Mini Reviews: The River & Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen

I’m in love with Gary Paulsen’s Brian’s Saga series right now, and I’m so glad that I had a chance to re-read the first book during Re-read January or else I probably wouldn’t have gotten a chance to read the other books in the series. Seriously, I’ve never salivated so much while reading a series! When you start mind-fusing with a character, you know that a book is getting to you.

The River 

Title: The River
Author: Gary Paulsen
Series: Brian’s Saga #2
Publication Date: May 1, 1991
Category: (Middle Grade) Survival

A captivating sequel to Paulsen’s first book in the Brian Robeson series, The River tells the story of Brian’s second adventure in the Canadian wilderness a year after he survived in the first, this time with a psychologist from the government survival school tagging along. A shorter journey that holds the same amount of excitement and tension, The River effectively showcases the new Brian, who is now more mature and thoughtful in how he approaches the problems he encounters. And and he can cook now! swoons

Brian's Winter

Title: Brian’s Winter
Author: Gary Paulsen
Series: Brian’s Saga #3
Publication Date: January 1, 1996
Category: (Middle Grade) Survival

I fell in love with the Canadian wilderness and Brian Robeson all over again in Brian’s Winter. This is like Hatchet, but with more evocative and breathtaking scenes of nature that left me awed and humbled. As an alternate sequel to the first book in the series, Brian’s Winter tackles the question of how Brian would survive through the winter if he hadn’t been rescued. Because Brian is more prepared than he was when he first crash-landed, this story has more fun elements amidst the danger; for example, Brian gets an unconventional pet, and moose encounter part two happens with better results. But the winter is a whole different animal, and it’s awesome to see how Brian uses the skills he learned in the fall and how he gains insight into the new problems that arise as the weather gets colder. And the imagery is more intense in Brian’s Winter – I was drooling throughout all the food scenes, and I froze along with Brian as he went outside into the snow to hunt. Overall, Brian’s Winter is a realistic and incredible journey that is another level up from Hatchet.



4 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: The River & Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen

    • Haha, thanks Cleopatra! I wouldn’t have thought that I’d become so fond of food from a survival story either, but the descriptions are just so good!

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