Henry Lambert has no interest in the outdoors and no desire to learn survival skills. He would rather just play video games. But in I Have a Bad Feeling About This, Henry is forced to become a survival expert for real.
Henry’s parents think he needs to toughen up. Two weeks at survival camp seems like just the thing. Little do they know that the camp is run by Max, who may well be insane and who teaches archery with steel tipped arrows to boys who probably should not be trusted with rubber tipped ones or that the survival games the boys will participate in will soon rival those of the Hunger Games, only much funnier.
This is intended to be a young adult book but it will make readers of any age laugh. Jeff Strand writes very funny stuff. Not only are Henry, his fellow campers, one tough girl from the music camp three miles away, and Max hilarious, but so are the survival tips that Strand offers at the end of each chapter. For example, “Drinking your own sweat will not save your life. Somebody might have told you that, but they were trying to find out if you’d really do it.” As Strand points out, if you’re counting on this book for survival tips, you are dead already.
Strand also manages to provide moments of real tension and an atmosphere of danger at times so that the reader is alternately afraid for Henry and company and laughing at their unlikely and yet strangely effective survival techniques.
Strand catches the outsider nerd personality of each of the boys perfectly and the way they think, act and talk is very authentic. The one girl who figures significantly in the story is a dream come true for Henry and his kind: she’s cute and she will talk to him. Oh, and she also turns out to be brave and resourceful and absolutely fearless.
Teenage and pre-teen boys will love this book and so will adult readers of either sex who enjoy a good laugh. Though these are among the most unlikely action heroes ever, it is perfectly possible to see this as an action/comedy movie. The humor never degenerates into grossness as books aimed at this book’s target audience often do and Strand makes these characters both funny and likeable. Buy this for your young teen friends and also for yourself.
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