Photos www.jeffbelanger.com

What’s it like to be struck by lightning, to survive a shark attack, to fly with the Air Force Thunderbirds, and to experience other incredible events? Jeff Belanger’s new children’s book explores those topics and more.

What It’s Like to Climb Mount Everest, Blast Off into Space, Survive a Tornado, and Other Extraordinary Stories (Sterling Publishing, February 2011; $9.95, Ages 9 and up) is a collection of thrilling, as-told-to interviews with the people whose experiences often made front-page news, changed their lives, and inspired the rest of us ever since.

“I wanted to share what it feels, looks, smells, and sounds like to do the kinds of things most of us will never experience for ourselves,” Jeff Belanger said. “I had the chance to get to know twelve ordinary people who either made the choice to survive against all odds, or who set their focus on a goal so lofty that many of us assume it would be impossible.”

What It’s Like… features the stories of people like: Bethany Hamilton—the pro surfer whose arm was ripped off by a shark; Mark Inglis—the first and only man (so far) to climb Mount Everest with artificial legs; Dean Karnazes—who ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days; Tami Oldham Ashcraft—who sailed a boat through a hurricane and survived two months at sea alone; Angus Cockney—who walked 600 miles from Canada to the North Pole; Joe Hurley—who walked from Provincetown, Massachusetts to Long Beach, California; and several other no-less-extraordinary people.

“My life was changed just talking to these folks,” Belanger said. “I don’t think any of them set out to inspire us when they survived or accomplished their feats; but they did so nonetheless. People can do anything. I’m convinced.”

About the Author Jeff Belanger (www.jeffbelanger.com) is an author, a lecturer, and a collector of quirky tales from around the world. He’s worked as a journalist, and a television host, and has written over a dozen books, including Weird Massachusetts and The World’s Most Haunted Places, that feature interviews with people on a wide range of topics. His other books for children include Who’s Haunting the White House? and The Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. He has been a guest on over 200 radio and television programs including The Early Show on CBS, The History Channel, The Maury Show, The Travel Channel, National Public Radio, The BBC, and Coast to Coast AM. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and daughter.

You can purchase the book at www.jeffbelanger.com for $9.95.

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