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Brian Robeson Books In Order

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Publication Order of Brian Robeson Books

Hatchet (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The River / The Return (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Brian's Winter / Winter (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Brian's Return / The Call (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Brian's Hunt (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Brian Robeson series is a series of young adult, coming of age, and adventure novels written the well known American author Gary Paulsen. The series is comprised of a total of 5 novels published between the years 1987 and 2003. All the novels of the series deal with the life of the main character Brian Robeson and his survival tactics after getting stranded in the wilderness of Canada. Once when Brian was on his way to meet his father in a passenger plane, it crashes in the wilderness. The pilot of the plane dies on the spot and Brian Robeson is left alone, injured and desperate to get home. He uses his survival instincts and a small hatchet in order to remain alive in the wilderness and after a struggle of around 54 days he becomes successful in returning back to his home. The series is also famous by the names, Brian’s Saga and Hatchet. Author Gary Paulsen began writing the series in the year 1987 and released the initial novel, Hatchet in the same year. The novel went on to win the Newbery Honor Award of that year. The novel is written with an alternate ending that serves as the opening sequence of the second novel of the series.

The first novel of the Brian Robeson series was published in the year 1987 by the Atheneum Books publishing house. It was titled ‘Hatchet’ and introduced the main character of the series as a 13 year old boy of divorced parents. In the opening sequence of the plot of the novel, Brian Robeson is introduced as traveling on his Cessna 406 bush plane in order meet his father during one summer who used to live in northern Canada. During the course of his journey, the pilot of the plane suffers a heart attack and immediately dies. Seeing the condition of the pilot, Brian tries to take control of the plane and land it safely. But, he ends up crash landing the vast forests of Canada. Being alone in the wilderness, he must learn to use his own tactics and instincts in order to survive. There is nothing left with him except a small hatchet, which was given to him by his mother as a gift before boarding the plane. He spends the whole summer in the wilderness alone, struggling and trying to find a way of getting back home safely. During his struggles, he learns the tactics of surviving and makes good use of the hatchet. Brian learns lit a fire the help of the hatchet and tries to obtain whatever food he could to eat, by hunting rabbits, fishes, and birds. He also picks up fruits, berries, and turtle eggs for keeping his appetite full and moving ahead. Brain has to deal with a lot of threats of the nature like the mosquitoes, porcupines, quails, skunks, wolves, bears, moose, and a tornado.

As the days pass by, Brian develops his skills and keeps surviving by becoming a good woodsman. He learns to make bows and arrows as well as a fishing spear which helped him in hunting small animals for food. Over time, he develops a shelter on the underside of an overhang of a rock. On some occasions he seems to get low in energy because of struggling with the memories of his home as well as his bittersweet relationship with his mother, whom he had caught cheating with an extra-marital affair before her divorce with his father. When a tornado hits his hiding area, the plane gets drawn towards the shore. In order to reach to the plane, Brian Robeson makes use of some broken off tops of the trees. As he is about to reach to the plane’s tail, he accidentally drops the hatchet and tries to get it back from the lake. When he gets inside the crashed plane, he finds a package with emergency items and some additional food. The useful items from the package include a .22 rifle and an emergency radio transmitter. Brian gets back to the shore and tries to activate the radio transmitter, but does not know the correct way of using it. Thinking that it must be broken, he throws the transmitter to the side. However, a passing airplane hears his distress call and he gets rescued eventually, after struggling for 54 days of the summer. The novel went on to win many prestigious awards for 2 to 3 three years after its publication. A few important ones include the Golden Archer Award, Iowa Teen Award, NewBery Honor Award, etc. A film based on the novel was made and released in the year 1990. It was titled ‘A Cry in the Wild’.

The other initial novel of the Brian Robeson series written by author Gary Paulsen was published in the year 1996 by the Laurel Leaf Library publishing house. It was titled ‘Brian’s Winter’ and revolved around the life of the main character Brian Robeson, just like the initial novel of the series. In this novel, Brian is shown getting stuck in the wilderness once again during a winter. He comes across a bear in the forest who seems to be very dangerous. Realizing the grave danger he tries to find some way of protecting himself from the bear. He had lit a fire which had gone off. Had it been still burning it would have worked very well to keep the bear away. Brain was in need of a weapon after the fire had gone off. He had a knife and a hatchet, but they were not good enough against the huge bear. Brian also had a bow but did not try to use it at would have made the bear even more angry. The only way by which he could have saved himself was by lighting the fire once again. Therefore, kept on adding wood to the fire so that it would keep burning and will keep the bear away from him. Being half afraid that the bear might come back, Brian kept on thinking about a solution. Soon, he realized that it was not the bear or the wolf that was his adversary. In fact, he himself had become the worst enemy of himself as he had forgotten the main rule after getting involved in all the acts of fishing, hunting, and surviving, that it is always necessary to pay attention to what is happening. He had forgotten that everything present in the nature has some meaning to it. Brian did not pay attention to the fact that summer was ending and the winter that was coming was even more dangerous the plane crash.

Brian’s Saga, featuring main character Brian Robeson, shows what happens to a kid after spending almost two months in the forests of Canada. It shows the instincts that humans have deep within them to be able to live (and thrive) out in the wild with nothing more than just a hatchet. The kid and main character, Brian, is a child of two divorced parents. He has seen his mother cheat on his father, before they were divorced. “Hatchet”, the first book in the series, is the receiver of a Newbery Honor.

The series includes two different timelines, one that includes Brian getting out of the forest (at the end of “Hatchet” and into “The River”) that he finds himself in, and one that explores what happens if he stays in the forest. and help does not come for him (starting with “Brian’s Winter”, “Brian’s Return”, and “Brian’s Hunt”). The author, Gary Paulsen had a bunch of his fans write him and tell him that they did not like the deus ex machina ending of “Hatchet”, so he would later junk the direction he went in “The River” and opt to explore what would have happened if he never left, and that’s where “Brian’s Winter” comes in.

“Hatchet” is the first book in the series featuring Brian Robeson by Gary Paulsen. A thirteen year old boy named Brian Robeson is traveling to visit his father in Canada on a Cessna 406 plane. The plan is to spend the summer with his father. However, the pilot dies after having a massive heart attack. Brian crash lands the plane into a lake located in a forest. He must learn to survive in the wilderness using all that he has with him, a hatchet that his mother gave him before his trip. Over the course of the summer, his skills in the wild improve. He deals with the memories that he has of his mother while becoming a great woodsman (he is able to make a bow, arrows, and a fishing spear, simply with the stuff that he finds) and develops better survival skills. Brian is able to make a fire with the hatchet, and can cook and eat whatever food he finds; he also deals with the threats of being out in the wild, porcupine, bear, skunk, mosquitoes, quail, moose, wolves, and a tornado that also pulls down a plane.

This book has been praised for it’s ability to describe something that could actually happen to someone and for Paulsen’s ability to throw the reader right into the dangerous situation that Brian finds himself in. A lot of readers consider this book to be a classic novel. People have found the book to be something that is enjoyable but also educational. Some readers found the cheating and divorce aspect in the book that Brian’s parents are going through to be realistic and something that kids pick up anyway, adding to the realistic aspect. Some readers were not so fond of the book. They found the book to feature several consecutive run on sentences; the grammar and style was atrocious, they believe.

Some readers have also found the book to feature some things that were not necessarily age appropriate, in their minds, this makes the book more appropriate for older kids to pick up and read. They think that the book shows things that may disrupt a child’s innocence. This is always the adult readers who point this out. Some of the things they point out are the divorce, infidelity on the mother’s part, and a suicide attempt on the part of Brian. Some feel that this adds to his struggle out in the wild; it gives him some inner conflict and some conflict towards his mother, for putting him in the situation he’s in and for cheating on his father.

“The River” is the second book in the series featuring Brian Robeson by Gary Paulsen. After being rescued by a pilot who picked up a beacon from a fallen plane, Brian agrees to work with the government to teach them about how he was able to survive in the wild for almost two months, simply living on the land. He was a little scared being on the plane, after the last time he was on one, the pilot died on him, forcing him to crash land it. They want to know these secrets to learn his techniques so that their military can use these same techniques. He does not agree at first to help them (his mother would rather he not go because he may get hurt this time), but eventually does agree to help them out. He goes to place in the middle of nowhere, located in Canada, with a government psychologist. They are given supplies to live with but Brian insists that they abandon all of it, except for an emergency radio and a knife; the idea being, it would be harder to live off the land if they had delectable treats waiting for them. Plus, if a group of people was stranded, they would not have these supplies waiting for them anyway. After things take a turn for the worse, Brian builds a raft to get them to safety.

People praised the book because it uses some of Paulsen’s experiences out in the wild, it was an easy read, and the intensity contained in the book. This book is considered to rival how good “Hatchet” was. It was also found to be fantastically crafted and Paulsen makes you feel everything that characters feel. Some readers were not so thrilled by the book, however. They thought the plot was basic (after being saved, Brian goes BACK to the wild) and the story was unrealistic. They found the part about Brian building a raft after the psychologist got hit by lightning to be the unrealistic part. Some readers found this book to not be up to Paulsen’s usual standards, finding some of the other books that he has written to be stronger.

Originally, Paulsen wanted to end the series after the fourth book “Brian’s Return”, but his fans sent him letters and he wound up writing a fifth and final book called “Brian’s Hunt”. Starting with “Brian’s Winter”, Gary Paulsen decided that Brian would grow weary of the real world, opting instead to stay out in the wild to escape all the pollution, fake people, and engine noise.

A movie was made of the first book, “Hatchet” in 1990 called “A Cry in the Wild” starring Jared Rushton as Brian.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Brian Robeson

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