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Book Reviews by NBPL Teens

Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen

Review by Connor

Post Date:03/02/2022 9:00 am

brian's winter book cover

The book, Brian's Winter, written by Gary Paulsen is the third novel in the Hatchet series.

This book is written as an alternate ending to the first novel, the Hatchet. Brian’s Winter

discusses a young boy who learns how to survive by himself during the harsh winter, after a

tragic plane crash. This book shows a young boy learning how to adapt to the changing

environment in the wilderness. He encounters many dangers during this book, such as harsh

weather and aggressive predators. Throughout the novel, he learns many important skills, such as

making powerful tools and making warm shelters, which will help him survive during winter.

There were many things that were enjoyable about this book, but my favorite was when

Brian was creating new tools. The book amazed me because you wouldn’t expect someone his

age to be creating such powerful tools by himself. It was very intriguing to see what he was

going to create next. Brian would also adapt to his environment very quickly. For example, after

being attacked by bears numerous times, he developed many new tools to protect himself. Brian

created tools such as a war bow, sharper and stronger arrows, and lance. Additionally, he also

made many things to adapt to the weather. He made warm vests out of animal hide and made

adjustments to his shelter so he could keep a fire in his shelter safely. Brian’s fast adaptation to

his new environment made the book very interesting to read.

Secondly, the hunting of animals in this novel was another very interesting topic. Similar

to the creation of tools, Brian’s hunting was greatly improved due to his fast adaptation to his

new environment. In this story, Brian originally hunts smaller animals, such as rabbits or birds.

After creating larger and more powerful bows, Brian was able to hunt larger animals such as deer

and moose. Brain was a great hunter after practicing and performing so many times. When Brian

would hunt animals, he would always feel remorse for his actions if the prey did not instantly

die. The hunting of animals in this story shows the sad truth that animals need to eat other

animals to survive. The most intriguing hunting events in the story were the hunting of larger

animals. It was always so suspenseful because you wouldn’t know if Brian was going to land his

shot. Also, the animals sometimes did not die instantly and this led to many near-death

experiences. For example, in the story, when Brian first created his war bow, he decided to hunt a

moose. When he first landed his shot, the moose did not die instantly and it charged into Brian. It

knocked Brain out and he barely survived because the moose charged into his lance. The

suspenseful hunting events in this story made the book very enjoyable to read.

Though most of this book was very interesting and exciting, there was one major

downside of this book. The repetitive days in this story sometimes made this book not interesting

to read. Each day felt relatively similar. Brian would get up, hunt, and possibly make some new

tools. It was kind of easy to predict what was going to happen the next day. There weren’t many

new things happening in this story.

Overall, this book is a pretty good story. This book is recommended for people who read

the previous book, The Hatchet. In addition, this book is also recommended to those who like

books about survival. Brain’s creation of tools and his hunting skills made this book very

interesting and exciting to read. I would give this book a 9/10.


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