Gary Paulsen

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Brian Robeson

Brian Robeson, the protagonist of the novel, is a thirteen-year-old boy from the New York City area. At the start of the novel, Brian is reeling at the news that his mother and father are… read analysis of Brian Robeson


The pilot is an unnamed man in his mid-forties who flies Brian in a small plane to see his father in Northern Canada. The pilot is brusque but kind, making little conversation with Brian but… read analysis of Pilot

Brian’s Mother

Brian’s mother lives in the New York City area and works in real estate. She described mostly in terms of her divorce from Brian’s father. She has an affair with another man and… read analysis of Brian’s Mother

Brian’s Father

After divorcing from Brian’s mother, Brian’s father moves to Northern Canada to pursue his career as a mechanical engineer. Brian’s father is not described in detail, but Brian feels sympathetic toward him because… read analysis of Brian’s Father


Perpich is one of Brian’s former English teachers. He teaches Brian the importance of thinking positively and valuing oneself, lessons that turn out to be crucial for Brian’s survival in the wilderness. Brian often… read analysis of Perpich
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Terry is one of Brian’s friends from school. Terry is not described in detail, but he is present in Brian’s memory of discovering his mother’s affair (“The Secret”), and Brian thinks of him… read analysis of Terry