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November 16, 2015

Brian’s Return

Brian's ReturnBrian’s Return

By: Gary Paulsen

“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” (excerpt taken from Brian’s Return).

After having spent much time in the wilderness and learning to survive it on his own, Brian Robeson (now 16 years old) finds himself back in school, struggling to find his place in civilization again.  Brian’s concerned mother helps him find a counselor to talk with who really listens to Brian and encourages him to make another trip to the wilderness to do some more reflecting and re-connecting.  Brian decides to go again and experiences many interesting and challenging situations in the wilderness.  He also meets an intriguing man who lives out in the vast “North Woods” and Brian learns a great deal from him during their brief encounter.

This book is well written and great for middle school readers who like to “escape” into another world.  Be sure to read the author’s note at the end as well if you want to know why Paulsen is so adept at writing wilderness-adventure stories.  This book is the 4th in Brian’s Saga; Hatchet, The River, and Brian’s Winter come before this story in this great series by Paulsen.

Review By: Christina Fitch