This novel was my first venture into the “living off the land” sub-genre. A harrowing tale of a twenty-four year old who ventures into the Alaskan wilderness alone, this book does a wonderful job of illuminating Chris McCandless’ thoughts and conflicts mingled with backstories that could pose reasons for his impetus to separate from modern society and ultimately reality. For those who love the outdoors, psychology, and Kerouac novels, this relatively short book is an intriguing read. –Randyn
I wasn't always a water person, but now the arrival of spring makes me want to jump in a kayak, find a beach, or just get out on the water in any way I can. A Wizard of Earthsea is a fantasy novel for water people. Sure, it's about magic and monsters, but it's also about a great journey in a world where every journey requires a boat. Earthsea is a world of islands spread across a vast ocean, and the only connection to each other is by ship. Every wizard worth the name knows how to "work weather," calming storms and creating winds to fill a ship's sails. The story of our protagonist Sparrowhawk's development into a great wizard is a story that takes place heavily on the water. He has earning his passage to the wizarding school on Roke Island as an oarsman. He makes his name battling dragons in a small sailboat. And after he lets loose a great evil while trying to show up a rival, Sparrowhawk has to voyage from one corner of Earthsea to the other trying to hunt it down. –Carl H.
Lumberjanes is an all-ages comic that does that wonderful thing where it’s perhaps even more compelling for adults than for children. The story revolves around the various mysteries found at Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, where the strange and unknown happen every day. It’s the kind of adventure that anyone who’s ever been to a summer camp can connect to, but more importantly, the story invites everyone in by being very inclusive. How often do you get such a well-made comic aimed at kids that has trans, gay, and genderqueer characters treated with such respect and right front and center? Not often enough, I say. –Alexis
With this theme being Outdoors, this is the very first book that springs to mind. I highly recommend this book. It’s a light read, but it also keeps the pages turning. I think about how I would survive in a situation where I was by myself in the woods. I am an Eagle Scout, and I feel like I know a few things to give me an advantage. But this book puts things in a very real perspective. –Cole
Three women and two young girls camping in the wilderness of northern Minnesota. Four villains intent on kidnapping, rape and murder. Who will survive? Beautifully detailed descriptions of the wilderness, and a fight for survival against both nature and man. –Leah
Bill Bryson’s hilarious adventure hiking the Appalachian trail will make you laugh out loud. Enjoy the great outdoors vicariously through his misadventures in nature.
From Amazon.com: The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America–majestic mountains, silent forests, sparkling lakes. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way–and a couple of bears. Already a classic, A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in). –Kelly
Call Number: Y Juvenile Books M1273w 2007 (3rd floor)
The White Darkness is a novel about a young girl named Simone who finds herself stranded deep in the Antarctic wilderness with her crazed uncle and two strangers. Simone has severe hearing problems that led her to wearing hearing aids at a young age. However, this is only mentioned on the side of the story. The novel does not focus on the fact that she is a disabled girl trying to survive in Antarctica; her hearing aids are a part of who she is. It is important, especially in young adult novels, that all types of people are represented, which is why The White Darkness is my choice for this month. –Brittany
Call Number: Audio Book PS3563.O594 L36 2007 (2nd floor)
Christopher Moore is probably one of my favorite authors, and it was this book that was first recommended to me. As you can probably tell by the title of this book is a bit quirky, but in a good way. This fictional tale is told from the point of view of Jesus Christ's childhood friend, Biff, recounting the wondrous boyhood adventures he and the soon-to-be messiah had before his divine sacrifice. This book made me literally laugh out loud with its hilarious plot twists, and had some very heartfelt and poignant moments that reliably followed the biblical timeline. I recommend this book to anyone who has a funny bone. –Heather
“In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit” starts this epic fantasy novel you’ve heard of for sure but might not have gotten a chance to read yet. Easier and less intimidating than The Lord of the Rings trilogy, this light-hearted bedtime story chronicles the most epic hike you’ve ever heard of. The author’s focus on the natural beauty of Middle Earth as the characters travel from the pleasant rolling hills of Hobbiton to the dangerous and looming Misty Mountains always makes me want to pack up for my next camping adventure. Don’t forget to pack some elvish bread for your journey! –Bridget