Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Brian's Return" by Gary Paulsen

144 pages

As readers of "Hatchet," "The River," and "Brian's Winter" know, thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson survived in the Canadian wilderness for months after his plane crashed in the woods. Now he's back in civilization, but things just don't feel right. He finds that modern society overwhelms and overstimulates him now. Before long, he's yearning for the forest. At the advice of his therapist--a blind man who is the one person who understands Brian's "homesickness"--Brian heads back out for a canoe trip that will bring him to the middle-of-nowhere home of the family who found him after his first ordeal. 

There is something about Gary Paulsen's writing. I can't put my finger on's simple, but it really brings things to life. You can tell that he truly loves and understands nature. I loved "Hatchet" and all its sequels, but I'd often wondered what it was like for Brian after he came back into civilization. This story answers that question. However, I wish it went into more detail. I wanted to know more about what happened to Brian when he got home, and also about his trip. The book is just too short. Right when it's starting to get into things, it's over. Still, it's another fine piece of writing by Mr. Paulsen.

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