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Brian's Hunt (Brian's Saga Series #5)

Brian's Hunt (Brian's Saga Series #5)

4.3 115
by Gary Paulsen

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Millions of readers of Hatchet, The River, Brian's Winter, and Brian's Return know that Brian Robeson is at home in the Canadian wilderness. He has stood up to the challenge of surviving alone in the woods. He prefers being on his own in the natural world to civilization.

When Brian finds a dog one night, a dog that is wounded and whimpering, he


Millions of readers of Hatchet, The River, Brian's Winter, and Brian's Return know that Brian Robeson is at home in the Canadian wilderness. He has stood up to the challenge of surviving alone in the woods. He prefers being on his own in the natural world to civilization.

When Brian finds a dog one night, a dog that is wounded and whimpering, he senses danger. The dog is badly hurt, and as Brian cares for it, he worries about his Cree friends who live north of his camp. His instincts tell him to head north, quickly. With his new companion at his side, and with a terrible, growing sense of unease, he sets out to learn what happened. He sets out on the hunt.

Editorial Reviews

Brian's back! Gary Paulsen's nature-loving hero -- a hit with readers in bestsellers like Hatchet and Brian's River -- becomes a hunter with a mission in this suspenseful, adventurous novel that will keep you alert until the very end. With storytelling prowess that shoots as straight as an arrow, Paulsen takes his character back to the Canadian woods, where Brian lives off the land in the hope of connecting with nature. Brian keeps busy taking in his surroundings and hunting northern pike, but when a stray, battered dog suddenly appears, the curious boy patches up its wounds and decides to learn where it comes from. At first -- with the aid of senses sharpened by the wilderness -- Brian finds it easy enough to uncover the dog's past, but after he makes a gruesome discovery, the boy quickly becomes the hunter in a matter of life and death. Paulsen's newest Brian book hits the mark dead-on with powerful themes, pitting the hero against nature while exploring the bond between humans and dogs. The author thoughtfully includes an afterword, and with plenty of action and descriptive hunting scenes in this quick-moving novel, Paulsen's fans will surely be thirsty for more.
The Washington Post
As always, Paulsen spins a fast-paced tale, characterized by a refusal either to soften the often gruesome details of life in the bush (here, partially eaten bodies, wounds riddled with fly eggs and worms) or to romanticize wildlife (in this case, bears). — Elizabeth Ward
Publishers Weekly
In Gary Paulsen's latest, Brian's Hunt, Brian has traveled back to his beloved Canadian wilderness. Although Brian's Return (2001) was to be the last in the series, here the acclaimed hero hunts for a bear that has attacked his friends. With an ever-reverent view toward the power of nature, the author delivers another suspenseful adventure. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Paulsen must feel about Brian Robeson the way Arthur Conan Doyle did about Sherlock Holmes: Fans just will not let him go. The fifth book in the series finds Brian again in his canoe, headed into the Canadian wilderness. Brian's solitude is interrupted by the appearance of a badly wounded dog, plainly the victim of a bear. Succumbing to the charm of this canine companion, Brian deduces that she might belong to a Cree family, which had previously befriended him and which spends summers in the area. Hastening to the family's camp, he makes a grisly discovery. The evidence of a savage bear attack propels him into the deadliest hunt of his life. More an extended short story than a novel, this tale reflects Paulsen's love for the wilderness and for dogs as well as his easy familiarity with survival techniques. The story rings true because the author plainly knows whereof he speaks, and this authenticity is a big part of its appeal. Like Hemingway's Nick Adams stories, the Brian books reveal nature and humankind's place in it with spare prose that seems ideally suited to the setting and plot. Reluctant readers will find this book manageable, would-be outdoors types will enjoy the details of hunting and fishing, and educators will appreciate the plug for self-directed learning. Paulsen does not sanitize wilderness life: It is dirty and dangerous. But his lyrical descriptions of the woods and lakes will make frazzled city dwellers long to jump in a canoe and head north along with Brian. VOYA CODES: 4Q 5P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9).2003, Wendy Lamb Books/Random House, 112p., and PLB Ages 11 to 15.
—Kathleen Beck
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, January 2004: Brian, hero of Hatchet, The River, Brian's Winter and Brian's Return, is now 16, and he has once again abandoned civilization for the solitude and beauty of the northern Canadian wilderness. It's late summer, and Brian is camping at a lake when he hears a dog whimpering. When he comes to its aid, he finds that it is badly gashed, and he starts to be concerned about his Cree friends who live in the area. With a sense of foreboding, Brian heads north with his faithful new companion and finds death and devastation on his arrival at their camp. A rogue bear has attacked, and Brian sets out to hunt it down--only to discover that the bear is hunting him. Once again, Paulsen delivers a gripping, gory tale about survival in the north woods, based on a real bear attack, as he explains in an afterword. The dog is a wonderful addition--Paulsen has always written lovingly and knowledgably about dogs and their relationships with humans. Another new note is the hint of romance in Brian's daydreams about a Cree girl; he comes to her rescue, and perhaps this relationship will continue in future volumes. Details of life in the wilderness are, as always, convincingly described, from hunting with a bow and arrow to making camp and tracking the bear. While Paulsen had said in the last book that he wouldn't write about Brian again, readers insisted, and Brian's many fans will be delighted with this new addition to the series. A great choice for reluctant readers, due to its brevity, Paulsen's spare yet dramatic prose, and the exciting hunt for the vicious bear. KLIATT Codes: J*--Exceptional book, recommended for junior high schoolstudents. 2004, Random House, Laurel Leaf, 103p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Paula Rohrlick
Children's Literature
Brian is back, even though Gary Paulsen acknowledges that he had said there would be no more Brian books. Brian is back in the wilderness because he just could not fit into civilization, even though he has a new appreciation for learning and even for schooling. Now he is homeschooling himself in the wilderness, with books but also with the natural world around him. The story is rich with detail and demands the same patience of the reader that the natural world demands of Brian as he goes from "looking at a northern pike under a lily pad to actually eating one." Brian finds an injured dog and gives himself some on-the-job training in stitching up the dog's wounds. The story becomes very grisly and quite graphic when Brian learns what caused the wounds. As always, Gary Paulsen gives his young readers a full plate of suspense, life in the wild, and thoughtful introspection. The story will keep Brian fans reading into the wee hours and eager for more. 2003, Wendy Lamb Books, Ages 10 to 15.
— Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-In an author's note, Paulsen explains why he decided to reopen the story first begun in Hatchet (Bradbury, 1987). In this short installment, Brian, now 16, is back in the wilderness and encounters a savagely wounded dog. He makes his way to the lake island home of the Cree man he met in Brian's Return (Delacorte, 1999), where he discovers the tragedy that led to the dog's liberation. David and his wife have been partially eaten by a bear, which necessitates the hunt mentioned in the title and described in the final chapter. Throughout, the protagonist frequently remembers events from his original stranding, alludes to the problems he had faced trying to return to "civilization," and ultimately explains the special arrangement by which he has returned to the "bush" instead of high school. Although the story does stand alone, these many references will make the audience want to read (or reread) the earlier books. This story is not as well developed as the other episodes but it is a must-read for the hordes of existing Hatchet fans out there, and it may also serve to draw some new readers into the fold. An afterword discusses bear behavior and Paulsen's experiences with these animals.-Sean George, Memphis-Shelby County Public Library & Information Center, Memphis, TN Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Brian Robeson has returned to the Canadian wilderness, where his plane crashed two years before. Now 18, he feels he's in his element, a perfect place now that he's more seasoned. Soon, though, Brian finds a badly injured dog and two horribly mangled human bodies, and Brian the hunter becomes Brian the hunted, prey of a devilish rogue bear. The narrative is brisk, and Paulsen adds depth to Brian's characterization through a discussion of how learning to survive in the woods led to voracious reading and a thirst to know and understand things in civilization. In an afterword, Paulsen drives home his point that bears in the wilderness are not Teddy Bears or Winnie the Pooh, that humans are part of nature and sometimes prey; it may be "lessening" or humbling, but it's arrogant to think otherwise. Based on real incidents, this well-written sequel to Hatchet and its successors will be gobbled up by the author's legions of fans. (Fiction. 10+)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Brian's Saga Series , #5
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

He was in his world again. He was back.

It was high summer coming to fall and Brian was back in the far reaches of wilderness--or as he thought of it now, home. He had his canoe and bow and matches and this time he'd added some dried food, beans and rice and sugar. He also had a small container of tea, which he'd come to enjoy. He had a small cook set, and a can to make little fires in the middle of the canoe; he put leaves on to make smoke to drive the flies and gnats and mosquitoes away. He had some salt and pepper and, almost a treat, matches. He still could not get over how wonderful it was to just be able to make a fire when he wanted one, and he never sat down to a cook fire without smiling and remembering when his life in the wilderness had begun. His first time alone.

He dreamt of it often and at first his dreams sometimes had the qualities of nightmares. He dreamt he was sitting there in the small plane, the only passenger, with the pilot dying and the plane crashing into the lake below. He awakened sometimes with sudden fear, his breath coming fast. The crash itself had been so wild and he had been so out of control that the more he had grown in the years since, the more he had learned and handled difficult situations, the more insane the crash seemed; a wild, careening, ripping ride down through trees to end not in peace but in the water, nearly drowning--in the nightmares it was like dying and then not dying to die again.

But the bad dreams were rare, rarer all the time, and when he had them at all now they were in the nature of fond memories of his first months alone in the bush, or even full-blown humor: the skunk that hadmoved in with him and kept the bear away; how Brian had eaten too many gut berries, which he'd later found were really called chokecherries (a great name, he thought); a chickadee that had once landed on his knee to take food from his hand.

He had been . . . young then, more than two years ago. He was still young by most standards, just sixteen. But he was more seasoned now and back then he had acted young--no, that wasn't quite it either. New. He had been new then and now he was perhaps not so new.

He paused in his thinking and let the outside world come into his open mind. East edge of a small lake, midday, there would be small fish in the reeds and lily pads, sunfish and bluegills, good eating fish, and he'd have to catch some for his one hot meal a day. Sun high overhead, warm on his back but not hot the way it had been earlier in the week; no, hot but not muggy. The summer was drying out, getting ready for fall. Loon cry off to the left, not distress, not a baby lost to pike or musky; the babies would be big enough now to evade danger on their own, almost ready to fly, and would not have to ride on their mother's backs for safety as they did when they were first hatched out.

He was close in on the lily pads and something moved suddenly in the brush just up the bank, rustling through the thick, green foliage, and though it sounded big and made a lot of noise he knew it was probably a squirrel or even a mouse. They made an inordinate amount of noise as they traveled through the leaves and humus on the ground. And there was no heavy footfall feeling as there would be with a moose or deer or bear, although bear usually were relatively quiet when they moved.

High-pitched screeeeee of hawk or eagle hunting and calling to his or her mate; he couldn't always tell yet between the cry of hawk and eagle.

A yip of coyote, not wolf because it was not deep enough, and not a call, not a howl or a song but more a yip of irritation.

He had heard that yip before when he'd watched a coyote hunting mice by a huge old pine log. The log had holes beneath it from one side to the other and the mice could dance back and forth beneath the log through the holes, while the coyote had to run around the end, or jump over the top, and the mice simply scurried back and forth under it to avoid him. The coyote tried everything, hiding, waiting, digging a hole big enough for himself under the log so he could move back and forth, but nothing worked. After over an hour of trying to get at the mice, he finally stood on top of the log looking down one side, then the other, raised his head and looked right at Brian as if he'd known Brian was there the whole time, and gave an irritated, downright angry yip. It was, Brian felt, a kind of swearing.

Up ahead four hundred yards, a moose was feeding in the lily pads, putting its head underwater to pull up the succulent roots, and Brian knew it would be an easy kill if he wanted it. Canoes seemed such a part of nature to the animals in the wild--perhaps they thought canoes were logs--and if a person kept very still it was often possible to glide right up next to an animal near the water. In many states it was illegal to hunt from a canoe for just that reason. Brian had once canoed up next to and touched a fawn standing in the shallows. And with feeding moose it was simpler yet; all you had to do was scoot forward when the moose had its head underwater and coast when its head was up, looking around.

Brian had plenty of arrows: a dozen and a half field points with sixty extra points and a hundred extra shafts and equipment to make more arrows, and two dozen broadhead arrows as well as fifty extra broadhead points with triple-blade heads the military had designed for covert work many years before. These were called MA 3s. Deadly. And if sharpened frequently, they were strong enough to reuse many times if you didn't hit a bone or miss and catch a rock.

Looking at the moose, he salivated, thinking of the red meat and how it would taste roasted over a fire. But then he decided against it. The moose was a small bull, probably only six or seven hundred pounds, and nowhere near the fourteen or fifteen hundred pounds a large bull would weigh, but even so it was a lot of meat to deal with and he couldn't bring himself to waste anything he killed. He had gone hungry so long when he had first come to the bush. . . . Food had been everything and the thought of wasting any of it went against every instinct in his body. Even if he made a smoke fire and dried most of it in strips he would still lose some meat. . . .

Still, he could see the shot. Close to the moose, close in but far enough away to avoid an attack, the bow already strung. Wait until he ducked under to draw the bow and then as soon as the head came up release the MA 3 just in back of the shoulder, under the shoulder blade and the broadhead would go straight into the heart. . . .

From the Hardcover edition.

Copyright© 2003 by Gary Paulsen

Meet the Author

Gary Paulsen is the distinguished author of many critically acclaimed books for young people. He lives in New Mexico and on the Pacific Ocean.

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Brian's Hunt (Brian's Saga Series #5) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 115 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ths book is freakin awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. Great series too! Gary paulson is a great author. Please write more!
duuuuuuddddddeeeee More than 1 year ago
This book is for the type of people that like the outdoors. His book has elements of mystery and suspense with kind of a twist ending. The series has great character development but there isn't much dialoge and you will find yourself rooting for Brian in this book like all the others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book and many of gary's other books and they are all great! They may take 3-4 chapters to warm up, but it still a good book! You should read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
an amazing book. gary makes it seem as if you are briane himself. the best part of the book is the horrifiying discovery briane makes about his indian friends. your hairs will stand up! two thumbs up book! great job gary!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to get this book. I love Gary's books and I hope this one is like the other Brian books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full of exciment i am a person that usaly tris to get around books but when i found this book i read it and loved it so you can your mony into this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very heartpumping adrenaline
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So this is a siper GREAT book if you've read all of the Brian books. It keeps you on edge. And the ending is not what you think... or is it?????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please write anthor brain book
Group1Nook 63 More than 1 year ago
I think the book is absolutely fantabolous!
RICHARD PODGALSKY More than 1 year ago
Best in the series...crazy ending!!!!!!!!!
Balina More than 1 year ago
this book is amazing. hope there will be more. It's one of the best.
Paige whitfield More than 1 year ago
This is the best book ever
Desire- More than 1 year ago
Justin Bishop 7th hour 9/5/11 Brian's Hunt The story is about a boy who ends up going camping and ends up getting lost. And having to find his way back home in the middle of the woods. The boy named Brian will have to face his fears and will have to travel at a certain time because there is something following him something not humanlike it's so hard to explain. To find out more you will have to read this book. The main character was Brian. Brian had to find his way back home in the middle of the woods. Brian had ran in to many problems such as a Bear. Brian was my favorite character because he believed in him self that he was going to get out. This book is one of my favorite because every time I read further it get so exciting. I would prefer every one to read this book because its non stop excitement. My least favorite part in the book was when Brian was lost and as everything got worse he was attacked by a bear.
stud More than 1 year ago
As Brian is trying to survive in the harsh winter of Canada; only having a hatchet, a 22 cal. Rifle with 50 rounds. The most interesting and exciting part in the story to me would be when he was hunting the moose or when he was attacked by the bear. There was also a very special dog in the story that got wounded but was strong enough to survive. This dog always returns to Brian after leaving. Evaluation: This story would be good for anyone liking adventure books. Conclusion: I was very interested in this book and it made me want to keep reading. It would be my favorite series, but my favorite book in this series would have to be hatchet. Final review: Very good book, couldn't quit reading it.
kcast610 More than 1 year ago
Brian is back in the woods again. Just as he learned to be in Brian Returns, Brian is a wanderer. One night he finds an injured dog along shore. The dog was seriously injured, but very sweet and calm. The dog obviously belonged to someone; she is not wild. Who does she belong to? Brian decides to head 30 miles north to his Cree friends camp and see if they know who the dog belonges to. He knew when he walked up to the camp that something was wrong, very wrong.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like to hunt this is the book for you. Brian has to survive in the wilderness and hunt for food. He finds a wild dog for his friend. It decribes really good. You should read it.
LandShark21 11 months ago
At the beginning you find out that Brian is stranded in the middle of nowhere when his plane crashed. Everyone died in the plane except for Brian. Brian learns how to survive and adapt to his environment. He sees a wolf in the distance and when the wolf comes closer it is torn to pieces. Brian realizes that the wolf is actually dog then has torn apart by a bear. He uses fishing line to thread the dog’s skin. Then he goes down the river with his dog in the canoe they made. He starts flowing down the river that he has been wanting to do for a while. He finds an abandoned cabin in the open and he checks if anyone is in the cabin. He checks the cabin and there is no one here. He thinks a bear might have done this. Then he finds people and they ask him if he wants to fly home. He says no because he wants to kill the bear who got into the cabin. I liked the book because it is suspenseful and the story is about surviving in the wilderness alone. It was a good book overall. I recommend the book to people if you like books about survival.
sandrabrazier More than 1 year ago
Brian has returned to the wilderness, again. Since his plane crashed in the wilderness of Canada two years ago (HATCHET), he just cannot become neither comfortable nor content with the shallow, empty, noisy life of society. This time, as he canoes along the lakes, he makes a new friend, a wounded dog. As he nurses the dog to health, he as an instinctual fear for his Cree friends in the north. He has learned to depend upon his instincts, so he decides to check on them. He leaves for the north in the canoe with his new friend. Little does he know, he is in for the hunt of his lifetime. As always, Gary Paulsen tells a simple yet profound tale with his most popular and most loved character, Brian. Short and simple, this story, like his others, has tremendous impact and expresses truths about life in general. I highly recommend this little book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Adventourous book