Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Brian's Hunt - Gary Paulsen

Brian's Hunt
Gary Paulsen
Laurel Leaf
Copyright Date: 2003

According to the cover of Brian's Hunt:
Millions of readers of Hatchet, The River, Brian’s Winter, and Brian’s Return know that Brian Robeson is at home in the Canadian wilderness. He has stood up to the challenge of surviving alone in the woods. He prefers being on his own in the natural world to civilization.

When Brian finds a dog one night, a dog that is wounded and whimpering, he senses danger. The dog is badly hurt, and as Brian cares for it, he worries about his Cree friends who live north of his camp. His instincts tell him to head north, quickly. With his new companion at his side, and with a terrible, growing sense of unease, he sets out to learn what happened. He sets out on the hunt.

Although the shortest and last book in the series, being only a hundred and three pages, including the Author's Note, Brian's Hunt is perhaps the most exciting of them. On his journey to rejoin the Smallburrow family, Brian, now sixten, finds an injured dog. As he travels, he cares for the dog, bringing her back to full health. That's only the start of the adventure.

In both Brian's Hunt and Brian's Return, there is an author's note which makes for very interesting reading: Apparently Gary Paulsen based several of Brian's adventures on events in his own life.

That certainly explains how come the descriptions and scenery are so vividly described, as the author wasn't trying to imagine how something looked, but instead was describing something he'd seen or experienced.

Some of the reviews class this book as being for Grade Six to Ten or Six to Nine. I'd say it's good for all ages, with no upper limit. However, I'd definitely note a caution for younger readers, as there are a couple of scenes which are iffy.

As with all of the books in this series, Brian's Hunt was a quick read, and I couldn't put it down until I'd read the last page. From scenes of incredible peace and beauty, to a couple of scenes of the aftermath of violence, the book has it all, spanning the emotions.

Other books in the series:
The River
Brian's Hunt
Brian's Winter
Brian's Return

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