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Far North by Will Hobbs

Far North (1996)

by Will Hobbs

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With a similar setting as the harsh Alaskan winters of Revolver, Far North also uses this setting to challenge the main characters in surviving.
  Melina_Hiatt_Easter | Jul 16, 2015 |
Gabe leaves his grandparents and a promising high school football career in Texas to be near his father in the Northwest Territories. His boarding school roommate, Raymond, is from a Native American village. The two share an easy acquaintanceship before a fateful plane ride that leaves them stranded in the wilderness with a Dene elder who does not speak English. Some summaries and reviews of the book make much of the clashing cultures, while, really, it seems that all involved are respectful of each other. Both boys, but especially Raymond, receive a bush education from the elder, who gets to live some of his last wishes before a sudden death that leaves the boys on their own. There is lots of action for Hatchet fans and the characters are solidly drawn. Native American cultural and issues are looked at from the outside by our European American main character, who does not judge or appropriate them. Fiction that touches on these subjects is difficult to find, so keeping a copy in a library system is recommended. Still, the search for excellent fiction with Native American characters written by Native Americans should not end here. ( )
  MissyAnn | Feb 16, 2014 |
This was a great survival novel. I enjoyed the interplay of the characters, especially the Uncle. His efforts at communicating with the kids, who didn't speak his language were really good. The mix of adventure and character development was quite good.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys survival novels or novels about the north. ( )
  ShannaRedwind | Mar 31, 2013 |
This was a great adventure/survival story that fans of Hatchet should enjoy. ( )
  GirlsonFire | Mar 1, 2013 |
Reason for Reading: Several reasons: I read this aloud to my son. He really enjoyed our previous two Will Hobb's read alouds Jason's Gold and it's sequel Down the Yukon. He asked that I read him more by the author. I searched out titles and specifically choose this one for two reasons: 1) ds is very fond of both survival stories and any story that takes place at sea/on water (in this case an arctic river); 2) I have a geographical reading project going and as far as Canada goes I only have two provinces left and this would count as my North West Territories book.

We sat down to read this book expecting an exciting book and Will Hobbs once again delivers. We were both thoroughly glued to our seats during the reading of this book. Hobbs always takes time to introduce his characters and set his story properly before diving into the adventure so don't expect to hit the ground running. This is not how Hobbs writes. He is a wonderful writer, with a skilled pen at description of scenery and really giving one a sense of being exactly where he has planted his characters, in this case a very northern part of Canada in the North West Territories, close to the Yukon border, along the Nahanni River boarded by cliffs on both sides. Once the adventure starts, though, the excitement is non-stop and peril is around every corner. Hobbs deals with man vs nature in a realistic manner and man doesn't always win, he gets hurt and sometimes he dies. Chapters end in either cliffhangers or desperate measures making one sorry to leave off until next time. As I said we both really enjoyed this, I'd say I liked this best of the three we've read so far. ( )
  ElizaJane | Oct 15, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Jan Lieberman (Children's Literature)
As Gabe and Raymond are in danger of freezing to death, Ray recalls his mother saying, "Life is the greatest gift," which gives the boys greater resolve to survive. Roommates at a boarding school in Yellowknife, the boys come from totally different cultures: Ray is a native from a remote Dene village in Canada while Gabe is a Texan. On an ill-fated flight, the boys must depend on each other when their plane goes down in a remote area of the Northwest Territory. With them is Johnny, an old man from Ray's village, who teaches them more survival skills before he dies, but finally it is the boys who must help each other. Grand scenic descriptions plus suspense and dramatic action make this a good story of friendship and survival. 1997 (orig. 1996), Morrow, $15.00 and $4.50 Ages 10 to 14.

added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Jan Lieberman
Diane Tuccillo (VOYA, February 1997 (Vol. 19, No. 6))
Fifteen-year-old Texan Gabe Rogers decides to attend boarding school in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories so that he can be near his father, who is working at a diamond drilling project. When his roommate, Raymond Providence, a native from a remote Dene village, chooses to leave the boarding school and return home, Gabe is invited by his pilot buddy, Clint, to fly along. With them is Raymond's great-uncle, Johnny Raven, who has just been released from the hospital in Yellowknife and is also returning home to the village. Clint decides to take a detour up the Nahanni river to show his passengers the spectacular Virginia Falls, even though his radio is not functioning well enough to allow him to report his change in flight plans. When the engine dies after the plane lands on the river, everyone is nearly swept away by the strong current. The boys and Johnny Raven manage to get some supplies and themselves to the riverbank, but Clint is not so lucky. He and the plane are dragged over the falls. So begins a battle of survival for the wise elder and two resourceful teens, with the intense Arctic winter descending upon them. This classic Hobbs adventure, taking readers to a rugged, amazing wilderness few know. Characters are well drawn, and excitement and energy penetrate their entire trek from above Virginia Falls through the looming canyon of the almost-frozen Nahanni below. Smart and faulty choices are made the whole journey until the boys realize they must follow Johnny Raven's guidance if they are to make it back home. When Johnny Raven dies, the boys have learned so much from him they are able to continue their journey. Raymond is even able to recognize the spirit of the raven as their guide, reminiscent of Burr's cougar in Ardath Mayhar's Medicine Walk (Atheneum, 1985). Readers clamoring for more superior adventure like Gary Paulsen's Hatchet (Bradbury, 1987) will find their wish satisfied here. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 1996, Morrow, 226p., $15.00. Ages 11 to 18.

added by kthomp25 | editVOYA, Diane Tuccillo
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The first I ever heard of the Nahanni River and Deadmen Valley was from the bush pilot who met my flight at Forth Nelson, way up at the top of British Columbia.
The first thing you should know about the Northwest Territories is that it's big. It stretches from the Yukon practically to within spitting distance of Greenland. The N.W.T. Is twice as big as Alaska. … See if you can picture this: only sixty thousand people live in the entire N.W.T., and almost a third of them live in the city of Yellowknife.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380725363, Mass Market Paperback)

From the window of the small floatplane, fifteen-year-old Gabe Rogers is getting his first look at Canada's magnificent Northwest Territories with Raymond Providence, his roommate from boarding school. Below is the spectacular Nahanni River -- wall-to-wall whitewater racing between sheer cliffs and plunging over Virginia Falls. The pilot sets the plane down on the lake-like surface of the upper river for a closer look at the thundering falls. Suddenly the engine quits. The only sound is a dull roar downstream, as the Cessna drifts helplessly toward the falls . . .

With the brutal subarctic winter fast approaching, Gabe and Raymond soon find themselves stranded in Deadmen Valley. Trapped in a frozen world of moose, wolves, and bears, two boys from vastly different cultures come to depend on each other for their very survival.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:26 -0400)

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After the destruction of their floatplane, sixteen-year-old Gabe and his Dene friend, Raymond, struggle to survive a winter in the wilderness of the Northwest Territories.

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