Nine-year-old Trisha McFarland was promised a moderate to difficult hike on the Appalachian Trail. Trisha was supposed to spend her Saturday with her older brother and mother, but when she wandered off to escape their constant fighting, things changed. She found herself straying further into the woods when suddenly she finds herself lost for good. Trisha envisions her favorite baseball player, Tom Gordon, by her side throughout her time in the woods. But, Tom Gordon isn't actually with her, so she must use her knowledge, bravery, and courage to navigate her way to safety.
The River is a follow up book from the Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Two years ago, thirteen year old Brian Robeson was stranded in the Canadian wilderness for 54 days and he survived. Government psychologist Derek Holtzer wants Brian to go back in the woods and teach him how he survived so that Brain's survival techniques can help astronauts and the military survive. During a horrific thunderstorm, Derek is struck by lighting and falls into a coma. Brian has to rely on a basic map to take Derek, by river, to safety.