Survivors by David Long


Written by David Long
Illustrated by Kerry Hyndman

11+ readers   Blue Peter Book Awards   All Shortlists and Winners   Fascinating Facts   9+ readers   
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Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2017 - Best Books with Facts

In a nutshell: jaw-dropping true stories; survival against the odds | Proof that true stories can be every bit as remarkable as the most fantastic fiction, David Long recounts twenty plus astonishing true life adventures; from different times, starring different types of people, and set in different parts of the world, they are all stories of incredible bravery, resilience and the strength of the human spirit. Those who managed to survive against the odds include Antarctic explorers, including Shackleton; people shipwrecked or stranded during the second World War; individuals caught in natural disasters; plus the remarkable girl who survived falling from a plane two miles high. Both terrifying and inspiring, the stories make compulsive reading and will leave young readers gasping. Kerry Hyndman’s colour illustrations make this handsome to look at too. ~ Andrea Reece

On his Blue Peter win David Long said: he was “overjoyed” not least because he too grew up watching Blue Peter. “My sons never missed an episode, and now I’m going to visit the studio and meet the team. It’s fantastic news,” he said.


Survivors by David Long

Beautifully presented in a large, hardback format, and fully illustrated in colour throughout, this wonderful anthology is a treat for all the family. Be shocked and amazed by these incredible real-life stories of extreme survival, including...

The Man Who Sucked Blood from a Shark, a sailor who survived for 133 days on a raft in the Atlantic when his ship was torpedoed, using shark's blood in place of fresh water.

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, a teenager who fell 2 miles from an aeroplane and trekked through the Amazon jungle to safety.

The Woman Who Froze to Death - Yet Lived, a woman who was trapped under freezing water for so long her heart stopped. Four hours later, medics managed to warm her blood enough to revive her.

Combining classic tales such as Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic voyage, as well as more modern exploits such as the adventurer who inspired the movie 127 Hours, these astonishing stories will be retold by young readers to all of their friends.


Throughout history, men, women, and children have battled the elements and lived to share their stories. Among the nearly two dozen subjects Long includes in this collection are 17-year-old Juliane Koepcke, who survived a plane crash in the Peruvian rainforest; Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton; and Aron Ralston, a hiker forced to amputate his own arm, an incident that inspired the 2010 film 127 Hours. Hyndman's grainy artwork depicts the survivors at the peak moments of danger--19th-century trapper Hugh Glass lunges at an attacking grizzly bear with his knife, surgeon Leonid Rogozov peers down at his abdomen, giving himself a necessary appendectomy at a polar research station. While offering excitement and peril, Long's riveting narratives also provide insight into how these individuals used their skills, knowledge, and fortitude to survive. Ages 9-11. -- Publishers Weekly Quick! What do Juliane Koepcke, Poon Lim, and Mauro Prosperi have in common? Give up? Like the other 20 people profiled here, they are survivors of extraordinarily dangerous experiences. Koepcke survived a fall of more than two miles from a disintegrating airplane; Lim survived for 133 days on a raft in the Pacific Ocean; and Prosperi survived being lost in the Sahara Desert. Many of the survivors featured in Long's book are not well-known, but a few are: explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton; Aron Ralston, who famously cut off his own arm to release himself from a fallen boulder; and nineteenth-century trapper Hugh Glass, whose ordeal became the basis for the book and movie The Revenant. Each of the 23 accounts seems more jaw-dropping than the one before, and all are testaments to the human spirit. The handsome, oversize volume is enhanced by Hyndman's single- and double-page illustrations. While appealing to all readers, this will have special interest for reluctant ones. - Michael Cart, Booklist Gr 5 Up - Long compiles 23 harrowing true stories of men and women who survived everything from a plane crash to quicksand. The short vignettes span the 19th and 21st centuries, and some narratives are better known than others. Some tales convey hope, such as Anna Bagenholm's account of surviving hypothermia after falling into freezing water - an experience that led to discoveries about the human body and extreme cold. Themes of perseverance, inspiration, and interconnectedness ground the selections in reality and remind readers that those who survived often did so because others came to their aid. Some stories contain graphic scenes and death. Color illustrations accompany each selection and deftly capture the action. Hyndman portrays the individuals with few distinguishing features, allowing readers to imagine themselves in the survivors

-- School Library Journal

About the Author

David Long

Writer and historian David Long is the author of the acclaimed Animals' VC: For Gallantry and Devotion and more than twenty other non-fiction books on a wide range of historical subjects. Jet the Rescue Dog the first of several titles for younger readers, was published by Faber in 2014. He lives in Suffolk and has two teenage sons.

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Book Info


192 pages


David Long
More books by David Long


Faber & Faber

Publication date

20th October 2016




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