Age Range: 10 - 13
Email this review


In Hobbs’s (Down the Yukon, 2001, etc.) latest wilderness survival tale, a Colorado teenager stranded on Alaska’s remote Admiralty Island not only encounters bears, wolves, and a hermit with Stone Age weapons, but makes a startling archaeological discovery to boot. Separated from his fellow kayakers by a sudden gale, Andy fetches up ashore, freezing, soaking, and with no supplies except a credit card. Things go downhill from there, especially after a desperate meal of raw shellfish brings on a temporary bout of paralysis. Andy is saved by a friendly dog who leads him to a meeting with David, a huge, shy recluse who had faked his own death a decade before to live entirely off the land. Distrusting David’s intentions at first, Andy flees into a system of caves, and finds a burial site that turns out to be thousands of years older than any human remains previously found in the Americas. Andy faces challenges with admirable courage, and his descriptions of woods, wildlife, and the spectacular cave formations he discovers have a ring of authenticity that makes his hardships and adventures as compelling as any of Gary Paulsen’s. In the end, everyone wins: David reluctantly sacrifices his solitude to take Andy back to civilization, but then assumes a new role as caretaker of the archaeological site, which allows him to return to the island without entirely losing touch with the outside world. A rugged, satisfying episode for outdoorsy readers. (author’s note) (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-688-17473-6
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2002


ChildrenNEVER SAY DIE by Will Hobbs
by Will Hobbs
ChildrenTAKE ME TO THE RIVER by Will Hobbs
by Will Hobbs
ChildrenGO BIG OR GO HOME by Will Hobbs
by Will Hobbs