Saturday, August 6, 2011

Book Review: Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen

I never would have thought that I'd skip the second book in a series and go to the third, but in this series it kind of makes sense. The third book after Hatchet, goes back and erases the end of Hatchet when Brian was saved, and takes him into winter. I'm really glad Mr. Paulsen did this, as I did think when Brian was rescued just at the end of summer, that it was a bit of a cop-out.

Here we get more survival skills, more of Brian learning about the world, and relying on his ingenuity and observations. He's lonely, but survival is so much more important and all-consuming, that he doesn't have much time to dwell on his problems. I learned some very cool new facts (did you know in the far north - Canada - where it gets brutally cold, trees can explode in winter when the sap freezes and expands?) This book, like the first one, would be especially great for preteen boys. It deals with topics such as whether or not killing animals for food is wrong, and so there are ethical and practical discussion points. And the ending was appropriate, and didn't feel like it ended before the story was over, like Hatchet kind of did.

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

I borrowed this book from a friend.


Teacher/Learner said...

I read Hatchet in school & absolutely loved it. Being a "boys" kind of book (whatever that means), I was pleasantly surprised by its appeal. I think I read the 2nd book (he travels by raft, right?) and it was okay but not as good as Hatchet. I've enjoyed your kid lit reviews lately, keep up the great work :)

Anonymous said...

I haven't read these books, but they will be perfect when my son gets older.

bermudaonion said...

My son loved Gary Paulsen's books and I'm almost positive he read this one.

Julie P. said...

I have had HATCHET sitting out for months with the hopes of reading it. I've heard so many wonderful things about these books.