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But now the boys' parents have been called from their vacation by a family emergency, and Doug and Gordie are alone ...
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But now the boys' parents have been called from their vacation by a family emergency, and Doug and Gordie are alone in the wilderness. After one of their seemingly endless fights, Gordie has stomped away from their campsite. When Girdle doesn't return, Doug fears the worst, particularly when he hears reports that a cougar has been sighted nearby. Doug knows he has to go after his brother, and he knows where he will find him. What he can't imagine is the surprising source of the courage to overcome his fears.
When he and his older brother Gordon are left camping alone in the Rocky Mountains, twelve-year-old Doug faces his fear of heights and his feelings about Gordon--with the help of a cougar.
He spent the next three days spying on the water hole. If he woke up early, he'd go down before breakfast. He'd go at dusk. And always he walked so quietly he hardly moved a twig — made a practice of it: Indian walking, he called it. Not a sound. Glide over the ground as though it were water. He saw a few deer, a moose and a moose calf, possums. But the cougar was never there.
"If it was a cougar, it was probably passing through," his father told him when Doug brought it up again. "Idaho. Now that's where you'll find the cougars."
Doug gave up then, and worked on trying to get a picture of a deer.
"Take good pictures of two kinds of mammals in the wild," the requirements in his Scout manual read. "Record light conditions, film used, exposure, and other factors, including notes on the activities of the pictured animals."
Also: "Spend three hours of each of five days on at least a twenty-five acre area. List the mammal species you identified by sight or sound."
This would take some doing. He'd love to get a photo of a beaver, but they came out at night, and he wasn't sure he'd brought the right film.
"You still working on the wimp badge?" Gordon asked him one evening as he lay on his sleeping bag, listening to his Walkman.
"You're such a wonder, how come you did Leatherwork?" Doug retorted. Why did he fall into these traps? But he kept on.
"How come you did Insect Study?" He let his voice rise delicately on the words, Insect Study.
"You have a problem with that?"
That's the way it always went. Gordon would start something and when Doug gave back as good as he got, Gordon would say, "You have a problem with that?" or "Think you're smart?" and before you knew it, there would be a fight. Why didn't Doug ever remember to say, "You have a problem with that?"
"Yeah, I have a problem with that," Doug said, barreling on. "The guy who's always talking big is going to stand up in front of the troop and get his 'buggie badge.' Gordie's gonna get a badge with a big bad cricket on it."
"You're gonna get a little squirrel on yours, so why are you spouting off?"
Doug couldn't hold back. He had a trump card he'd been saving, and decided to play it now. "You know those envelopes you mailed out for Mom? About the Court of Honor? You know those stamps you promised to put on?"
Gordon glanced over quickly.
"You know how you were complaining they were all stuck together? Well, that's because I sprinkled pee on them and let them dry."
He made for an opening in the tent, but Gordon tackled him and the fight was on. And all the while Doug was yelling he was laughing, too. He didn't even mind the punches. Got some in himself. Just the thought of Gordon licking those peed-on stamps was worth it.
Usually their parents let them fight things out. Gordon's punches were quicker, but Doug hit harder. In any case, they always stopped short of homicide. This time, however, Mother's voice came shouting over the scuffle: "Damn it, I want this stopped!"
It was not the way she usually talked. Not the way at all.
Doug pulled his leg off Gordon. His elbow was bleeding.
"Like animals!" Mother was standing at the door of the ten now. Her voice seemed to fill up all the space in the clearing. "We come out here to give you boys an experience that most kids would give anything to have, and you spend it fighting with each other. I'm sick of the quarreling. Sick to death of this ridiculous, idiotic, insane bickering over the slightest little thing!"
"Doug just told me..." Gordon began.
"I don't want to hear what Doug told you. I want peace. I have enough on my mind without this. Do you understand?" He voice was shrill.
"Yes," Doug answered.
She stalked off toward the woods then, and Doug noticed that her chin trembled. Were they really that bad? It had to be more than just the fight. They'd fought dozens of times before, and worse than this, too. Her worry over Uncle Lloyd, no doubt. The outburst probably didn't have much to do with them at all.
Gordon, however, still furious, took Doug's backpack a overturned it onto the ground. Underpants, T-shirts, half-worn socks rolled up in balls, sweat shirts...
Doug didn't try to stop him, didn't even go over and empty out his. He just waited until Gordon had stomped outside, then tore a page out of his notebook and in big letters, wrote GORDIE LICKS PEE, and laid it on Gordon's sleeping bag.
Posted May 25, 2010
I just finished a book called The Fear Place.I rate this book five a star book because it is not a bad book I actully liked it. I think anyone can read this book because well it has a good ending to itWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 10, 2006
Gordon and Doug are trapped in the wilderness in the Rockey Mountains.But then they call thier fammily for helb but no responed.Thee mother of the boys brother has just died.so they attend to his funeral.They have been spotted by a cougar nearby. So Doug tucks away his fears to rescue his brother and tries not to mind the hieghts.Then the boys voices has been spotted by a girl.they have been rescued.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 19, 2004
This was an exciting book in a wilderness setting with two very different brothers. It is much more realistic than Gary Paulsen books. If you are not an outdoor type, you may connect with the brothers different struggles.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 29, 2001
The Fear Place really foccusses in on the two brothers, Gordon and Doug's, problems and nature. The reason I enjoyed it so much is because it relates to me. I highly reccommend this book to anybody who likes nature or survival books.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 18, 2001
Could you imagine being on a 2ft. wide trail with a 600ft. drop to your side? In the book, 'The Fear Place', the Grillo's set out to the Rockies for fun and adventure and run into obstacles they have to overcome. Doug and Gordon are suddenly alone in the wilderness when their parents leave for a family emergency. A fight causes the brothers to split and rumors of a cougar in the park add another layer of fear. Doug has to struggle, and try to overcome, his inner fears, his age, and his hate towards his brother to slove the problems he is faced with.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 3, 2000
I loved The Fear Place because it kept me reading with great suspense and convinced me that reading is not bad at all. I also learned that you don't always need to take dares just because people call you a chicken. It related to my life when my brother and I got in a fight. This book taught me that running away is not the answer. I enjoyed The Fear Place and I hope you will too!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.