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Brian's Saga #2: The River
Brian's Saga Series Book #2 of 5
Author: Gary Paulsen
|Published on May 1, 1991|
|Age Group: 12 - 17 years|
|Reading Level: ||AR: 5.5 (4.0 Points, Quiz #7023)|
Lexile® measure: 960
Because of his success surviving alone in the wilderness for fifty-four days, fifteen-year-old Brian, profoundly changed by his time in the wild, is asked to undergo a similar experience to help scientists learn more about the psychology of survival.
Brian opened the door and stood back. There were three men, all in dark suits, standing on the front porch. They were large but not fat, well built, with bodies in decent shape. One of them was slightly thinner than the other two.
Brian nodded. "Yes."
The thin man smiled and stepped forward and held out his hand. "I'm Derek Holtzer. These other two are Bill Mannerly and Erik Ballard. Can we come in?"
Brian held the door open to let them come in. "Mother isn't home right now...."
"It's you we want to see." Derek stopped just in the entryway and the other two did the same. "Of course, we'll wish to speak to your mother and father as well, but we came to see you. Didn't you get a call about us?"
Brian shook his head. "I don't think so. I mean, I know I didn't, but I don't think Mother did either. She would have said something."
"How about your father?"
"He doesn't live here. My parents are divorced."
"Oh. Sorry." Derek truly looked embarrassed. "I didn't know."
"It happens." Brian shrugged, but it was still new enough, just over a year and a half, to feel painful. He mentally pushed it away and had a sudden thought of his own foolishness. Three men he did not know were in the house. They did not look threatening, but you never knew.
"What can I do for you?"
"We want you to do it again."
These words, spoken to Brian Robeson, will change his life. Two years earlier, Brian was stranded alone in the wilderness for fifty-four days with nothing but a small hatchet. Yet he survived. Now the government wants him to do it again - to go back into the wilderness so that astronauts and the military can learn the survival techniques that kept Brian alive.
This time he won't be alone: Derek Holtzer, a government psychologist, will accompany him to observe and take notes. But during a freak storm, Derek is hit by lightning and falls into a coma. Their radio transmitter is dead. Brian is afraid that Derek will die of dehydration unless he can get him to a doctor. His only hope is to build a raft and try to transport Derek a hundred miles down the river to a trading post - if the map he has is accurate.
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