The Skeleton Tree

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Published by: Delacorte Press, USA, Tundra Books
Release Date: 01/05/2016
Pages: 288
ISBN13: 978-0385733786


Award-winning author Iain Lawrence presents this modern-day adventure and classic in the making, in the vein of The Call of the Wild, Hatchet, and The Cay.

Less than forty-eight hours after twelve-year-old Chris sets off on a sailing trip down the Alaskan coast with his uncle, their boat sinks. The only survivors are Chris and a boy named Frank, who hates Chris immediately. Chris and Frank have no radio, no flares, no food. Suddenly, they’ve got to forage, fish, and scavenge the shore for supplies. Chris likes the company of a curious, friendly raven more than he likes the prickly Frank. But the boys have to get along if they want to survive.

Because as the days get colder and the salmon migration ends, survival will take more than sheer force of will. Eventually, in the wilderness of Alaska, the boys discover an improbable bond—and the compassion that might truly be the path to rescue.


“The immense forest; its wolves, ravens, bears; the night’s shimmering aurora and myriad stars—all of these are majestic but not friendly. Against this vividly realized backdrop, the boys’ connection is tested. However fragile, fractious, flawed, it’s their lifeline. Unsettling and compelling, a gripping, evocative read.”
— Kirkus

“…the characters are well developed and the plot is fast-paced and suspenseful. Gary Paulsen and Will Hobbs fans will doubtlessly welcome this one.”
— Booklist

“Fans of Hatchet and Lord of the Flies will be drawn to this harrowing survival story from Lawrence (The Winter Pony), which offers psychological suspense and action in equal measure.”
— Publishers Weekly

“An emotionally engaging and heart-pounding read.”
— Dean Schneider