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Lost in the Barrens by Farley Mowat

Lost in the Barrens (1956)

by Farley Mowat

Other authors: Charles Geer (Illustrator)

Series: The Barrens (book 1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5201129,681 (4.11)66
  1. 10
    Strange Companion by Dayton O. Hyde (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: In this book, a boy is left stranded in the far north when the light plane he is traveling in crashes. The book tells of his survival and relationship with an abandoned whooping crane.
  2. 00
    The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence (WeeTurtle)
    WeeTurtle: Similar but different. Two boys stranded in summertime Alaska try and survive together until they are rescued, except in this case, they don't much like each other.
  3. 12
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Bcteagirl)
    Bcteagirl: Both are Canadian survival stories, involve animals, are dark at times but never depressing.

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» See also 66 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
read it with my sons, we all enjoyed it ( )
  frahealee | Dec 3, 2017 |
Of the 100 books on the list from CBC "100 Young Adult Books That Make You Proud to be Canadian" I have only read 8 so I thought I should try to remedy that. In my (partial) defence I will say that quite a few of the books on the list have been written since I could claim to be a Young Adult myself. However, this book was written in 1956 so I had lots of years to discover it but somehow it escaped my notice. Well, it's never too late.

Jamie Macnair comes to northern Manitoba to live with his uncle who is a trapper. A year after Jamie joins him his uncle and the chief from the neighbouring Cree nation have to make a long trip by canoe to The Pas to sell their furs. There is not enough room for Jamie in the canoe so he is left in the Cree settlement with the chief's family which includes Jamie's best friend, Awasin. A few weeks after the men leave a group of Chipeweyans who live further north come to ask for bullets as their people are starving. Denikazi, the Chipeweyan chief, wants to go north to meet the migration of caribou as they come down to the treeline where they winter. Awasin, as the chief's son agrees to give the bullets providing he can go to the Chipeweyan camp to verify the people are starving. Jamie is eager to accompany him on this adventure. When they arrive at the encampment they can see the truth of the story and they agree to hand over the ammunition. However, Denikazi wants Awasin and Jamie to accompany him on the hunt because they have much better rifles. The boys agree and set off with a small group to go further north into the barrens. Awasin and Jamie become separated from the others and are forced to spend the winter in this desolate area (which would be in Nunavut now). Their survival rests on their abilities, knowledge and skills.

Although this was written over 60 years ago it didn't seem all that dated. In the wilderness people who can hunt, fish and make clothing and shelter would use many of these same tactics today. And it is a rousing good adventure story. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jan 18, 2017 |
One of my all time favorite books. Written for young adults, it's the story of two boys--one white, one American Indian--who are stranded in the Northern wilderness of Canada and have to survive by their wits. Can't put it down storytelling, plain and simple. I've read it more times than I can count. Found this signed copy on Abe books and had to have it. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Feb 21, 2016 |
One of my all time favorite books. Written for young adults, it's the story of two boys--one white, one American Indian--who are stranded in the Northern wilderness of Canada and have to survive by their wits. Can't put it down storytelling, plain and simple. I checked this book out from a reading class in junior high, and gave it to my Mom, who had to read it in one night because it was due the next day. I've read it more times than I can count. Got this copy from my Uncle Steve and Aunt Maureen as a boy.. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Jan 24, 2015 |
Lost in the Barrens by Farley Mowat was a cracking adventure story of two boys, Jamie, a white boy who lives with his trapper uncle and his friend, Awasin a young Cree. They accidentally get left behind in the far north when their canoe gets wrecked and they are left for dead. Without their canoe and as it is late in the season and the boys know they cannot set out for home until they have stocked up with supplies and made clothing to suit the winter.

With only a small amount of gear, which luckily includes a hunting rifle, they are able to obtain meat from the migrating caribou. After some exploring, they discover a hidden valley that has trees and they are able to fashion together a dwelling place that will withstand the coming blizzards. They are doing quite well for themselves but around Christmas time, overcome with homesickness and deceived by the mild weather they decide to set out for home. As they leave the shelter of their valley and head out across the open tundra, they run into various perils and are finally saved by the one thing they fear the most, Eskimos.

Both the use of the word Eskimo and the decision that an ancient grave belongs to a viking due to the horned helmet it contained tended to date the book, but overall this is a great adventure story that I would recommend to children from age 10 and up. How I missed reading this Canadian classic tale in my school days absolutely stumps me. Anyone who enjoys survival books is sure to love this tale of ingenuity and cooperation. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Sep 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Farley Mowatprimary authorall editionscalculated
Geer, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For Robert Alexander Mowat
who will probably try to be one

For Murray Biloki
who would make a good one

For Jack Mowat
who is a real Indian already
First words
The month of June was growing old.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Lost in the Barrens also issued as Two Against the North
Publisher's editors
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Original language
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553275259, Mass Market Paperback)

Awasin and Jamie, brothers in courage, meet a challenge many mountain men could not endure.  When their canoe is destroyed by the fury of the rapids, they must face the wilderness with no food and no hope of rescue.  To survive, they build an igloo, battle a towering grizzly bear, track several wolves, slaughter caribou for food and clothing.  Two lost huskies they tame bring companionship--and maybe a way home from their dangerous adventure.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:11 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A story which tells how the small animals who live on Rabbit Hill are affected by the new owners who move into the big house and plant a garden.

» see all 3 descriptions

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