Far North Book Poster Image

Far North



Popular adventure-survival book kids love.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Main characters refuse the advice of an experienced old man and suffer the consequences.


A plane crash, falls into icy rivers, fights with animals. Main characters in a constant struggle to survive.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that realistic action and punchy writing keeps the story zinging along. This is a popular adventure-survival book kids love.

What's the story?

Electrifying nonstop, realistic action as two teenage boys fight to survive the winter after their plane crashes in Canada's Northwest Territories. They ignore good advice and raft through a dangerous, icy river, winding up in a valley with no available food. After they tramp through the deadly cold to hunt, a grizzly steals their game. Can they beat the incredible odds?


Is it any good?


The breathtaking action in FAR NORTH never lets up, and the locations in the book really exist, including the cabin in Deadmen Valley. Gabe and Raymond don't rebel against authority, but they do make poor decisions. Anxious to avoid spending the viciously cold six-month winter in a sod teepee, they ignore the advice of an experienced elder and build a raft and sail off down the river, losing most of their food. However, they come to their senses and realize that the old man represents their only real chance for survival -- even though they can barely communicate with him.

Throughout their adventures, the two boys realize that their growing friendship means as much to them as their lives do. When they make it to safety, they honor Johnny Raven by speaking at a potlatch given in his memory. The story unites not only the two boys in friendship but also the younger and older generations. The book's length may intimidate reluctant readers at first, but once they start they'll enjoy it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about making difficult decisions. What kind of tough choices do the boys face? What kind of tough choices have you faced?

Book details

Author:Will Hobbs
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:William Morrow
Publication date:January 1, 1996
Number of pages:216
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 14

This review of Far North was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Top advice and articles

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written bypokekai August 31, 2011

Very good

Its a very good book with lots of details about everything the main characters see!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

i hate reading...THIS BOOK WAS AWSOME

i absulutly hate reading but this book is an exeption. WOW AMAZING
Parent of a 17 year old Written byinflatorNickelbread March 29, 2010
When I was reading this book, I thought that I was having a deja vu...many, many times over. Everything in this book seemed to happen twice. There was no 'climax' to the story, everything was expected and I remember poking fun at the fact that the most exciting thing that happened was violence towards a sheep (and that's one of the only things not repeted). The characters situation isn't at all relatable, either, or realistic for that matter. It's a slow read, I must say, but people interested in books with survival skills and wilderness may enjoy it.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?