BRIAN'S WINTER by Gary Paulsen
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 10 - 14
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Suppose Brian Robeson hadn't been rescued from the wilderness before hard winter set in? On this premise Paulsen (The Rifle, p. 1286) crafts a companion/sequel to Hatchet (1987) containing many of its same pleasures: seeing Brian face challenge after life- threatening challenge, of both the immediate and the insidious kind, aided only by ingenuity, spirit, sharp eyes, and a tiny cache of salvaged gear; discovering with him the tools and skills needed for survival; savoring Paulsen's economical, evocative descriptions of woodland sights, sounds, and smells. Brian learns how to hunt large game with bows and arrows and to fashion crude but effective winter clothing and shelter just in time for winter rains and snows. Having already fought his battles with fear, despair, and loneliness in the previous book, Brian seems almost comfortable, his thoughts of home more a way of passing time than a source of any sharp emotion, and when a family of Cree trappers finds him at the end, he leaves with mixed feelings, clearly seduced by the wild. Aside from a brief foreword, Paulsen picks Hatchet's story up in midstream; read together, the two books make his finest tale of survival yet. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-385-32198-8
Page count: 193pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1995


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