Children's LiteratureWhen trying to survive in the wilderness life, can hinge upon something as simple as being able to tie a good knot. In Using Ropes and Knots Patrick Wilson provides readers with the ins and outs of topics such as repelling, belaying, building jerry-rigged rafts, and constructing simple shelters. As part of the "Elite Forces Survival Guides" series, the main theme of this work is to afford younger readers with a look at the type of skills that are required of soldiers who serve in Special Forces units. In this case the major focus is on how such international elite troops make use of ropes and twine in order to survive in hostile environments. By far, the majority of this text is dedicated to the presentation of various knots and how they can be put to use in a survival situation. Unfortunately, due to the seeming overemphasis the author has placed upon describing and illustrating multiple knots, this is a book that will have limited appeal to younger readers. It is doubtful that many intermediate to middle-school youngsters will come away from this book with much of an appreciation for the complexity of survival in the wilderness. What may happen is that after the first few examples of knot tying, the reader may skip ahead to the end of the book or simply lay it aside. 2003, Mason Crest Publishers, Ages 10 to 14.
Greg M. Romaneck