Brian’s Return

ISBN: 0385325002
ISBN 13: 9780385325004
By: Gary Paulsen

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Adventure Childrens Favorites Fiction Realistic Fiction Series Survival To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

As millions of readers of Hatchet, The River, and Brian's Winter know, Brian Robeson survived alone in the wilderness by finding solutions to extraordinary challenges. But now that's he's back in civilization, he can't find a way to make sense of high school life. He feels disconnected, more isolated than he did alone in the North. The only answer is to return-to "go back in"-for only in the wilderness can Brian discover his true path in life, and where he belongs.From the Paperback edition.

Reader's Thoughts

Drew Graham

Two years after the events of Hatchet , Brian's Winter and The River , Brian is finding it difficult to adjust back to "normal" life. He's restless and discontented, he doesn't get along with his classmates, he doesn't enjoy school, and he can't stand the noise and mess and distraction of civilization. After a violent altercation with another kid from school, he meets with a counselor who is fascinated by his history and experiences, and encourages him to return to the wild to find whatever it is he's looking for.I was just a little confused at the start of this book because I didn't know if I should expect it to pick up where the second Brian book left off, or the third. Apparently, it takes place after the events of BOTH previous sequels, but in backwards order... Anyway, this all happened after the crash, the winter, and the return with Derek. It was the shortest book of the series so far, which is a surprise, but turned out to be a pretty nice one. While the first book was great, the second was good, and the third was okay, this one was pretty so-so. The writing was still nice, and it's always good to check in with Brian, but the whole thing read like a detailed list of events. There wasn't much story or plot, just a bunch of painfully laid out things that happened:Then Brian caught a fish with a hook and a line and no bait. Then he cut it open and all the guts fell out. Then he rubbed the scales off with his knife and they all fell to the ground. Then he put it in a pot to boil. He put in about a teaspoon of salt. He liked salt. Then he put some rice in the other pot to cook. The fish would cook in fifteen minutes. The rice would cook in twenty minutes. He looked at the water. He looked at the sky. He looked at the ground. He scratched his rear.... etc. etc. In fact, one chapter (the longest, if I recall) literally was basically a shopping list of all the many supplies he packed and his commentary on them. I guess some people might be interested in the minutiae of wilderness living, but Brian's story so far has been so compelling, it's a bummer that it turned into this boring travelogue. Also, this is the first time that I've felt the author had a chip on his shoulder about the civilized world. I understand that Brian went through a serious ordeal, and that changed him forever, but as far as he's presented in this book, he actually went insane, saw a therapist, and decided that he had to live as a hermit for the foreseeable future lest he should attack another human (thinking it was a bear) again. It also didn't help that two-thirds into the book Brian still hadn't returned, leaving the ending completely open and unfinished. I doubt it would have been published if Paulsen hadn't already had great success with his previous books. Paulsen (also probably crazy) even went out of his way in the Author's Note to say that this was the "final book about Brian" (wups: Brian's Hunt ). I liked Caleb, but he was so underused that he seemed hardly necessary. I would have liked to know more about Brian's letters to him too. The novelty is wearing off by this point, and a slight agenda is starting to surface. The woods are still beautiful and sometimes dangerous, and the human spirit is strong and epic and all, but there should be more to the story by now, if we're going to have four whole books about it.As a side note, and I have no idea why this is, I always expect these books to be in first-person every time I sit down to read, and I have to reorient myself to the fact that I'm not actually in Brian's head. Weird.Sorry Brian, this wasn't your finest hour. You went insane and had to return to the woods to survive. There are more kinds of survival than that in the wilderness. The love song to the woods is starting to get old. I think Paulsen should have left this as a trilogy. Still, whatever flaws this book has, it had my favorite line from the entire series so far. In what other book would you find the sentence, "Hello to you too, he peed"? No other, I say.

Lee Koehler

I read the book Brian Return and I had made a strong connection with it. Like how it seems like you don’t fit into school and the only thing you can fit into is the wilderness. It fells like home sometimes and you never want to leave. This book has a couple awards like a winner 2000 of the ALA Quick Pick for Young Adult Reluctant Readers, winner 2001 of the Arkansas Charlie May Simon Children’s Book Award, and nominee 2000 of the Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award.Brian realized slowly that he was not fitting in with society very well two years after his return to it. He thinks a lot about the wilderness. When a mean-spirited peer tries to slam a door into Brian, another student gets the brunt of the push. When the bully took a swing at Brian, his old reactions of survival kicked in and a severe beating ensued—beyond what is acceptable for a teen brawl. He starts seeing a counselor who helps him see that he must go back to the woods to find out for sure where his place in life is to be found.I have one more summary I want to say is that Brian's Return is a very adventures book that tells of a boy who born for the wilderness. Brian is the ultimate survivor and loves the woods, but can not stay away from them. In the book Brian's Return Brian has been living in civilization, but never seems to fit in. Brian's Return is a book following the book Brian's winter where he had spent 54 days in the woods just about starving to death. During those 54 days Brian has seemed to have created some sort of attachment with nature.I have chosen this book to read for my book report because I got grabbed in as a reader by the summary. I had started to read the book I got more and more interested. Finally after reading the book I had wished the book kept on going and going forever because I can relate to the fascination and love for nature. If you have the same interest as me this is the book for you.

Antonio Oreamuno

Time read 2 30 minbook Brians Returnauthor Gary Pulsen I read that Brian was acussed of hitting a kid because Sam had pushed him. When Sam pushed him he stangely transported to the woods where he lived. In the woods there was a crazy deer trying to attack him. So Brian defended himself as he remembered. But when he was back in the resturant he noticed that Sam was all beat up and bleeding. So the owner of the resturant called the police and hey got there really quick. When they got there they got Brian. They were trying to help Sam but he was so hurt they had to take him to the hospital. They took Brian to his house. When he arrived his mother was really freaked out because the policemen were the ones that took Brian he so they were shure that something bad had happened. When his mother finished talking to the policeman she went to talk with Brian. Brian explained everything that had happened and she was very conffused. After what happened Brian was send to talk with a sicologist. He wasnt relly happy about this but he had to do it. The police had made him do it.Time 2 30 minBrians ReturnGary Pulsen I read that the next day he woked up early. He had his first appointment in the sicologist. He wasnt relly happy. When he got he waited anxiously with his mother. When they called his name he went inside the room and his mother waited behind. He sat and say a thin man in front of his. The thin man introduced himself. His name was Caleb. He asked brian what had happened, and Brian explained everything in detail. When he was done he realised that Caleb was very intrigated. Then by the way that Caleb tried to look for him he realied that Caleb was blind. After the story Caleb said that he wanted him to tell him about his experience living in the woods. He told Brian that he could imagine so good what happened because the way that he discribed it. So Brian told him more. At the end both had had a great afternoon and agreed to meet again next week.


** spoiler alert ** Brian's return is about a boy named Brian who is coming back from the wild and is out in the city and experiences a complete different lifestyle that he is not fit for. He gets in a fight and then is issued to a psychologist. After this he make an excuse to go to visit the Smallhorn family but instead goes into the woods. Lots of things happen while he is there such as, a deer getting in his canoe, wolves and bears coming over to his camp and even gets an arrow in his leg. He makes a list consisting of a canoe, straight bow, knife, hatchet, fishing gear, books, and other miscellaneous objects. Later he meets a man named billy who seems to have had a similar life to Brian. Billy gives him medicine that is only a crow feather tied on a rawhide loop. This medicine protects him from dear attacks and he decide to follow the medicine. I would recommend this book to a friend but only for a short adventure that must be completed by reading the rest of Gary Paulsen's books.

Austin Howe

After the long journey of survial in the candian forest Brian had yet had to go through the return again. He got in fihgts at school and he justed needed to go back to the wild were he belongs. HE had to survive in the wild but this time he had a few items a gun, and some other survial stuff. He also had a transmitting radio so if he ever got into a bad situation he could call for help. He also had to fight a off a bear. He thought about shooting the bear but he decided against it but it then ran away. Overall i liked this book. I also have read this whole series and i have liked them all it was really good abd it always kept you wanting to read more and more. My favorite in the whole serie was hachet. It was the first book and it so so interesting. I could of never put down the book i just wanted to kept reading and reading. I also thought it had the best hook too.

Dichotomy Girl

After enjoying both Hatchet and Brian's Winter, I decided to go ahead and read this book as well. An interesting follow up to Hatchet, this book explores what it's like for Brian to try to reintegrate to life outside the wild, and his longing to return to the woods.

Muhammad Salman

Brian is back in Brian's Return and he is much used to the wilderness and north and does not understand much about the city or with a lot of people. He will have a hard time blending in with others because he is used to the norther aspect of life, near the woods and more isolation. I can relate to this because I have been used to things before and when I tried new things, it became hard for me to try new things. Gary Paulsen touches the reader and grabs their attention with an important theme. The search for one's inner-self is widely spread throughout the whole book. It is the wilderness, the isolation that brings Brian his true inner-self. So, we know already that Brian likes to think in the woods and that is what Brian truly does best. We could also analyze that survival in the wilderness is Brian's game, and the wilderness is where Brian can think about his future and how he wants to live.

Will Thompson

Brian's return was about how Brian, the main character, copes after being in the Woods. I think this book is good because it seems really realistic and kind of reflects the life of the author. It describes how Brian goes to counseling to handle the stress he feels, and because he got into a fight with another boy. It describes how Brian goes back to the Northern Canadian Pine woods, and how he prepares. In the book Brian describes his experiences and how he felt through out everything. I really connected to this book because some friends of mine and I always pretended that we would be lost or out in the wild and would half to survive and I always felt more at home then than I did at playing sports or doing "fun" stuff with other kids. It always seemed to be able to get out of the difficulties of the world and to be able to experience the real problems our great great ancestors like Brian does in the books.


As readers of "Hatchet," "The River," and "Brian's Winter" know, thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson survived in the Canadian wilderness for months after his plane crashed in the woods. Now he's back in civilization, but things just don't feel right. He finds that modern society overwhelms and overstimulates him now. Before long, he's yearning for the forest. At the advice of his therapist--a blind man who is the one person who understands Brian's "homesickness"--Brian heads back out for a canoe trip that will bring him to the middle-of-nowhere home of the family who found him after his first ordeal. There is something about Gary Paulsen's writing. I can't put my finger on's simple, but it really brings things to life. You can tell that he truly loves and understands nature. I loved "Hatchet" and all its sequels, but I'd often wondered what it was like for Brian after he came back into civilization. This story answers that question. However, I wish it went into more detail. I wanted to know more about what happened to Brian when he got home, and also about his trip. The book is just too short. Right when it's starting to get into things, it's over. Still, it's another fine piece of writing by Mr. Paulsen.

Matthew M

Genre: Adventure Pages: 144Brief summary: It is about a kid named Brian and he comes back from his trip from the wilderness. He comes back and he goes to school but he is not a normal kid he went to the wild stayed there he knows what is like. So he was interviewed a while back when he came home but a couple years passed by and this girl wanted to get to know him better. So they go somewhere to eat but when they do this football player really likes the girl that Brian was with so he gets mad and right when the walk out he opens the door really hard and hits the girl he likes right in the nose and she fell down. Then he started attacking Brian and then Brian had to use self defense. I don't want to give you to much information about this book so you have to read it to find out the rest.Comments: I think that this a great adventure book and that it is a good book for a 7th grader to read. If you like adventure books a lot then I think that you should read this book. But their are a lot more interesting things that happen later in the book but you just have to read it and see if you like it!


After reading Brian's Winter, this sequel felt too short yet again. Brian’s Return is a continuation of The River – after Brian returns home, he is once again uncomfortable in his old environment. He loses interest in hanging out with his friends and watching TV, and ends up accidentally reverting back to wilderness mode in public after being in a “threatening” situation. After being forced go to counseling sessions, Brian realizes that he has to go back to the wilderness. No surprises in Brian’s Return, just a sense of rightness after Brian returns to the place where he feels he belongs. But I wanted more! I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of reading about Brian, and I’m so sad that there’s only one more book left in the series. Paper Breathers (Book Reviews & Discussions)


Brian's Return is the second installment of the Brian series. Its genre type is action adventure because its action packed all the way through. It all starts out with Brian getting into a fight with a jock and Brian turns survival mode. So he goes to a counselor named Caleb and he tells Brian he can go back to the wildnerness. In the wild he has to record what he sees for Caleb because Caleb is blind. That's my review for Brian's Return and I thought it was an enjoyable experience to read.


Forced.When an author has to write that the main character has to go back into the woods, well the shark has been jumped.This is not a story . . . it's merely words about a familiar character. Each chapter is a vignette. Brian is back in nature, off of a schedule because he is an animal-boy. Okay . . .Billy shows up out of nowhere. This is Paulsen attempting to impart pithiness upon the reader.Again, I like Brian and I enjoy the survival aspects of the book. It's the storytelling that suffers here. He beats up a boy, has a blind psychologist who doesn't charge him, and takes two volumes of Shakespeare into the woods as part of his 200# gear, not including his kevlar canoe.I picked this book up as a freebie via Scholastic. I finally got around to reading it. Of course, I had to bang out books #2 and #3 first. This series is left best after reading only Hatchet.

Dan Tews

I really enjoyed ¨Brianś Return¨ because I enjoy reading about books written about nature. This book is about a boy named Brian who was lost in the wilderness after a plane crash. He wants to go back to where he was found, because he does not like being in civilization. He can't stand it, because he was in the wilderness for so long, he found it peaceful. In this book the main character name is Brian. He really likes the wilderness, because it is peaceful to him. He does not like civilization, because there is too much noise and commotion. He tried going to high school and tried to go back to a normal life, but he always thought of going back to the wilderness to live. He had attended a high school in Minnesota, but got expelled, because he had gotten into a fight while at school. The book starts off in a fairly large town in Minnesota, then goes into Canadian in the wilderness. It is about August when Brian leaves for his trip and gets into the Canadian wilderness. Brian then goes to the camp where he was found when he was stranded in the wilderness for a year. The name of the camp is Smallhorn. It is a group of people living in the wilderness surviving off of trapping and other resources. There is a supplies plane that comes twice a year to drop off supplies. The plane also drops off other goods for the camp. This is the plane that had gotten Brian after he was found by the Smallhorn people. The theme of this story is that you can do anything that you put your mind to. What the author means is that if you do not think you can do something, or someone tells you that you can not do something, if you put your mind to something you can do whatever you want to do. I recommend this book to anyone of any age that like to read about the outdoors. It´s a short book that will keep you interested and make you keep reading. This book is a good book to read if you have down time, or if it is not very nice outside and there is nothing for you to do. This book is an easy read and will always keep you wondering about what is going to happen next.


It is 3am and I am determined to finish this book. It is captivating and gives you that hunger to see what will happen next. Brian is so happy to be back in the woods as he learns to expect the worst, no matter what. This book isn't as specific as Hatchet in his ordeals, but it's interesting non-the-less. I was quite impressed with how the author came to write these books--you should follow your heart and live each day to its highest peak.

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