Brian's Return

Gary Paulsen, Author
Gary Paulsen, Author Delacorte Press $15.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-385-32500-4
Prebound-Glued - 115 pages - 978-0-613-33796-0
Hardcover - 127 pages - 978-0-7862-3046-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 128 pages - 978-0-440-41379-0
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-7393-5985-3
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-21086-7
Library Binding - 115 pages - 978-0-385-90223-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-0446-7
Paperback - 115 pages - 978-0-307-92960-0
Open Ebook - 69 pages - 978-0-307-43319-0
Prebound-Sewn - 115 pages - 978-0-7569-0470-8
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-00989-9
Compact Disc - 2 pages - 978-0-7393-5131-4
Compact Disc - 2 pages - 978-0-307-58293-5
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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. (Jan.)
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