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Synopsis

In Hatchet, 13-year-old Brian Robeson learned to survive alone in the Canadian wilderness, armed only with his hatchet. He was rescued at the end of the summer. Brian's Winterbegins where Hatchet might have ended: Brian is not rescued, but must build on his survival skills to face his deadliest enemy--a northern winter.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt

For two weeks the weather grew warmer and each day was more glorious than the one before. Hunting seemed to get better as well. Brian took foolbirds or rabbits every day and on one single day he took three foolbirds.

He ate everything and felt fat and lazy and one afternoon he actually lay in the sun. It was perhaps wrong to say he was happy. He spent too much time in loneliness for true happiness. But he found himself smiling as he worked around the camp and actually looked forward to bringing in wood in the soft afternoons just because it kept him out rummaging around in the woods.

He had made many friends--or at least acquaintances. Birds had taken on a special significance for him. At night the owls made their soft sounds, calling each other in almost ghostly hooonnes that scared him until he finally saw one call on a night when the moon was full and so bright it was almost like a cloudy day. He slept with their calls and before long would awaken if they didn't call.

Before dawn, just as gray light began to filter through the trees, the day birds began to sing. They started slowly but before the gray had become light enough to see ten yards all the birds started to sing and Brian was brought out of sleep by what seemed to be thousands of singing birds.

At first it all seemed to be noise but as he learned and listened, he found them all to be different. Robins had an evening song and one they sang right before a rainstorm and another when the rain was done. Blue jays spent all their time complaining and swearing but they also warned him when something--anything--was moving in the woods. Ravens and crows were the same--scrawking and cawing their way through the trees.

It was all, Brian found, about territory. Everybody wanted to own a place to live, a place to hunt. Birds didn't sing for fun, they sang to warn other birds to keep away--sang to tell them to stay out of their territory.

He had learned about property from the wolves. Several times he had seen a solitary wolf--a large male that came near the camp and studied the boy. The wolf did not seem to be afraid and did nothing to frighten Brian, and Brian even thought of him as a kind of friend.

The wolf seemed to come on a regular schedule, hunting, and Brian guessed that he ran a kind of circuit. At night while gazing at the fire Brian figured that if the wolf made five miles an hour and hunted ten hours a day, he must be traveling close to a hundred-mile loop.

After a month or so the wolf brought a friend, a smaller, younger male, and the second time they both came they stopped near Brian's camp and while Brian watched they peed on a rotten stump, both going twice on the same spot.

Brian had read about wolves and seen films about them: and knew that they "left sign," using urine to mark their territory. He had also read--he thought in a book by Farley Mowat--that the wolves respected others' territories as well as their own. As soon as they were well away from the old stump Brian went up and peed where they had left sign.

Five days later when they came through again Brian saw them stop, smell where he had gone and then spot the ground next to Brian's spot, accepting his boundary.

Good, he thought. I own something now. I belong. And he had gone on with his life believing that the wolves and he had settled everything.

But wolf rules and Brian rules only applied to wolves and Brian.

Then the bear came.

Brian had come to know bears as well as he knew wolves or birds. They were usually alone--unless it was a female with cubs--and they were absolutely, totally devoted to eating. He had seen them several times while picking berries, raking the bushes with their teeth to pull the fruit off--and a goodly number of leaves as well, which they spit out before swallowing the berries--and, as with the wolves, they seemed to get along with him.

That is to say Brian would see them eating and he would move away and let them pick where they wanted while he found another location. It worked for the bears, he thought, smiling, and it worked for him, and this thinking evolved into what Brian thought of as an understanding between him and the bears: Since he left them alone, they would leave him alone.

Unfortunately the bears did not know that it was an agreement, and Brian was suffering under the misunderstanding that, as in some imaginary politically correct society, everything was working out.

All of this made him totally unprepared for the reality of the woods. To wit: Bears and wolves did what they wanted to do, and Brian had to fit in.

He was literary awakened to the facts one morning during the two-week warm spell. Brian had been sleeping soundly and woke to the clunking sound of metal on rock. His mind and ears were tuned to all the natural sounds around him and there was no sound in nature of metal on stone. It snapped him awake in midbreath.

He was sleeping with his head in the opening of the shelter and he had his face out and when he opened his eyes he saw what appeared to be a wall of black-brown fur directly in front of him.

He thought he might be dreaming and shook his head but it didn't go away and he realized in the same moment that he was looking at the rear end of a bear. No, he thought with a clinical logic that surprised him--I am looking at the very large rear end of a very large bear.

The bear had come to Brian's camp--smelling the gutsmell of the dead rabbit, and the cooking odor from the pot. The bear did not see it as Brian's camp or territory. There was a food smell, it was hungry, it was time to eat.

It had found the pot and knife by the fire where Brian had left them and scooped them outside. Brian had washed them both in the lake when he finished eating, but the smell of food was still in the air. Working around the side of the opening, the bear had bumped the pan against a rock at the same moment that it had settled its rump in the entrance of Brian's shelter.

Brian pulled back a foot. "Hey--get out of there!" he yelled, and kicked the bear in the rear.

He was not certain what he expected. Perhaps that the bear would turn and realize its mistake and then sheepishly trundle away. Or that the bear would just run off.

With no hesitation, not even the smallest part of a second's delay, the bear turned and ripped the entire log side off the shelter with one sweep of a front paw and a moist "whouuuff" out of its nostrils.

Brian found himself looking up at the bear, turned now to look down on the boy, and with another snort the bear swung its left paw again and scooped Brian out of the hollow of the rock and flung him end over end for twenty feet. Then the bear slipped forward and used both front paws to pack Brian in a kind of ball and whap him down to the edge of the water, where he lay, dazed, thinking in some way that he was still back in the shelter.

The bear stopped and studied Brian for a long minute, then turned back to ransacking the camp, looking for where that delicious smell had come from. It sat back on its haunches and felt the air with its nostrils, located another faint odor stream and followed it down to the edge of the water where the fish pool lay. It dug in the water--not more than ten feet from where Brian now lay, trying to figure out if his arms and legs were still all attached to where they had been before--and pulled up the rabbit skull, still with bits of meat on it, and swallowed it whole. It dug around in the water again and found the guts and ate them and went back to rummaging around in the pool, and when nothing more could be found the bear looked once more at Brian, at the camp, and then walked away without looking back.

Other than some minor scratches where the bear's claws had slightly scraped him--it was more a boxing action than a clawing one--Brian was in one piece. He was still jolted and confused about just exactly which end was up, but most of all he was grateful.

He knew that the bear could have done much more damage than it had. He had seen a bear tear a stump out of the ground like a giant tooth when it was looking for grubworms and ants. This bear could just as easily have killed him, and had actually held back.

But as the day progressed Brian found himself stiffening, and by the time he was ready for bed his whole body ached and he knew he would be covered with bruises from the encounter.

He would have to find some way to protect himself, some weapon. The fire worked well when it was burning, but it had burned down. His hatchet and knife would have done nothing more than make the bear really angry--something he did not like to think about--and his bow was good only for smaller game. He had never tried to shoot anything bigger than a foolbird or rabbit with it and doubted that the bow would push the arrow deep enough to do anything but--again--make the bear really mad.

He bundled in his bag that night, the end of the two weeks of warm weather. He kept putting wood on the fire, half afraid the bear would come back. All the while he tried to think of a solution.

But in reality, the bear was not his primary adversary. Nor was the wolf, nor any animal. Brian had become his own worst enemy because in all the business of hunting, fishing and surviving he had forgotten the primary rule: Always, always pay attention to what was happening. Everything in nature means something and he had missed the warnings that summer was ending, had in many ways already ended, and what was coming would be the most dangerous thing he had faced since the plane crash.

An Excerpt from Brian's Winter

        He would have to find some way to protect himself, some weapon. The fire
        worked well when it was burning, but it had burned down. His hatchet and
        knife would have done nothing more than make the bear really angry--something
        he did not like to think about--and his bow was good only for smaller
        game. He had never tried to shoot anything bigger than a foolbird or rabbit
        with it and doubted that the bow would push the arrow deep enough to do
        anything but--again--make the bear really mad.

        He bundled in his bag that night, the end of the two weeks of warm weather.
        He kept putting wood on the fire, half afraid the bear would come back.
        All the while he tried to think of a solution.

        But in reality, the bear was not his primary adversary. Nor was the wolf,
        nor any animal. Brian had become his own worst enemy because in all the
        business of hunting, fishing and surviving he had forgotten the primary
        rule: Always, always pay attention to what was happening. Everything
        in nature means something and he had missed the warnings that summer was
        ending, had in many ways already ended, and what was coming would be the
        most dangerous thing he had faced since the plane crash.

    


From the Hardcover edition.
Gary Paulsen|Author Q&A

About Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen - Brian's Winter

Photo © Tim Keating

“We have been passive. We have been stupid. We have been lazy. We have done all the things we could do to destroy ourselves. If there is any hope at all for the human race, it has to come from young people. Not from adults.”—Gary Paulsen

A three-time Newbery Honor winner, Gary Paulsen is also winner of the 1997 Margaret A. Edwards Award, which honors an author’s lifetime contribution to writing books for teenagers.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Writing is so much a part of the way I live . . .

Writing is so much a part of the way I live that I would be lost without the discipline and routine. I write every day—every day—and it gives me balance and focus. Every day I wake up, usually at 4:30 a.m., with the sole purpose of sitting down to write with a cup of hot tea and a computer or a laptop or a pad of paper—it doesn’t matter. I’ve written whole books in my office, in a dog kennel with a headlamp, on more airplanes than I can remember, on the trampoline of my catamaran off the shores of Fiji—it never matters where I write, just where the writing takes me.

Everything else I do is just a path to get me to that moment when I start to work. Sometimes I’m lucky and the living part of life gets folded into the writing part, like with Dogsong and the Brian books and Caught by the Sea and How Angel Peterson Got His Name. Those books were based on personal inspection at zero altitude, I took experiences that I had and turned them into books. I’ve spent a great deal of time in the outdoors, but not with the specific goal of writing about it later. I’ll be honest, though, and tell you that I enjoyed writing about those times as much as, if not more than, I enjoyed living through those times in the first place. I didn’t start writing until I was 26 years old. I look back now and wonder what I thought I was supposed to be doing with my time before that.

I’ve experimented with different voices and styles . . .
Sometimes the way to tell a story is even more important than the story itself. I’ve experimented with different voices and styles and genres over the years. The Glass Café and Harris and Me were born of the voices of people I could not get out of my head. Tony was a boy I knew back when I lived in Hollywood and Harris was a cousin from my childhood. To honor their voices, I wrote the books in very different styles. Tony had a fast-paced, breathless speaking style and I had fun trying to capture that on paper. And the best way to paint a picture of Harris was to detail all those crazy stunts of his.

Nightjohn and Soldier’s Heart were the result of studying history. Sarny came from the research I did in the National Archives when I stumbled across the Slave Narratives. And I discovered Charley Goddard when reading a book about the Minnesota First Volunteers. I hadn’t expected to find characters for books of my own when I started reading, but I could not shake them until I tried to figure out on paper what their lives must have been like.

I am still amazed by the gifts that writing gives to me . . .
Even after all these years, I am still amazed by the gifts that writing gives to me. There is not only the satisfaction from the hard work—and even after all this time and all these books, it is still very hard work for me to make a book—and the way the hair rises on the back of my neck when a story works for me, but also the relationships I have made with the people who read my books.

The one true measure of success for me has always been the readers . . .
People ask me about the kind of money I make and how many awards I’ve received, but the one true measure of success for me
has always been the readers. I give the checks to my wife and my agent keeps the awards for me. The only thing I have in my office, other than junk and work and research, is a framed letter from one of my readers. That means more to me than just about anything else, the letters
I get from the people who read my books.

Thank you for reading my books and for writing to me. Read like a wolf eats. Read.

******************************

Born May 17, 1939, Gary Paulsen is one of America’s most popular writers for young people. Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read—along with his own library card—he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adventure. A youthful summer of rigorous chores on a farm; jobs as an engineer, construction worker, ranch hand, truck driver, and sailor; and two rounds of the 1,180-mile Alaskan dogsled race, the Iditarod; have provided ample material from which he creates his powerful stories.

Paulsen’s realization that he would become a writer came suddenly when he was working as a satellite technician for an aerospace firm in California. One night he walked off the job, never to return. He spent the next year in Hollywood as a magazine proofreader, working on his own writing every night. Then he left California and drove to northern Minnesota where he rented a cabin on a lake; by the end of the winter, he had completed his first novel.

Living in the remote Minnesota woods, Paulsen eventually turned to the sport of dogsled racing, and entered the 1983 Iditarod. In 1985, after running the Iditarod for the second time, he suffered an attack of angina and was forced to give up his dogs. “I started to focus on writing with the same energies and efforts that I was using with dogs. So we’re talking 18-, 19-, 20-hour days completely committed to work. Totally, viciously, obsessively committed to work, the way I’d run dogs. . . . I still work that way, completely, all the time. I just work. I don’t drink, I don’t fool around, I’m just this way. . . . The end result is there’s a lot of books out there.”

It is Paulsen’s overwhelming belief in young people that drives him to write. His intense desire to tap deeply into the human spirit and to encourage readers to observe and care about the world around them has brought him both enormous popularity with young people and critical acclaim from the children’s book community. Paulsen is a master storyteller who has written more than 175 books and some 200 articles and short stories for children and adults. He is one of the most important writers of young adult literature today, and three of his novels—Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room—are Newbery Honor Books. His books frequently appear on the best books lists of the American Library Association.

Paulsen has received many letters from readers (as many as 200 a day) telling him they felt Brian Robeson’s story in Hatchet was left unfinished by his early rescue, before the winter came and made things really tough. They wanted to know what would happen if Brian were not rescued, if he had to survive in the winter. Paulsen says, “I researched and wrote Brian’s Winter, showing what could and perhaps would have happened had Brian not been rescued.”

In Paulsen’s book, Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books, Paulsen shares his own adventures in the wild, which are often hilarious and always amazing: moose attacks, heart attacks, near-misses in planes, and looking death in the eye.

Paulsen has written a time-travel novel, The Transall Saga, which was named an ALA Quick Pick. And in the heartwrenching story Soldier’s Heart, Paulsen brings the Civil War to life battle by battle, as readers see the horror of combat and its devastating results through the eyes of 15-year-old Charley Goddard.

Paulsen and his wife Ruth Wright Paulsen, an artist who has illustrated several of his books, divide their time between a home in New Mexico and a boat in the Pacific. For more information about Gary Paulsen, visit www.garypaulsen.com


PRAISE


ALIDA’S SONG
“Readers will want to savor this stirring book.”—Starred, Kirkus Reviews

THE BEET FIELDS
“The ultimate coming-of-age story. . . . Exceptional and so heartbreakingly real.”—Starred, Booklist

BRIAN’S WINTER
“Paulsen crafts a companion/sequel to Hatchet containing many of its same pleasures. . . . Read together, the two books make his finest tale of survival yet.”—Starred, Kirkus Reviews

HOW ANGEL PETERSON GOT HIS NAME
“These episodes will not only keep young readers, of both sexes, in stitches, they’re made to order for reading aloud.”—Starred, Kirkus Reviews

MR. TUCKET
“Superb characterizations, splendidly evoked setting, and thrill-a-minute plot make this book a joy to gallop through.”—Starred, Publishers Weekly

MY LIFE IN DOG YEARS
“A treat to make Paulsen fans sit up and beg for more. . . . His writing percolates with energetic love.”—Starred, Publishers Weekly

SARNY
A Life Remembered
“A satisfying sequel. . . . It is a great read, with characters both to hate and to cherish, and a rich sense of what it really was like then.”—Starred, Booklist

SOLDIER’S HEART
“The novel’s spare, simple language and vivid visual images of brutality and death on the battlefield make it accessible and memorable to young people.”—Starred, Booklist

THE TRANSALL SAGA
“A riveting science fiction adventure. . . . Captivating.”—Starred, Booklist

Author Q&A

author fun facts

Born: May 17 in Minneapolis, Minnesota


Previous jobs: Farm hand, ranch hand, truck driver, sailor, dogsled racer, teacher, field engineer, editor, soldier, actor, director, trapper, professional archer, migrant farm worker, singer


Hobbies: Sailing, collecting and riding Harley Davidsons; twice ran the Iditarod, the challenging 1,000 mile dogsled race across Alaska


Inspiration for writing: After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--Gary was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.


From the Hardcover edition.

Praise | Awards

Praise

"Paulsen crafts a companion/sequel to Hatchet containing many of its same pleasures...Read together, the two books make his finest tale of survival yet."
--Kirkus Review, Pointer

"Paulsen at his best."
--Booklist

"Breathtaking...mesmerizing."
--School Library Journal


From the Paperback edition.

Awards

WINNER 1999 Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award
WINNER 1997 ALA Quick Pick for Young Adult Reluctant Readers
WINNER 1998 Arkansas Charlie May Simon Award
NOMINEE 1997 Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award
NOMINEE 1998 Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award
WINNER 1998 Iowa Children's Choice Award
WINNER 1998 Massachusetts Children's Book Master List
WINNER 1999 Wisconsin Golden Archer Book Award
WINNER 1999 New Jersey Garden State Children's Book Award
WINNER Parenting Magazine Best Book of the Year
Teachers Guide

Teacher's Guide



ABOUT THIS BOOK

In Hatchet, 13-year-old Brian Robeson learned to survive alone in the Canadian wilderness, armed only with his hatchet. He was rescued at the end of the summer. Brian's Winter begins where Hatchet might have ended: Brian is not rescued, but must build on his survival skills to face his deadliest enemy--a northern winter.
The following books are also discussed in this guide:
The River
In The River, Brian is asked to return to the woods to teach Derek, a government psychologist, survival techniques. But when Derek is struck by lightning, Brian's survival skills are further tested as he must find a way to get the seriously injured Derek out of the woods.
Brian's Return
And finally, Brian, now in high school, faces one of the most difficult challenges of his life in Brian's Return. After seeing a counselor, Brian learns what he has known in his heart for a long time: his life has changed forever, and he belongs in the woods.
Paulsen's companion novels masterfully explore how a boy's determination and resourcefulness help him to survive and connect with nature in a way he didn't know was possible.

TEACHING IDEAS

In the Classroom


Brian's Return, the final companion novel to the Newbery Honor-winning Hatchet, takes young readers on another exciting adventure to the north woods with Brian Robeson. As in Hatchet, The River, and Brian's Winter, Paulsen creates in Brian's Return a story that is ideal for integrating into the curriculum as well as for classroom read-aloud.
This guide includes a variety of activities for The River, Brian's Winter, and Brian's Return. The themes of survival, nature, making choices, and self-discovery can be explored in the classroom. Teachers may want to divide the class into smaller groups, each reading one of the books, to allow for more complete discussion of the activities included here.

We hope you find this guide useful in introducing your class to Gary Paulsen's award-winning adventure tales.
We hope you find this guide useful in introducing your class to Gary Paulsen's two award-winning adventure tales.

Pre-Reading Activity

In Brian's Winter, The River, and Hatchet, Brian Robeson must survive in the northern woods. His most important resource is his own ingenuity. Divide the class into small groups and have them list items they think are necessary to include in a survival pack. Then challenge each group to decide which five items on their list are the most important. Ask each group to share and support their decision.

Ask students to discuss how surviving in the wilderness for a long period of time might change a person's life. Tell the class that in Brian's Return, Brian Robeson cannot adjust to ordinary life and feels that the only way he can be happy is to return to the wilderness. Divide the class into small groups and ask them to brainstorm the many reasons why it might be difficult for Brian to live the life of a typical high-school student.

Thematic Connections

Survival -- In The River, when lightning strikes Derek, Brian must find a way to get out of the woods and find medical help for the unconscious man. Ask students to discuss the difficult task of dealing with Derek after the accident. How does the accident further challenge Brian's survival skills?

Ask students to compare and contrast the skills Brian used to survive the summer months in Hatchet with those he uses to survive in Brian's Winter. How does his knowledge of summer survival contribute to his ability to make it through the brutal winter?

Brian takes some camping gear when he returns to the woods in Brian's Return. Ask students to refer to the list of equipment (Ch. 9) that he chooses to take with him. Then, have them select the items that they feel are absolutely necessary for his survival. How is his return trip different from his other long adventures in the wilderness?

Appreciation of Nature -- While Brian must depend on nature for food and clothing, he also develops a keen appreciation for the wilderness and has great respect for the animals that inhabit the woods. Find evidence throughout the novels that Brian is a careful hunter and understands the concept of wildlife conservation.

Though Brian suffers greatly from loneliness and works hard to survive, he has mixed feelings about leaving the northern woods when he is finally rescued. He feels that the woods have become part of him. Ask students to write a feature article for a wildlife magazine that Brian might have written, describing his relationship with nature.

How does Brian's understanding and appreciation of nature contribute to his need to leave home and return to the wilderness in Brian's Return?

Making Choices -- In The River, one of the most difficult decisions that Brian must make is what to do with Derek after the accident. Should he leave him there and go for help? Should he put him on a raft and take him downriver?

Encourage students to discuss the pros and cons of Brian's choices. What are the many factors that Brian considers before making his decision? Ask students to find incidents in Brian's Winter where Brian is faced with making important decisions. How do his decisions impact his health and safety?

In Brian's Return, Brian tells his mother that he wants to return to the woods to visit the Smallhorns. At what point does Brian realize that he isn't going to the Smallhorns? Ask students to discuss what Brian means by "he would find them when it was time to find them" (p. 110). Encourage students to discuss whether Brian ever goes to them.

Self-Discovery -- After Brian's 54 days in the wilderness in Hatchet, his parents insist that he see a counselor. The counselor thinks that Brian is "mentally injured." Brian, however, feels that his time in the woods changed him in a more positive way. Ask students to discuss what Brian discovers about himself.

In The River, Brian says that he was "reborn in the woods" (p. 9). What does Brian mean?

How does his "rebirth" affect his relationships with his peers in Brian's Return? Why does Caleb, Brian's counselor, feel that Brian must return to the woods?

Interdisciplinary Connections

Science -- Brian learns a lot about animals and how they communicate. Encourage students to select one animal that Brian encounters in Brian's Return, The River, or Brian's Winter and research that animal's method of communication, how it marks its territory, and how it protects itself from predators.

Math -- During his time in the wilderness, Brian draws on various math skills to help himself survive. He has to calculate how many days his food will last, and he must estimate distances when he is hunting. Ask students to create a math problem based on a specific incident or situation in either The River or Brian's Winter.

Art -- In Brian's Winter, Brian takes charcoal from the fire to make sketches of the events of the day on his shelter wall. Invite students to select a favorite scene from either novel and sketch it on poster board. Display the drawings around the room and ask the students to place the scenes in sequential order. Then ask them to brainstorm an appropriate title for each sketch.

Social Studies -- Brian hunts with tools similar to those used by early hunters. How does Brian know which tools to use in specific hunting situations? Ask students to use the library to research ancient hunting methods. Have them construct a pictorial time line that traces the development of various hunting tools.

Language Arts -- Gary Paulsen uses imagery to appeal to all of the senses--sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Allow students to browse the books and find examples of such imagery. Ask them to use Paulsen's images to create similes.

Bring an assortment of hunting and fishing magazines to class for students to peruse. Ask them to write a short article for one of the magazines that Brian might write discussing his dislike of "professional fishermen" and "professional hunters."

Ask students to read The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare. Divide the class into groups and ask each to list the survival skills that Matt learns from the Native American boy who befriends him. Then, have them discuss the survival skills that Brian has learned alone. Which boy has the toughest time surviving in the wilderness? Brian writes his thoughts and feelings to Caleb, his counselor. Ask students to write a letter that Matt might write to his parents about his experiences in the wilderness. Encourage the students to share their letters.

Music -- In the Author's Note at the end of Brian's Return, Gary Paulsen writes that he is waiting out winter storms before he can set sail on his boat Felicity. During the rain, he listens to the music of Mozart. Ask students to find recordings that they think reflect Brian's connection with nature.

Exploring Beyond Brian's World

Conservation -- Numerous organizations in America are involved in game management. Have students find out the purpose of each of the following organizations: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, and Ducks Unlimited. Ask them to create a poster advertising one of these organizations.

Each state in the United States has game laws. Many states require a hunting and fishing license. Ask students to find out the laws regarding hunting and fishing in their state. Why is it important to have such laws?

Survival -- There are wilderness camps located throughout the nation to teach people survival skills. Encourage students to use the Internet to locate a wilderness camp in their state or region. What is the age range of the campers? What type of activities does the camp offer? How long is the camp in session? How much does it cost?

Students may also enjoy locating a camp in another part of the country. How does the locale of the camp affect the type of survival skills taught?

Vocabulary/Use of Language

The vocabulary in Brian's Winter is simple, but Paulsen does extraordinary things with language. Encourage students to notice his use of strong verbs to convey difficult tasks--"hefted the lance" (page 62). Ask them to locate other examples of strong verbs in the book and to use a thesaurus to identify appropriate word substitutions.

Words in Brian's Return may include portages (p. 108), feinted (p. 104), and castigating (p. 81).

FURTHER READING

The Haymeadow by Gary Paulsen[0-440-40923-3]
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford[0-440-41324-9]
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare[0-440-47900-2]
The Voyage of the Frog by Gary Paulsen[0-440-40364-2]


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