Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke survives a plane crash on Christmas Eve, but can she find her way to civilization alone and injured in the largest rainforest in the world? Lost in the Amazon details her compelling story.
- There is always that brief moment in time before a disaster when decisions are made that can affect the outcome of the catastrophe. How does the author use foreshadowing at the beginning of Lost in the Amazon to entice the reader and to set the stage for the drama to come?
- Who was passenger Juliane Koepcke and how did her attitude toward flying and adventure differ in general from the other passengers on LANSA Flight 508? In particular, how was Juliane’s attitude different from her mother’s?
- The LANSA flight took its passengers over the Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth, and then over the Amazon rainforest, which often saw around twenty feet of rainfall a year. Besides the climate, what are some of the other unique features of the Amazon rainforest? Refer to the map on page 15 for information.
- The Amazon was described by twentieth-century explorer Gene Savoy as having “the power to evoke both fear and wonder in man.” Describe some of the early myths built on a sense of fear and wonder about the people and animals of the Amazon rainforest.
- European explorers in the Amazon often didn’t fare well in rainforest expeditions, frequently dying from starvation and disease. How did indigenous people of the Amazon survive in the rainforest?
- As the LANSA flight passed over the rainforest, they encountered a fierce storm which caused the plane to shake and pitch wildly. As the storm escalated with lightning, the pilot could no longer control the aircraft and the plane crashed. Describe the miraculous way in which Juliane survived the plane’s destruction and the descent to the floor of the rainforest strapped in her seat. What injuries did she sustain? What role did the sturdy liana vine play in Juliane’s survival?
- What were the challenges Juliane faced in navigating through the rainforest without tools and proper clothing? What insects and animals of the rainforest posed a danger to her?
- The disappearance of the LANSA flight affected families and friends of the passengers on board. The news also piqued the interest of others outside of Peru. What was the world’s response to the disaster?
- Juliane slowly made her way through the dangers of the rainforest after the crash, not knowing the fate of the others on the LANSA flight. What gruesome discovery did Juliane make as she followed the flight of several king vultures?
- How did Juliane’s upbringing help her in her struggle to survive in the rainforest?
- Describe Juliane’s relationship with her father. How did his influence help or hurt her after the crash?
- Like many a traveler and explorer before her, Juliane faced the challenge of starvation. What resources did Juliane have to fight off hunger? What challenges did nature present when Juliane turned to the plant life of the rainforest for food?
- Juliane’s discovery of a boat and a simple shelter changed her ill-fated fortune in the forest. What happened to Juliane after stumbling upon evidence that people might be nearby and a rescue might be close at hand?
- What is your opinion of Juliane’s sentiment that bravery was a word meant for people who deliberately risked their lives?
- How did the plane crash and Juliane’s struggle to survive affect her choices the rest of her life? As an adult, how did she deal with the trauma she experienced as a seventeen-year-old?