Brian’s Return

ISBN: 0385325002
ISBN 13: 9780385325004
By: Gary Paulsen

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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


Brian's Return By Gary Paulen. It is the third book written by Paulsen about a boy named Brian who learned how to survive in the wild after his plane crashed. This book begins two years after he was rescued. The time period is around the 1980's. The main character is a sixteen year old boy named Brian. He lives in the city with his mom. After being alone in the wilderness for so long, he is finding it difficult to be back home in the city and around people. When Brian beats up another student who had attacked him first, heis sent to a counselor who helped him realize he needed to go back into the wilderness to find out who he is and where he belongs. Brian collect things he will need for his trip and when school ends for the year he heads back to the lakes and woods to visit the family that saved him. The book ends with Brian deciding to explore the wilderness on his own for awhile without having any kind of timetable. He wouldn't worry about when he visited the family he was going to see or when he would return to civilization. He was happy just being on his own in the woods. This Was a really good book if you have read all of the others also.

Josh Reavis

I Enjoyed this part of the saga as well. Brian is a junior in high school and is really different from everybody else. He gets picked on and a big football player tried to beat him up but Brian beat him up instead because of self-defense. He tells his counselor that he belongs back at that lake where he crashed. When he goes back he is really excited and never wants to leave. He finds himself again, and his knowledge on survival come back to him. He feels like he is home at last. I would recommend this book to people who have read the earlier books and understands what is going on. It is still a great book on survival, adventure, and suspense. I am glad I took the time to read these.


"Once you have the woods in you, you can never get it out." This is what Brian says to his counselor while telling him about his time surviving in the wilderness. Brian is now in high school and living a normal life. It's been a year or two since the plane crash which was in the book Hatchet. Everyday Brian wishes he was where he belonged, the woods. At school Brian has been struggling to keep up, his grades are poor and he is constantly getting into fights. When school comes to an end Brian decides to go back to Canada.

Garrett Dunn

This book is a sequel to the book hatchet. In this book, the main character is brian. recently he was stranded in the woods after a plane crash. in the months he was there he became almost like part of the woods. when he finally came back he didnt like everything how it was back at home. people made him mad and it wasnt the same. he beat up a guy almost just out of instict. he talked to a therapist for a little while,and decided to go back to the woods. thats why its called brians return. Brian, in this book, is a character that i really like, because he kind of reminds me of myself. i love to be outdoors like he does. i love the ending of this book as well. brian is a high school kid i beieve 16 years old, and he finds peace in the outdoors and has a love for being out in the wilderness after what happened. he is a very brave and tough character. As i was reading the book i got very good visualations of where he was and what he was doing. I think Gaary Paulsen did a great job writing this book, and I really do like this book and i enjoyed reading it. I would definately reccomend this book to any outdoorsman or anyone who just loves a good book.


In Brian's Return it's all about him trying to find himself. He is having a really hard time at school and he says it bores him. So Brian decides to return to the wilderness. Before he does that he get into a fight with a bully and Brian beat him up so much that he goes to the hospital. Although Brian was sent to a counselor for help even thought nothing we wrong with him. His counselor was a man named Caleb who he becomes good friends with. Caleb was blind and wanted to know stories about the wilderness, so Brian told him stories. As Brian was getting ready to go he visited Caleb one more time and Caleb asked him if he could write to him, and Brian agreed. Brian set of in a brush plane, his idea was to get to the smallhorns (which is a family mentioned in The Hachet). He was going to start about 200 miles away for the Smallhorns and canoe the rest of the way. Will Brian find what he is looking for in the woods? Read this great book to find out.


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.

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!


I think that much of what makes Brian Robeson such a compelling figure is the way that his character reflects the life and philosophy of author Gary Paulsen. Brian is an intensely autobiographical creation, and the spirit of personal independence and craving for nothing more than to just be a part of the wilderness—a craving that had its origin in the first book of his adventures, Hatchet—is clearly the heartfelt desire of Gary Paulsen played out on the page, in a situation that he has imagined into being so that he can vicariously live out his own dreams of life in the wild through Brian's unique odyssey. From what I can tell, Brian's Return is a sequel to the storyline as it runs through The River, rather than through the alternate sequel, Brian's Winter. It's not easy to tell for sure, but references in Brian's Return indicate that Brian had returned once before to the wilderness spot where it had all started with his plane crash, rather than that he had spent the winter out there alone and had learned to survive the experience of the ungodly cold, as was the case in Brian's Winter. Then again, maybe there's a way to reconcile the story so that the reader can choose to go with either sequel as the basis for Brian's Return. Is it possible that the events recorded in Brian's Winter could have actually occurred before those of The River, so that the first sequel could be brought into accord with either original storyline? Readers who have gone through all of the books about Brian will wonder about these things, and there's a lot of information to pay attention to in order to be able to mentally set it all right. It's just not always easy to readjust to regular life after a shakeup like the one that hit Brian when the small plane he was in crashed and he became stranded on his own in the woods for so many weeks, with nothing to help him survive but a rudimentary hatchet and his own wits. Brian is back home, now, but though he has left the woods behind, the woods haven't returned the favor; he has been changed by the harrowing trials of his ordeal into a different person, and trying to get along in the "real world" as if nothing essential has changed proves to be an impossibility. After crossing a line with a violent act (albeit in self-defense) against a high school peer, Brian goes to see a counselor to help him decide what his next move should be. Caleb, a tall man built like a linebacker but with the thoughtful consideration of a philosopher, coaxes Brian to speak about what it was like living by himself in the wilderness. Having gone blind due to a freak illness several years back, Caleb can imagine the glorious outdoor settings that Brian describes with a rich intensity that eludes most other people, and the incredible tales that Brian tells open a window through which Caleb can once again experience the visual majesty of the world around himself. Caleb soon realizes that there's nothing wrong with Brian; he simply needs the wilderness, and there's nothing that can be done to take that desire out of him now that he's experienced its wonder and lived to want more of it. With the encouragement and support of Caleb, Brian convinces his mother to let him go back again to the place where he feels he first came to understand his own soul, and live there indefinitely. The trip is not an impromptu one this time around, though, and Brian plans and plots carefully to bring along the exact kinds of equipment that he will need to subsist in the wilderness for a long time. He is going back to where it all started, and of his own volition, but this time Brian will have the tools at his disposal to have a realistic shot at dealing with whatever surprises nature has in store for him. There is an adjustment period even for an experienced woodsman like Brian, but the real test of his ability to reassimilate to the dangerous outdoors will come when he's faced with a threat so raw and unpredictable that his response could never be tested ahead of time. Only if Brian can face down the greatest terrors of nature will he have proven his ability to become part of that nature and rise above its ever-present perils as a hunter, not becoming one of the unfortunate hunted. Will he be able to make it by himself in a world where eat or be eaten reigns as the supreme law of the land? I sort of found myself wishing that this book were longer, and covered more of what happened after Brian made his decision to return to the wilderness that had so claimed his heart and soul. Brian's Return is a very short book, and leaves off not far into Brian's latest adventure. The story ends before his time back in the wild really has progressed far at all, and I'm sure that it left readers with a strong desire for a fifth book, a desire that would eventually be satiated with the publication of Brian's Hunt. All in all, I think that Brian's Return is a good wilderness adventure story, with even more to offer from a nonfiction standpoint of describing survival techniques and tips than the previous three Brian Robeson novels, and I believe that anyone who enjoyed those first three will definitely want to read this one. I would give two and a half stars to Brian's Return.

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.

Austin Marker

In the book Brian's Return there is one main character who is Brian. Brian hasn't felt the same sense he came back from the woods everything is different part of him was left back in the woods and he is going to return back retrieve it. At school Brian doesn't feel right Brian is a junior in high school many people think he is weird because he acts different. Brian has some enemy's in school one is a big football player who gets in a fight with Brian which Brian beat him up in self defense. Brian has to see a councilor for doing that which tells him he needs to return to the woods because that is were he belongs. Brian does end up returning to the woods he is very prepared this time on like last time. Brian doesn't not plan on returning he feels like the woods is were he belongs and that is were he stays. During the book Brian is going to return to were he lived when he got in the plane crash. It is quite a trip for him he enjoyed every bit of it. I would recommend this book to anyone who is ages 12-17 they would really enjoy this book if they like the outdoors. The book is very easy to understand and you can imagine all of the things he tells in the book Brian's return. The book is very easy to fallow along to and is very understandable so if you are not a strong reader like me this book will be perfect for you.


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.


** 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.

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.

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.


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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