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Brian's Return
Cover of Brian's Return
Brian's Return
Hatchet Series, Book 4
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Brian returns to the wilderness to discover where he truly belongs in this follow-up to the award-winning classic Hatchet from three-time Newbery Honor-winning author Gary Paulsen! As millions of...
Brian returns to the wilderness to discover where he truly belongs in this follow-up to the award-winning classic Hatchet from three-time Newbery Honor-winning author Gary Paulsen! As millions of...
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Description-

  • Brian returns to the wilderness to discover where he truly belongs in this follow-up to the award-winning classic Hatchet from three-time Newbery Honor-winning author Gary Paulsen!

    As millions of readers of Hatchet, The River, and Brian's Winter know, Brian Robeson survived alone in the wilderness by finding solutions to extraordinary challenges. But now that's he's back to ordinary life, he can't make sense of high school life. He feels disconnected, more isolated than he did alone in the north woods. How can Brian discover his true path in life, and where he belongs? The answer is to return.

    Gay Paulsen skillfully explores the meaning of belonging and purpose, and reminds us of a crucial rule of the wilderness: expect the unexpected.

    "Bold, confident and persuasive." —Publishers Weekly, Starred

    "Paulsen bases many of his protagonist's experiences on his own, and the wilderness through which Brian moves is vividly observed." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred

    Read all the Hatchet Adventures!
    Brian's Winter
    The River
    Brian's Return
    Brian's Hunt

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Brian sat quietly, taken by a peace he had not known for a long time, and let the canoe drift forward along the lily pads. To his right was the
    shoreline of a small lake he had flown into an hour earlier. Around him was the lake itself, an almost circular body of water of approximately
    eighty acres surrounded by northern forest--pine, spruce, poplar and birch--and thick brush.

    It was late spring--June 3, to be exact--and the lake was teeming, crawling, buzzing and flying with life. Mosquitos and flies filled the
    air, swarming on him, and he smiled now, remembering his first horror at the small blood drinkers. In the middle of the canoe he had an old coffee
    can with some kindling inside it, and a bit of birchbark, and he lit them and dropped a handful of green poplar leaves on the tiny fire. Soon smoke
    billowed out and drifted back and forth across the canoe and the insects left him. He had repellant with him this time--along with nearly two
    hundred pounds of other gear--but he hated the smell of it and found it didn't work as well as a touch of smoke now and then. The blackflies and
    deerflies and horseflies ignored repellant completely--he swore they seemed to lick it off--but they hated the smoke and stayed well off the
    canoe.

    The relief gave him time to see the rest of the activity on the lake. He remained still, watching, listening.

    To his left rear he heard a beaver slap the water with its tail and dive--a warning at the intruder, at the strange smoking log holding the
    person. Brian smiled. He had come to know beaver for what they truly were--engineers, family-oriented home builders. He'd read that most of the
    cities in Europe were founded by beaver. That beaver had first felled the trees along the rivers and dammed them up. The rising water killed more
    trees and when the food was gone and the beaver had no more bark to chew they left. The dams eventually broke apart, and the water drained and left
    large clearings along the rivers where the beaver had cut down all the trees. Early man came along and started cities where the clearings lay.
    Cities like London and Paris were founded and settled first by beaver.

    In front and to the right he heard the heavier footsteps of a deer moving through the hazel brush. Probably a buck because he heard no smaller
    footsteps of a fawn. A buck with its antlers in velvet, more than likely, moving away from the smell of smoke from the canoe.

    A frog jumped from a lily pad six feet away and had barely entered the water when a northern pike took it with a slashing strike that tore the
    surface of the lake and flipped lily pads over to show their pale undersides.

    Somewhere a hawk screeeeeennned, and he looked for it but could not see it through the leaves of the trees around the lake. It would be
    hunting. Bringing home mice for a nest full of young. Looking for something to kill.

    No, Brian thought--not in that way. The hawk did not hunt to kill. It hunted to eat. Of course it had to kill to eat--along with all other
    carnivorous animals--but the killing was the means to bring food, not the end. Only man hunted for sport, or for trophies.

    It is the same with me as with the hawk, Brian felt. He turned the paddle edgeways, eased it forward silently and pulled back with an even stroke. I
    will kill to eat, or to defend myself. But for no other reason.

    In the past two years, except for the time with Derek on the river, in a kind of lonely agony he had tried to find things to read or watch that
    brought the woods to him. He missed the forest, the lakes, the wild as he thought of it, so much that at times he...

About the Author-

  • Gary Paulsen is the distinguished author of many critically acclaimed books for young people, His most recent books are Brian's Hunt, The Quilt, Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day, and The Time Hackers. The author lives in New Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 11, 1999
    The appearance of yet another sequel to Hatchet may raise a few eyebrows, but Paulsen delivers a vigorous, stirring story that stands on its own merits. Whereas the previous continuations, The River and Brian's Winter, essentially offer more of the same survivalist thrills that have made Hatchet so popular, this novel goes further, posing a more profound question: How does someone go from living on the edge to polite membership in ordinary society? (Paulsen addresses the same theme, albeit more grimly, in his Civil War novel Soldier's Heart.) Here, Brian has returned to his mother's house and can barely reconcile the seemingly arbitrary demands of high school with the life-or-death challenges he surmounted during his months alone in the wilderness. With the aid of a counselor, Brian formulates what had been an almost instinctual, unacknowledged plan to revisit the bush, and this solo trip, not his interlude with his mother, marks the true "return" of the title. The few cliff-hangers are almost beside the point: the great adventure here is the embrace of the wild, the knowledge of life at its most elemental. Aside from its occasional use of YA conventions (e.g., the preternaturally sensitive counselor; jejune rhapsodies over the relevance of Shakespeare), this work is bold, confident and persuasive, its transcendental themes powerfully seductive. Ages 12-up.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 14, 2001
    . In a starred review of yet another sequel to Hatchet, PW
    called the work "bold, confident and persuasive, its transcendental themes powerfully seductive." Ages 12-up.

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Gary Paulsen
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