Brian is on his way to visit his father, and has raw feelings about the fact that his parents recently separated. His plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness, and the thirteen-year-old is forced to survive alone, facing threats from animals, the unforgiving environment, and the endless quest to find food.
The author wrote Brian's Winter in response to fans who wondered what might have happened to Brian in the same situation in the cold winter months.
Brian's Return offers more of the same, except the beginning of the book leans on Brian's discomfort with contemporary life, and his preference for spending more time in nature.
A compelling adventure book, and an inspiring story, this sits perfectly for sixth graders, but is popular among many fifth grade readers. The opening chapters deal with parental infidelity, and the plane crash is violent - the details may be alarming to some readers. The later chapters are full of page-turning push, even without dialogue (since Brian does not encounter humans to talk to during most of the book). The self-discovery about frustration and persistence is powerful, especially for students reading in relative physical comfort.
"He had to have some kind of shelter. No, make that more: he had to have some kind of shelter, and he had to have something to eat . . . RIght now I'm all I've got. I have to do something." p. 51
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