls, just it'd be good for him to read about some strong ones - all the girls in the books he seems to read end up floundering around doing nothing much until the hero rescues them.

SecretSpi Thu 16-Jun-11 22:11:13

Not sure if it would pass the "too daunting" test, but "Brendon Chase" by B.B is a classic. Written in the 1940s, but probably set in the 1920s, it's about three brothers who run away to live in the woods. It may be a bit too old-fashioned for his tastes but there's plenty of slaughter and skinning of animals - it certainly wouldn't pass the PC lot these days!
There is a girl in it and she's not too drippy.

walkbesideme Thu 16-Jun-11 22:16:35

Touching the Void by Joe Simpson - mountaineering disaster with gritty survival tale
The Great Escape and Escape from Colditz are also both true stories.
Alive - the football team that crashed into the Andes and then had to eat their dead team members to survive. Again true.

boxoftricks Thu 16-Jun-11 22:20:03

another vote for touching the void too here!

Threadworm8 Thu 16-Jun-11 22:22:01

My sister bought The Terror for ds2, who is 12 and couldn't quite get into it because it is paced more for an older reader. At 14 your son might like it.

Its a fictionalised account of a disasterous attempt to find the famed North West Passage through antarctica. Couple of quite strong female characters, not in the immediate action but in flashback, and an exeptionally strong and mysterious woman in situ -- a local, with all the survival knowledge that the European explorers lack.

Fennel Fri 17-Jun-11 10:03:25

I agree with "Touching the Void".

"Into thin air" is similar, quite an easy read about a disastrous day on Everest.

When I was a child I was mesmerised by a book with Scott's and Amundsen's diaries of the race to the South Pole. I don't think the exact book is still around but this looks similar:
www.amazon.co.uk/Race-South-Pole-Expedition-Amundsen/dp/1441169822

ComeAlongPond Fri 17-Jun-11 11:24:15

Thanks, I'll get onto Amazon! The 'footballers eating each other' one sounds like he'd find it particularly appealing, thank you.

MrsMagnolia Sat 18-Jun-11 22:20:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ColonelBrandonsBiggestGroupie Sat 18-Jun-11 22:24:28

Deffo Touching The Void.

The guy who wrote The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas has written one about The Mutiny On The Bounty - adult not teenage but an easy read and pretty well researched.

Stephen King's short story Survivor Type, which is in Skeleton Crew iirc would be perfect.

NathanM Mon 20-Jun-11 12:53:34

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

ColonelBrandonsBiggestGroupie Mon 20-Jun-11 17:15:06

You have to pay to advertise. Have reported.

Hullygully Mon 20-Jun-11 17:16:39

heh heh at nathanm

DilysPrice Mon 20-Jun-11 17:20:24

Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household is a riveting read from the 1930s which should fit the bill, entirely suitable for this age group I'd say.

Also the Day of the Jackal (unless you want to boycott a book in which the protagonist picks up a random man in a bathhouse to use as cover then kills him (there's no detail, but it's a borderline plot for a 14 year old)).

ComeAlongPond Tue 21-Jun-11 16:55:43

Thank you everyone. We picked one up in the airport the other day about Everest and it seems to be going down well so I'll order some your suggestions.

AKMD Wed 22-Jun-11 21:27:06

A bit late but The Dolphin Crossing is one that came to mind. It's about two boys who 'borrow' one of their dad's boats to take part in the Dunkirk rescue. Plenty of grislyness (sp?) but written for boys so not too bad.

Has he read the Alex Rider books yet?

eurycantha Tue 28-Jun-11 14:22:45

Have you tried Willard price?

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