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Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite
A group of kids discovers the unlikely consequences of cheating on a science project in the children's adventure story, Surviving Moose Lake (Kids Vs. Nature Book 1) by Karl Steam. For Josh, it seems that his teacher, Mrs. Emmons, has it in for him. First, she separates him from his best friend, Mark. Next, she places him in a group that is made up of the prettiest girl in grade school, the largest boy, nicknamed Tyler "The blob", and the bossiest of the girls he's ever known, Melisa. Then, Mrs. Emmons follows the already cruel and unusual punishment by starting his group at the most boring science station, Tree Identification. Everything is perfectly boring at their station, with Melisa doing all the work while Katie, the prettiest, texts on her super-sleek new phone ... until Josh has the brilliant idea to use Katie's phone to identify the trees faster.
Tyler, bored, excitedly takes the phone to search for a free tree identification app that will speed their progress at their station along. When he finds an app with a free trial, Katie tells him to try it. In an instant, they are transported into the wilderness. They also discover that they are wearing strange clothing. Now, they must complete all of the missions the app assigns to them in order for them to get back home. The first assignment: shoot a moose. Only, how can a few grade school kids shoot a behemoth moose? Maybe there is more than one way to complete their first assignment. Can the kids complete all of their missions before nightfall? If not, will they survive a night in the wilderness?
Surviving Moose Lake (Kids Vs. Nature Book 1) by Karl Steam is a fun children's chapter book about an unlikely group of kids being transported to a natural lake and given a dangerous assignment to complete in order to get back home. Josh, Tyler, Melisa, and Katie may be an unlikely group to go on an adventure together, but they complemented each other nicely with their strengths and knowledge. The story is the perfect length for new chapter readers, and there are just enough illustrations to keep the young reader engaged without distracting them from the story. I appreciated how the author includes some facts about moose, as well as a couple of links to videos, and information on how to survive in the wild. I would recommend this book to nine through twelve-year-olds.