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Lost in the Barrens
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Lost in the Barrens

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  1,125 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Awasin, a Cree Indian boy, and Jamie, a Canadian orphan living with his uncle, the trapper Angus Macnair, are enchanted by the magic of the great Arctic wastes. They set out on an adventure that proves longer and more dangerous than they could have imagined. Drawing on his knowledge of the ways of the wilderness and the implacable northern elements, Farley Mowat has create...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 1987 by McClelland & Stewart (first published 1956)
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Oh, Canada!
38th out of 495 books — 192 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,714)
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Ana Carter  シ
Oct 23, 2011 Ana Carter シ rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: authors-m
not my favorite book in the world. :(
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
I read this as a youngster in Junior High School. It had been recommended to me by my older brother, strange as it was that I would read a book he had read.

It's a wonderful "Coming of Age" tale full of danger, adventure, and friendship, set in the wilds of North East Canada and Western Alaska.

For me, it was everything Call of the Wild by Jack London turned out to be, and better, since I was the same age as the characters in the book.

Farley Mowat has a wonderful sense of touch and there are me...more
Mackenzie Bakker
Being the first book in it's series, Lost in the Barrens sets such a high standard it seems like the other books in this set are doomed to fall short. Farley Mowat has done well in this book in capturing the hardships of survival in the arctic plains of Canada.

In this page turner, you will read about the trials that a pair of boys must go through after their canoe is wrecked on a river far north in Canada's tundra. Jamie MaCnair, a Canadian born in Toronto, lives with his uncle Angus on the s...more
Leah
Jun 08, 2013 Leah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction, ya
Well, that one sent me back to fourth and fifth grade. Of course, I grew up hearing bits of The Dog Who Wouldn't Be as family favorites, but this was the first Arctic book of Farley Mowat's that I'd read, and I'm going to have to read more. I am fascinated by the far North, and by living off the land; this book has sparked a desire in me to reread Julie of the Wolves and other Jean Craighead George, including my favorite book from when I was 10-13 (My Side of the Mountain). Also, I've put Wilder...more
Ibis3
This was okay. I never read it as a kid and probably would have enjoyed it more at that time. I found Jamie to be kind of an annoying character, pushing his wiser friend to break the rules and do stupid things. Some of the hunting scenes were needlessly emotional (e.g. drawing the action out, describing the reactions of the prey etc.). I just read The Hunger Games and though there was a lot of hunting in that one too, the author tells rather than shows. I liked all the inventiveness and survival...more
Daniel Korn Korn
I really liked this book because it was really easy to relate to the characters. There were two boys who were similar to my age. They also liked the wilderness which is one of my interests as well. They also grew up in canada which is very similar to the United States. I also liked this book because it was very action packed and scary at some points, it really kept me interested and amused. It was really fun reading this book and i recomend it to anybody who has an interest in action packed dang...more
Bart Breen
A book that presents the far north as it really is

Again, Farley Mowat demonstrates that which makes him clearly on of Canada's greatest treasures.

A fictional book, it nevertheless portrays the beautiful tundra of the north. Anyone reading it will be carried by the story but will learn of the beauty of the Barrens, despite its unforgiving brutality.

A book I have read many times and never cease to be impressed by the true beauty of the North!
Marisa
I read this along with my 4th grader when it was assigned to him. It's a great adventure story for boys. I would recommend it for at least 4th grade or higher, as it was a good challenge for my son who is a good reader.
Jason Ashmore
As an environmental outdoor education teacher I am always looking for great novels for my students to read that will help teach a variety of concepts. After reading this book I have selected this as my choice for grade eight
Teresa
Yes, another young adult book, but what can I say? I like them. Fun read. Learned that the only fur that doesn't collect breath moisture was the wolverine and the wolf. Liked this book. Our boys will like it one day.
Arthur
Farley Mowat has written several books. This one dates as far back 1956, which must have been good for its publishing. And I remember having this book to read in school. And many teachers are willing to influence the students, apart from, that this story manly opens with a small amount of background of the life of Jamie. Who intends to join his uncle. The field of Canada’s explorations for once open up for a high adventure brought by the eyes of quite young boys who happen alert and strong enoug...more
Amy Jo Cousins
Yet another one of my 'youth in peril must fight for survival' faves! In Lost in the Barrens, two boys growing up in the 1950's (one white, one Native American) get permission to go on a hunting trip and get separated from the adults of the party at the onset of winter. One of the things I loved about this book is the boys' awareness that the hunting way of life is something that is passing away (for them, at least.) Their pleasure at finding out that the skills they have picked up while fooling...more
Doug Cannon
This is the first book that I ever owned, and I still have the original copy from 1976. I believe I was in 4th grade, and our teacher had us purchase this book (with our own money, if we could) and keep it.

This teacher inspired me to own many books, and now I hardly know of any books that I have read but do not own. I love my now extensive personal library, and attribute it to this one teacher, and this one book.

Lost in the Barrens was a great story about determination, and about two boys learni...more
Frances Macknight
An exciting story with lots of thrills and suspense. Enjoyed all the tricks of survival. Very satisfying and unpredictable ending. Wonderful literary descriptions of the Canadian Northern tundra and it's surprises. Having two sons and a daughter who all love adventure, the traits of these two boys served them well. A little bit of luck went a long way in this adventure story but resourcefulness was the saving grace. A great read.




Lee Murdoch
Our teacher read this book to the class when I was in grade 6, back in 1971, or '72, today I retread it for probably the 10th time (with at least a 30+ year span since the last time). It still held my interest as it did every other time I read it. This is the book that introduced me to Farley Mowat, and I have gone on to read many of his novels. This is one of my all time favourite books, the story of how I the two boys survive an Arctic winter is fascinating and exciting, and I have to say, thi...more
Bradley
"Lost in the Barrens" had some nostalgic meaning for me; I remembered parts of it from my 6th grade teacher reading to us in class. Aside from the nostalgia, however, I found the book to be dry and slow. The writing style was awkwardly fact-based, to the point where it was almost like the author would spend a page dryly listing everything the boys put into their canoe rather than using descriptive writing. Everything the boys did/encountered was strictly methodical, with emotionless list-like de...more
Ken
It is almost like the Worst Case Scenario guide put into novel form; it is amazing how much mileage you can get out of caribou. They made clothing, moccasins, tents, a sowing needle, a bow, and of course food out of these animals. Enjoyable boys lost in the wilderness story written by someone who has clearly been in that situation. Makes you want to steer clear of Northern Canada. Nice wendigo reference considering I just read Algernon Blackwood's story about that last year.
Toby
This book is written to be an adventure book for boys, but will appeal to anybody with a good sense of adventure. It is written in short chapters and easy to read language, so it is a fast read. I have read a modern-day non-fiction account of a group that had a disaster canoeing north across the barrens (Death on the Barrens: A True Story of Courage and Tragedy in the Canadian Arctic), so this was pretty interesting in that right as well. The characters are great, and the landscape makes for a g...more
Fellini
В очередной раз с огромным удовольствием перечитала эту книгу, впервые - с экрана, а не с бумажных страниц советского издания.
Завораживающая история о двух мальчишках, выживших на севере Канады лютой зимой, почти без снаряжения и инструментов, но с огромной волей к жизни. Меня всегда занимали истории о том, как люди обустраиваются: будь то строительство дома или обживание новой планеты. В этой небольшой повести уместилось почти полгода жизни - время, сделавшее из умелых, но довольно безалаберных...more
Brent
Never has any book inspired me to dream so much. This book introduced me to the North and I've been diligently consuming anything I can find about the artic. Especially more Farley Mowatt. I have alwats been a avid outdoors man, I can't believe it took me this long to discover Farley Mowatt!
Sara
I discovered this book after seeing a reading of it on a cable TV program many many years ago, and could not remember the name of it for quite some time afterwards.
Cindy
I enjoyed this just as much this time around as I did when I first read it as a child. Farley will be greatly missed, but his wonderful stories will live on forever!
Nick Popull
Love it, love that I get some of my students to read it as part of their independent study.

Great story of survival, and friendship!
Beverly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff Short
Excellent tale of adventure and survival. Two boys get separated from their hunting party and stranded when their canoe is wrecked. They must survive the oncoming winter and make their way back home. We did this as a family read-aloud and everyone was gripped by it.

I enjoy Mowat's books. If I understand correctly, though this is a fictional story, the techniques for survival in these conditions are true to life. Mowat was a naturalist and his environmental views are peppered here and there, but...more
Scott Porter
I read this countless times in my early teens, great book for little men.
Jethro
Really cool book about the North and the Indians and Eskimos.
Bill Johnson
One of the few books I have read twice. Probably because it was small. Nevertheless, it is a great story of two boys lost and how they deal with nature and separation. It was influential to me and my growing up.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please Combine: Lost in the Barrens 6 12 May 27, 2014 12:54PM  
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Farley McGill Mowat was a conservationist and one of Canada's most widely-read authors.
Many of his most popular works have been memoirs of his childhood, his war service, and his work as a naturalist. His works have been translated into 52 languages and he has sold more than 14 million books.
Mowat studied biology at the University of Toronto. During a field trip to the Arctic, Mowat became outrag...more
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