Friday 21 December 2018

The River - Gary Paulsen - Brian's Saga Book 2

The River
Brian's Saga #2
Gary Paulsen
Laurel Leaf
Random House Canada
ISBN 9780440227502
eISBN 9780440229674

My son was gifted the first book in this series by his teacher. We each read it separately and now I have read book two ahead of reading it together with my son. We are thoroughly enjoying the series. This book was an interesting read, especially after the events in the first book. Of the 5 books in the Brian’s Saga series this appears to be the least liked. The opinions about this book are usually very strong negative, or tepid, with a few loyal fans. Not having read all five books yet, I cannot comment as to how it fits in a ranking of the five, but it is a great follow up to Hatchet.

In this book Brian Robeson has agreed to go back into the woods. But this time he will be accompanied by Derek Holtzer, a government psychologist. Derek plans on recording Brian’s thought process and actions so that the information can be used to help teach better survival methods. But shortly after their trip begins during a storm Derek is hit by lightning. He is left in a coma, and the emergency radio they had was destroyed. It is up to Brian not only to survive but see if he can save Derek. His only hope to get Derek to medical attention is the river, he must make a raft and navigate his way back to civilization, so he can get the help they need.

I think one of the most realistic parts of the book, was when Brian decides thy cannot take all the gear. He knew that if they had resources, they would end up using them. And when disaster strikes, he is left relying on his fortitude and determination yet again.

As a book written for middle grade readers, I think it is a good addition to the genera and a good follow up to Hatchet. As someone with years of experience in Scouting, and a deep personal love for winter camping and the outdoors I really enjoyed the book. And I look forward to reading the rest of the series with my son, and my youngest daughter has shown interest as well, so will likely start the series over again with her as well.

A good read in what so far is a great series.

Books by Gary Paulsen:
Brian’s Saga:

The River
Brian’s Winter
Brian’s Return
Brian’s Hunt

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