Buy It, Borrow It, or Bag It: Frontier House by Simon Shaw

Frontier house    This week’s choice is a little odd, even for me. First of all, it’s not even a new book…not even close. Back in 2001, PBS got the idea to do a “survival” type history show in which participants go back to living during a specific time period to see if they could make it without any modern conveniences. One particular show sent three families to the great frontier where they were given 160 acres each to homestead for six months. The goal was to be ready for winter.

You can totally watch this series on YouTube and I have…several times. One of the families was particularly “interesting” and I saw in the comments that people were saying “You need to read the book in order to get the full picture of what went down on this show.” So I did…I got the book for $.01 and I really liked the way the author balanced the action on the set with the behind-the-scenes real history of what happened in the 1800s. I discovered that the people on YouTube were right…the family who seemed obnoxious in the show were not creatively edited to appear that way only for the cameras. It was the way that they were in real life as well.

I do not recommend buying this book, however if you are a fan of this kind of programming, I do suggest checking this one out on YouTube and then if you want to learn more, see if your library has the book on the shelves. It will show you what goes into casting this kind of a show, the rules that the contestants are expected to adhere to and how the whole thing is pulled together. If you have ever considered applying for this type of show, you will learn a lot. Borrow It Maybe.

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