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The River Paperback – March 13, 2012

439 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For fans of Hatchet, Paulsen's popular survival story, come two follow-up adventures. In the first, Brian must rescue a coma victim when stranded on a rapid river in the wilderness. PW called The River "as riveting as its predecessor... the psychological terrain of the sequel is fresh and distinct." Brian's Winter poses the question: what if the hero had not been rescued before the weather turned deadly? "The pace never relents," said PW, "Paulsen serves up one cliffhanger after another." Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A sequel to the most popular of Paulsen's three Newbery Honor books (Hatchet, 1987), based on an unlikely premise-- government researchers want Brian to reenact his northwoods survival so that his strategies can be observed and taught to others. Derek, a young psychologist, and Brian are dropped off at another Canadian lake, near the first one, equipped only with knives and a radio that Derek has promised not to use except in a dire emergency. Everything goes all too smoothly until their camp is struck by lightning, zapping the radio and leaving Derek in a coma. Brian manages to float Derek 100 miles down a river to a trading post, thus saving his life. The lyrically described details of Brian's adventure-- building a fire, making a raft--are of most interest here; for all its graphically evoked perils (rapids, the craft's unwieldiness, exhaustion), the journey's successful outcome seems less in doubt than did the outcome of the compelling autobiographical wilderness experiences described in Woodsong (1990). In Hatchet, Brian discovered his own strength, adding depth, complexity, and tension to the story; here, that strength is a given--as he himself points out. Perfunctory in design but vividly written, a book that will, as intended, please the readers who hoped that Paulsen, like Brian, would ``do it again.'' (Fiction. 11-14) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307929612
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307929617
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (439 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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 Newberry Honor titles: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He divides his time among Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, and the Pacific.

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#38 in Books > Teens
#38 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ralf K. Kiehl on January 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
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.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
The River by Gary Paulson is one of my favorite books. I can't believe that Brian Robeson would actually go back into the wild! Brian will be going with a man from the U.S government. He is also going with lots of equipment. When they get at the lake, Brian decides he will leave all the stuff on the plane. All was fine until a giant thunderstorm comes. The man gets hit by one and is put into a coma. Brian will have to travel down a river 100 miles to a trading post.

I liked this book because it had a ton of action and adventure. I hope you liked this book as much as I did!

Glen, R.I
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mike Davis on November 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
In this sequel to Gary Paulsen's The Hatchet Brian finds himself faced with a new challenge. Instead of he himself surviving, he must get someone else to safety. Derek Holtzer asks Brian to do it again, to survive so that he can teach others to do it, but then he is struck by lightning, disabling him and forcing Brian to get him to safety before it's top late. The only option is the river that leads out to safety, as he is yet faced with another challenge.
I thought that this book was an easy read, and it was fantastically crafted, just like any other Paulsen work. He brings fourth a style which is felt because of his experiences in the wilderness, and makes you go through all of the ups and downs that the character experiences. It was definitely a thrill ride from start to finish, with a good strong plot and lots of interesting details of survival. Overall I'd say that this book is a worthy sequel to Hatchet and a must for any Paulsen fan.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Arsenal11 on June 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
"He saw the blueness, almost a ball of energy, the crack-flash of color that came from inside his mind, inside his life, and then he was back and down and saw nothing more." You may never know when there will be a day where your stranded on an Island with know where out, you have yourself and Mother Nature with you, that's it. The River is a book that has to do with survival; Brian Robeson was alone with Mother Nature itself for fifty-four days with a small hatchet from his mother. Luckily Brian overcame the wilderness and survived. The U.S Government has contacted Brian to help teach the military and astronauts to survive the way he did. The only problem is he has to go back and face the wilderness again like he did once before. Derek Holtzer a government psychologist will join Derek and take notes for survival skills during the trip.

The Government provides Brian and Derek with equipment for the trip. Brain knowing his instincts and survival skills threw all the equipment away except for the radio for emergency uses. Derek agreeing with Brian is struck by lightning one night as well as the radio Brian was holding. Brian healthy and up the following morning is troubled when he finds Derek in a coma and doesn't know what to do since the radio fried up during the storm. Brian doesn't have his hatchet beside him now, he's alone and he has to find help fast.

Hatchet one of the greatest books of all time has found a rival in my opinion. The River being adventurous and also being the sequel of Hatchet has had many controversies between my sister and me. I believe this book is on my top five greatest books ever read for me because the book delivers tips and strategies for surviving in the wild while keeping a story line thorough to make it interesting.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cole Lundgren on February 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
The river

By: Gary Paulsen

Review By: Cole Lundgren

The river is a sequel to the book, Hatchet. In this book Brian Robeson is asked by the government to go back and do the same thing he did in Hatchet. They wanted to have Brian go out in the middle of the forest with Derek Holtzer. Derek was a psychologist that was going to go with Brian and take notes on what he did to survive. Then Derek was going to re-teach these methods to people.

Of course when Brian got asked this he was a little skeptical if he wanted to go or not. His mom didn't really want him to go because she thought it would be dangerous. They had planned to bring pretty much everything besides the kitchen sink. His mom approved on letting Brian go on this adventure.

They set off to the lake that they had picked out. It was a big lake with a river flowing out of it. Brian was a little nervous of being in a plane again. The last time he was in a plane it crashed and he was stranded. This time he would just get dropped off in the woods. When Brian and Derek got to the lake Brian realized something. He realized that it just wouldn't be the same. If they had just about everything they needed it just wouldn't be the same. Brian told Derek that they needed to leave everything. Derek agreed with Brian. The only thing they kept was a radio for emergencies.

As soon as the plane left they set off around the lake searching for things to eat, make fire with, and a nice shelter. They found a nice shelter that was near the lake. It was an old tree that had grown into a hill and it left an overhang. They thought it would be perfect. The first night there they didn't have a fire. They got ate alive by mosquitos. Brian asked himself why he was living through this hell again.
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