There is a fascination with people's ability to escape from dramatic, desperate circumstances. One need only visit the local video store to see numerous films made about disasters and stories of human escape. It is this survival in the face of disaster that Stephen Currie addresses in this book chronicling the stories of five human tragedies and individuals who managed to survive them. In tracing these stories of dramatic survival the author offers both a history of human perseverance and action stories based upon reality. After reading about the Titanic's sinking, the chemical cloud of Bhopal, the Hindenburg's fiery crash, Three Mile Island, and the fall of the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 one comes away amazed that anyone lived through those events. Yet, through quick thinking, determination, strength, and luck people did live through these disasters. In each of these five stories the author does a strong job of relating the event as well as the individual human-interest tales. This combination of approaches helps make this illustrated book one that readers will find captivating. These are tragic events but, through this book, one realizes that people can survive even in the face of the worst imaginable happenings. 2004, Lucent Books, Ages 12 up.
Greg M. Romaneck