Author: Gary Paulsen
This stunning novel 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. But 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.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
In The News
“A voyage both singular and universal, marked by sharply felt risks and rewards and deep waters beneath.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Leif joins the ranks of many other fictional adolescents (including previous Paulsen characters) who test their mettle against nature. Unlike other young heroes, however, Leif doesn’t fight against the elements but observes and learns from them, slowly recognizing himself as one small bit of nature with the will to live another day. Precise in episodic details but contemplative in tone.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books