THE RIVER by Gary Paulsen

THE RIVER

Age Range: 11 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

A sequel to the most popular of Paulsen's three Newbery Honor books (Hatchet, 1987), based on an unlikely premise-- government researchers want Brian to reenact his northwoods survival so that his strategies can be observed and taught to others. Derek, a young psychologist, and Brian are dropped off at another Canadian lake, near the first one, equipped only with knives and a radio that Derek has promised not to use except in a dire emergency. Everything goes all too smoothly until their camp is struck by lightning, zapping the radio and leaving Derek in a coma. Brian manages to float Derek 100 miles down a river to a trading post, thus saving his life. The lyrically described details of Brian's adventure-- building a fire, making a raft--are of most interest here; for all its graphically evoked perils (rapids, the craft's unwieldiness, exhaustion), the journey's successful outcome seems less in doubt than did the outcome of the compelling autobiographical wilderness experiences described in Woodsong (1990). In Hatchet, Brian discovered his own strength, adding depth, complexity, and tension to the story; here, that strength is a given--as he himself points out. Perfunctory in design but vividly written, a book that will, as intended, please the readers who hoped that Paulsen, like Brian, would "do it again." (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-385-30388-2
Page count: 133pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1991




MORE BY GARY PAULSEN

ChildrenVOTE by Gary Paulsen
by Gary Paulsen
ChildrenROAD TRIP by Gary Paulsen
by Gary Paulsen
ChildrenCRUSH by Gary Paulsen
by Gary Paulsen

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenNEVER SAY DIE by Will Hobbs
by Will Hobbs