From School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-Adding to his already considerable oeuvre, Paulsen offers this collection of wilderness survival/hunting essays that concentrates on drawing parallels between his own life and the fictional adventures and misadventures of Brian Robeson in Hatchet (Macmillan, 1986) and its sequels. The author's previous collection of hunting and fishing essays, Father Water, Mother Woods (Delacorte, 1994), was supposed to satisfy readers' need to know the stories behind the stories, but the flow of inquiries only increased. He wrote this collection, which focuses on specific events in the "Brian" books, to answer those fans' questions. Readers find out about moose attacks and plane crashes and attempts at eating raw turtle eggs. The writing is what we have come to expect from Paulsen-at times spare and at others lyrically descriptive of nature and life out of doors-but the repetition of ideas he wants to hammer home gets annoying in a couple of the essays. Every time he mentions money, he goes on to mention that he was working to pay for school supplies and clothes since his parents wouldn't. Guts is more meandering biographical musings than it is traditional essays. It does leave one wondering how he had time to pen his 100 plus books; he seems never to have been indoors since he discovered hunting as a teenager. This title is a must for libraries serving fans of the "Brian" adventures. It's also an excellent book to place in the hands of young readers interested in hunting since it imparts a responsible philosophy of hunting and gun usage.-Timothy Capehart, Leominster Public Library, MA
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