This stunning New York Times Bestseller from the survival story master, set along a rugged coastline centuries ago, does for the ocean what Hatchet does for the woods, as it relates the story of a young person’s battle to stay alive against the odds, where the high seas meet a coastal wilderness.
When a deadly plague reaches the small fish camp where he lives, an orphan named Leif is forced to take to the water in a cedar canoe. He flees northward, following a wild, fjord-riven shore, navigating from one danger to the next, unsure of his destination. Yet the deeper into his journey he paddles, the closer he comes to his truest self as he connects to “the heartbeat of the ocean . . . the pulse of the sea.” With hints of Nordic mythology and an irresistible narrative pull, Northwind is Gary Paulsen at his captivating, adventuresome best.
Inspired by the late Paulsen's lifelong love of the sea and his own journey up the Pacific coast, this captivating saga of survival and self-discovery, his final novel, centers a steadfast and levelheaded child in an apparently Nordic archipelago landscape. After growing up on fishing boats, orphan Leif is abandoned at a fish camp; when the camp's men become infected with cholera, its leader instructs the 12-year-old to head north to safety in a canoe. Finding himself alone with few supplies in early summer, Leif struggles to survive along shorelines and inlets that teem with bears and whales, all described with Paulsen's characteristic attention to detail. As the solitary child travels via canoe, carving his experiences into a piece of wood and dreaming of a mother he never met, he realizes that though "all his life... had not been a safe place," the vast world is his to explore. Spare, survival-oriented prose keeps the reader immersed in scenes difficult and wondrous, offering a glimpse of the sheer awesomeness of nature, showcasing the beauty of the sea and its inhabitants, and regaling readers with a timeless and irresistible adventure that has resilience at its heart. Ages 10 14.
This book was a pleasure to read, the main character has many experiences that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I finished this book almost 2 years ago, and I still think about it to this day because of how great it was. Definitely a recommended read.