Title: Far North
Author: Will Hobbs
First published January 1, 1996
304 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780060540968 (ISBN10: 0060540966)
“Mayday! Engine failure. Floating towards Virginia Falls.” A sightseeing trip turns into a fight for survival when the engine of their float plane fails.
Gabe, a high school student, along with his boarding school roommate Raymond, and Raymond’s great-uncle Johnny Raven, must brave the brutal sub-arctic winter. They face icy rapids and hunt for food to fend off starvation.
With their knowledge and courage tested, the three must rely on each other if they want to make it out alive. Will they be able to overcome the wilderness and make it back to civilization?
Find out in Will Hobbs’ Far North.
About the Author
Will Hobbs is a successful author who has written seventeen novels for upper elementary, middle school, and young adult readers, as well as two picture book stories. His novels have received critical acclaim, with seven of them, including Bearstone, Downriver, The Big Wander, Beardance, Far North, The Maze, and Jason’s Gold, being named Best Books for Young Adults by the American Library Association.
The ALA also recognized Far North and Downriver as two of the 100 Best Young Adult Books of the Twentieth Century. In 1998, Ghost Canoe received the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Young Adult Mystery.
Hobbs’ outdoor stories are popular among both boys and girls, taking readers on journeys to explore wild places and introducing them to characters from diverse backgrounds. Through his stories, readers learn how to make important decisions in their own lives.
Will attended Stanford University and was a reading and language arts teacher before becoming a full-time writer in 1990. Along with his wife, Jean, he resides in Durango, Colorado.
Will’s books have received numerous accolades, including the California Young Reader Medal, the Western Writers of America Spur Award, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, the Colorado Book Award, and nominations for state award lists in over thirty states.
Far North by Will Hobbs: A Riveting Read for Adventure Lovers
Will Hobbs’ Far North is a thrilling adventure novel for young adults. Set in the Canadian Arctic, it tells the story of a young pilot named Gabe, who crash-lands in the wilderness with a few survivors.
Together, they must navigate the harsh landscape and survive against all odds. First published in 1996, this book remains a classic in the adventure genre, offering heart-pumping action, authentic characterizations, and a poignant message about human resilience.
Hobbs is a prolific author of adventure and wilderness stories for young readers. He draws on his personal experience as a wilderness guide, outfitter, and river runner to create realistic and engaging narratives.
Far North is no exception, as it vividly captures the rugged beauty and danger of the Arctic landscape. Hobbs’ writing style is clear, concise, and descriptive, enabling readers to visualize the setting, characters, and action.
The plot of Far North centers on Gabe’s quest for survival and rescue, as he and his companions face numerous obstacles and challenges in their journey. They must brave snowstorms, freezing temperatures, starvation, and attacks from wild animals, all while keeping their spirits and hopes alive.
Along the way, they form deep bonds of friendship and loyalty, despite their different backgrounds and personalities. Gabe, in particular, undergoes a transformative experience, as he learns to rely on himself and his instincts, and to value the courage and kindness of others.
One of the strengths of Far North lies in its exploration of moral dilemmas and ethical choices in extreme circumstances. Hobbs does not shy away from portraying the harsh realities of survival, including the need for violence and sacrifice.
He also raises questions about human nature, leadership, and justice, as the characters grapple with their own fears, prejudices, and desires. These themes lend depth and complexity to the plot, elevating the book beyond a mere adventure yarn.
Another commendable aspect of the novel is its attention to historical and cultural context. Hobbs draws on the traditions and beliefs of the Inuit people, who have lived in the Arctic for thousands of years, and who possess a deep knowledge of the land and its resources.
He also weaves in references to the gold rush era, when many prospectors and adventurers flocked to the northern territories, seeking wealth and adventure. These details enrich the setting and deepen the reader’s appreciation for the challenges faced by the characters.
On the other hand, the pacing of Far North is somewhat uneven, as the action alternates between slow and rapid sequences. Some readers may find the book too episodic or formulaic, as each chapter presents a new obstacle or conflict to overcome.
Additionally, some of the secondary characters are not fully fleshed out, and their motivations and personalities are left unexplored. These flaws, however, do not detract significantly from the overall enjoyment of the book.
Overall, Far North is a well-crafted adventure novel that will appeal to readers of all ages who love the outdoors, survival stories, and tales of human resilience. It offers a compelling portrait of a harsh and unforgiving landscape, as well as a moving story of friendship, courage, and hope.
It is a book that will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Recommendation: Readers who enjoy adventure stories, survival tales, and tales of resilience will love Far North by Will Hobbs.
This book is perfect for young adults who enjoy the outdoors and exploring wild terrains. It may also appeal to readers who are interested in the history and culture of the Arctic, as well as those who are curious about the challenges of survival in extreme conditions.
Overall, Far North is a must-read for anyone who loves an enthralling and uplifting tale of human endurance. Rating: 4.5/5 stars.
The rating is based on the book’s engaging plot, authentic characters, vivid setting, and thought-provoking themes. The book is docked half a star for its uneven pacing and underdeveloped secondary characters, but these flaws are minor compared to its many merits.