Title: Brian’s Winter (originally Hatchet: Winter)
Author: Gary Paulsen
Series: Hatchet, book 2
Major Themes: Wilderness Survival, Hunting, Canada
Synopsis: Brian must learn how to survive in the Canadian Far North through the winter, beginning with nothing but a hatchet.
I have several sons, and one in particular, who love stories of survival in the wilderness. Because this one son, especially, struggles with reading, I am always on the lookout for books that will lure him in and make him want to read. I spend about half an hour a day, as part of our homeschooling, reading a book aloud with my three oldest boys. We take turns, the two who struggle with reading each reading a paragraph for every four paragraphs the other boy and I read. We also take turns choosing the book we’ll read. When one boy chose Hatchet, I suggested to the next in line that maybe he’d like Brian’s Winter. I believe he was glad he chose it!
The premise behind Brian’s Winter is that, rather than being rescued as he was at the end of Hatchet, Brian instead must survive the winter in the far north of Canada, alone with his hatchet and his new-found skills. He learns how to make a bow and arrows, and a lance, but he also has to learn how to deal with moose and bear, and then how to survive when there is deep snow all around.
Anyone who is interested in how to survive in the woods will enjoy this book, as well as anyone who simply enjoys hunting or just being in the woods.
WARNING: The second page of the first chapter mentions Brian dreaming about girls, and swearing. Otherwise it’s clean.
Listening Level—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15