Book Title & Alexandra's Review

Courageous Creatures: I Survived True Stories by Lauren Tarshis

4th Grade and Up

This fourth book in the I Survived True Stories series features four thrilling true stories of animals who have faced disaster – and come through.

You’ll meet courageous animals and also inspiring humans who show how we can help protect the creatures who share our precious Earth.


This is, without a doubt, my favorite book in the I Survived: True Stories series. I love animal stories. I do have mixed feelings about animal survival/rescue stories, though. I don’t like seeing animals sad or in pain. But it warms my heart when people come together to help animals in need. Plus, the animals are so happy and grateful after being rescued.

The Pigeon Hero of World War I

The incredible true story of Cher Ami, the bird that saved nearly 200 American soldiers.

I didn’t need this book to tell me that pigeons are awesome. I already knew that. Cher Ami was one brave pigeon.

In my opinion, this story doesn’t fit with the other three. The other three are about animals surviving and the humans that helped them, while this one is about an animal who does the saving and survives doing so.

This chapter features information on how carrier pigeons work, other wartime animals, and a summary of trench warfare during WWI, a concept that still confuses me. Then again, all wars and battles confuse me.

Cool Fact about Pigeons: Pigeons can be trained to recognize letters and words.


The Dolphin Defender

Two dolphins were near death. He helped save them and thousands more.

The reason these two dolphins were in trouble was that they were captured to be sold to resort hotels with swim-with-the-dolphins programs. Taking a healthy animal out of its habitat to entertain humans is cruel and despicable. Swimming with dolphins sounds fun, but I’d much rather see them free and in the wild than flipping in a tank for human amusement.

Cool Fact about Dolphins: Dolphins have two stomachs. One stores the food, and the other digests it.


The Amazing Penguin Rescue

A tragic oil spill, 20,000 penguins, and the humans who rushed in to save them.

In this chapter, you’ll learn how the African penguins were affected by the oil spill from the point of view of a penguin.

It’s heartbreaking to think about all those poor oil-soaked penguins. But it’s reassuring to learn that so many people were dedicated to helping the birds recover.

I wish it had gone into more detail about why oil spills happen and what could be done to prevent future catastrophes.

Cool Fact about Penguins: Penguins have the amazing ability to shoot their poop four feet. But they don’t do it for fun. They do it because it lets them keep their dirty, stinky poop away from their nests.


The Cheetah Daddy

When two cheetahs lost their mother, someone had to teach them to survive in the wild.

This was one of the most devastating animal stories I have ever read. For once, I wish Lauren Tarshis hadn’t gone into so much detail.

Sad Fact about Cheetahs: Cheetahs live to about twelve years old in the wild, but only 5% of cheetahs survive past the age of three months.


If you want to see more heartwarming animal survival/rescue stories, check out the following YouTube links:

Cop Spends 8 MONTHS Trying To Catch An Escaped Beefalo:

Frozen Kitten Brought Back to Life:

Magpie Asks for Belly Rubs from her Favorite Kid:

Hawk Stuck In Car Grille:

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