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The River [Paperback]

By Gary Paulsen (Author)
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Item Number 157334  
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Item description for The River by Gary Paulsen...

Two years after his rescue, Brian is asked by the government to repeat his experience in the wilderness so that the military can learn his survival techniques, but the project backfires after a dangerous accident. Reprint.

Publishers Description
"We want you to do it again."

These words, spoken to Brian Robeson, will change his life. Two years earlier, Brian was stranded alone in the wilderness for 54 days with nothing but a small hatchet. Yet he survived.

Now the government wants him to go back into the wilderness so that astronauts and the military can learn the survival techniques that kept Brian alive. Soon the project backfires, though, leaving Brian with a wounded partner and a long river to navigate. His only hope is to build a raft and try to transport the injured man a hundred miles downstream to a trading post--if the map he has is accurate.
GARY PAULSEN is the distinguished author of many critically acclaimed books for young people, His most recent books are Flat Broke; Liar, Liar; Masters of Disaster; Lawn Boy Returns; Woods Runner; Notes from the Dog; Mudshark; Lawn Boy; Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day; The Time Hackers; and The Amazing Life of Birds (The Twenty Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech).

From the Trade Paperback edition.
Brian opened the door and stood back. There were three men, all in dark suits, standing on the front porch. They were large but not fat, well built, with bodies in decent shape. One of them was slightly thinner than the other two.

"Brian Robeson?"

Brian nodded. "Yes."

The thin man smiled and stepped forward and held out his hand. "I'm Derek Holtzer. These other two are Bill Mannerly and Erik Ballard. Can we come in?"

Brian held the door open to let them come in. "Mother isn't home right now...."

"It's you we want to see." Derek stopped just in the entryway and the other two did the same. "Of course, we'll wish to speak to your mother and father as well, but we came to see you. Didn't you get a call about us?"

Brian shook his head. "I don't think so. I mean, I know I didn't, but I don't think Mother did either. She would have said something."

"How about your father?"

"He doesn't live here. My parents are divorced."

"Oh. Sorry." Derek truly looked embarrassed. "I didn't know."

"It happens." Brian shrugged, but it was still new enough, just over a year and a half, to feel painful. He mentally pushed it away and had a sudden thought of his own foolishness. Three men he did not know were in the house. They did not look threatening, but you never knew.

"What can I do for you?"

"Well, if you don't know anything about any of this, maybe we should wait for your mother to come home. We can come back."

Brian nodded. "Whatever you want . . . but you could tell me what it's about, if you wanted to."

"Maybe I'd better check on you first. Are you the Brian Robeson who survived alone in the Canadian woods for two months?"

"Fifty-four days," Brian said. "Not quite two months. Yes--that's me."


"Are you from the press?" For months after his return home, Brian had been followed by the press. Even after the television special--a camera crew went back with him to the lake and he showed them how he'd lived--they stayed after him. Newspapers, television, book publishers--they called him at home, followed him to school. It was hard to get away from them. One man even offered him money to put his face on a T-shirt, and a jeans company wanted to come out with a line of Brian Robeson Survival Jeans.

His mother had handled them all, with the help--through the mail--of his father, and he had some money in an account for college. Actually, enough to complete college. But it had finally slowed down and he didn't miss it.

At first it had been exciting, but soon the thrill had worn off. He was famous, and that wasn't too bad, but when they started following him with cameras and wanting to make movies of him and his life it got a little crazy.

He met a girl in school, Deborah McKenzie. They hit it off and went on a few dates, and pretty soon the press was bugging her as well and that was too much. He started going out the back door, wearing sunglasses, meeting Deborah in out-of-the-way places, and sliding down the hallways in school. He was only too glad when people stopped noticing him.

And here they were again. "I mean, are you with television or anything?"

Derek shook his head. "Nope--not even close. We're with a government survival school."


Derek shook his head. "Not exactly. Bill and Erik are instructors, but I'm a psychologist. We work with people who may need to survive in bad situations--you know, like downed pilots, astronauts, soldiers. How to live off the land and get out safely."

"What do you want with me?"

Derek smiled. "You can probably guess. . . "

Brian shook his head.

"Well, to make it short, we want you to do it again."

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Laurel Leaf
Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.96" Width: 4.24" Height: 0.44"
Weight:   0.18 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 12, 1998
Publisher   Laurel Leaf
Age  10-14
ISBN  044022750X  
ISBN13  9780440227502  

Availability  0 units.

More About Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen Gary Paulsen is one of the most honored writers of contemporary literature for young readers. He has written more than one hundred book for adults and young readers, and is the author of three Newbery Honor titles: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He divides his time among Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, and the Pacific.

Born May 17, 1939, Gary Paulsen is one of America's most popular writers for young people. Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read — along with his own library card — he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adventure. A youthful summer of rigorous chores on a farm; jobs as an engineer, construction worker, ranch hand, truck driver, and sailor; and two rounds of the 1,180-mile Alaskan dog sled race, the Iditarod; have provided ample material from which he creates his powerful stories.

Paulsen's realization that he would become a writer came suddenly when he was working as a satellite technician for an aerospace firm in California. One night he walked off the job, never to return. He spent the next year in Hollywood as a magazine proofreader, working on his own writing every night. Then he left California and drove to northern Minnesota where he rented a cabin on a lake; by the end of the winter, he had completed his first novel.

Living in the remote Minnesota woods, Paulsen eventually turned to the sport of dog racing, and entered the 1983 Iditarod. In 1985, after running the Iditarod for the second time, he suffered an attack of angina and was forced to give up his dogs. "I started to focus on writing the same energies and efforts that I was using with dogs. So we're talking 18-, 19-, 20-hour days completely committed to work. Totally, viciously, obsessively committed to work, the way I'd run dogs....I still work that way, completely, all the time. I just work. I don't drink, I don't fool around, I'm just this way....The end result is there's a lot of books out there."

It is Paulsen's overwhelming belief in young people that drives him to write. His intense desire to tap deeply into the human spirit and to encourage readers to observe and care about the world around them has brought him both enormous popularity with young people and critical acclaim from the children's book community. Paulsen is a master storyteller who has written more than 175 books and some 200 articles and short stories for children and adults. He is one of the most important writers of young adult literature today and three of his novels — Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room — were Newbery Honor Books. His books frequently appear on the best books lists of the American Library Association.

Paulsen has received many letters from readers (as many as 200 a day) telling him they felt Brian Robeson's story in Hatchet was left unfinished by his early rescue, before the winter came and made things really tough. They wanted to know what would happen if Brian were not rescued, if he had to survive in the winter. Paulsen says, "Since my life has been one of survival in winter — running two Iditarods, hunting and trapping as a boy and young man — the challenge became interesting, and so I researched and wrote Brian's Winter, showing what could and perhaps would have happened had Brian not been rescued."

Paulsen and his wife, Ruth Wright Paulsen, an artist who has illustrated several of his books, divide their time between a home in New Mexico and a boat in the Pacific.

Gary Paulsen currently resides in the state of New Mexico.

Gary Paulsen has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Aladdin Classics
  2. Francis Tucket Books
  3. Gary Paulsen World of Adventure (Paperback)
  4. Tucket Adventures (Paperback)
  5. Tucket Adventures (Pb)

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Action & Adventure
3Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Short Story Collections
4Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12
5Books > Subjects > Teens > Authors, A-Z > ( P ) > Paulsen, Gary
6Books > Subjects > Teens > Literature & Fiction > General
7Books > Subjects > Teens > Literature & Fiction

Reviews - What do customers think about The River?

describing what is the obvious  Jun 10, 2008
this book was incredible. the detail was superb with all the added things such as when brian always thinks about one word and how paulsen describes the place and what is happening. excellent.
The River  May 16, 2008
The River by Gary Paulson is a fantastic book. Once youstart this book you will not be able to put it down. I would reccomend this book to anyone 10 years an older. I promise that you will love this book: it is detailed, exciting, andventurous, and you really feel like you are there. If you love adventure books, this is the perfect book for you.
Paulsen good author  Feb 23, 2008
This sequel to Hatchet is a quick read, filled with interesting and exciting details. Appealing to 11-12 year olds, especially boys.
Okay But Not the Best  Jan 29, 2008
Having read other books by Gary Paulsen like Tracker, Woodsong, Dogsong, The Monument, The Island, Night John,and the Hatchet series,ect, I realized that The River is not one of Paulsen's best work. The River seemed a little unrealistic and it had a very basic polt, Brian has to go back to the Woods, something goes wrong, he takes a trip down a river to a trading station and gets rescued. Its all very predictable. The part that seems un realistic is the part where Derek gets struck by lightning and Brian happens not to have been hit, and the radio happens to break. Also building a raft can be harder than Paulson makes it sound.

But to all Gary Paulsen fans, don't stop reading Gary Paulsen books just because this book has lowish ratings. Hatchet is the most wellknown book by Gary Paulsen and many who have read Hatchet haven't read many of the other great books by Gary Paulsen. I remeber a few years ago when I was in fourth grade, The River was the second Gary Paulsen book I read, But I still decided to keep reading books by him. I read Night John when I was in fifth grade adn it still is my favorite book by Gary Paulson now. You may have noticed that I'm not Ralf Kiehl, I'm his daughter, a 13 year old kid, but I still really like to read Gary Paulson.
The River  Jun 13, 2007
If you like stories of survival, then this is the book for you. It's about a boy named Brian who is about 15 years old and a scientist named Derek who is in his 30's go out into the wilderness so Brian can show him how to survive, since he did it about a year before when his plane crashed in the Canadian wilderness. They have to live out there for 3 weeks. After 3 days a lightening storm hits and Derek is struck by lightning and goes into a coma, so Brian has to build a raft and go for help at the trading post before it's too late for Derek.

The best part in the book was when Brian finished the raft and finally heads down the river to get help. Brian has to stay awake the whole time until he gets to the trading post because he has to steer the raft. At one point he loses track of the raft and loses it along with Derek because he got knocked off the raft.

The theme of this story is survival because Brian has to survive and keep Derek alive too.

This was a great book to read. I like how suddenly things turn bad for Brian when Derek goes into a coma. He has to keep himself and Derek alive and get help

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