By Gary Paulsen

Poster by Samuel Harvey


Brian has become quite settled in his little campsite. He has enough food, and is in no danger of starving. Suddenly, while washing his face, he is attacked by a wild moose. He is slightly injured, and goes back to his shelter to recuperate. Later that night, he hears a low roar in the distance. The tornado quickly approaches, and tears his shelter apart. His tools are broken and scattered.

Book Summary

Thirteen year old Brian Robeson is flying from New York City, where his mother lives, to the north woods of Canada to visit his father. His parents have recently divorced, and the secret of his mother's affair weighs heavily on him. During the flight, the pilot suffers a heart attack, and dies. The plane ends up far off course, and eventually runs out of fuel. It crashes into a lake, and Brian just barely makes it out.

He has little food, and must learn to survive in his own habitat. He creates a small shelter underneath an outcropping. He manages to survive, but the loneliness gets overwhelming. After a plane flies extremely near his shelter, yet fails to spot him, he attempts to commit suicide. After he fails, he awakes in disgust of "the old Brian", and vows to stay alive. A few months passes by, and he has himself a good supply of food, and is well set off. Eventually, a tornado passes by, and adjusts the plane so that the tail sticks out of the water. Brian makes a raft, and recovers the survival pack from the plane. He turns on the emergency transponder, and is rescued.

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