The Fear Place by Phyllis Reynolds NaylorThe Fear Place by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

The Fear Place

byPhyllis Reynolds Naylor

Paperback | March 1, 1996

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For Doug's brother, Gordie, the ridge with its spectacular view is a magical, special place, but for Doug, it's The Fear Place. Two years ago, Doug hiked to the ridge during his family's annual camping trip, and he vowed never again to cross the narrow ledge from which the earth dropped away six hundred feet to the canyon below.
But now the boys' parents have been called from their vacation by a family emergency, and Doug and Gordie are alone in the wilderness. After one of their seemingly endless fights, Gordie has stomped away from their campsite. When Girdle doesn't return, Doug fears the worst, particularly when he hears reports that a cougar has been sighted nearby. Doug knows he has to go after his brother, and he knows where he will find him. What he can't imagine is the surprising source of the courage to overcome his fears.
Phyllis Reynolds NaylorPhyllis Reynolds Naylor got the idea for The Fear Place when her grown sons, Jeff and Michael, set out for Longs Peak during a family vacation in the Rockies. Fearful of heights herself, she spent an uneasy day waiting for their return. When they later described the climb, including a section called the Upper Na...
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Title:The Fear PlaceFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:128 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.3 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.5 × 0.3 inPublished:March 1, 1996Publisher:Atheneum Books For Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0689804423

ISBN - 13:9780689804427

Appropriate for ages: 8

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Read from the Book

He spent the next three days spying on the water hole. If he woke up early, he'd go down before breakfast. He'd go at dusk. And always he walked so quietly he hardly moved a twig -- made a practice of it: Indian walking, he called it. Not a sound. Glide over the ground as though it were water. He saw a few deer, a moose and a moose calf, possums. But the cougar was never there. "If it was a cougar, it was probably passing through," his father told him when Doug brought it up again. "Idaho. Now that's where you'll find the cougars." Doug gave up then, and worked on trying to get a picture of a deer. "Take good pictures of two kinds of mammals in the wild," the requirements in his Scout manual read. "Record light conditions, film used, exposure, and other factors, including notes on the activities of the pictured animals." Also: "Spend three hours of each of five days on at least a twenty-five acre area. List the mammal species you identified by sight or sound." This would take some doing. He'd love to get a photo of a beaver, but they came out at night, and he wasn't sure he'd brought the right film. "You still working on the wimp badge?" Gordon asked him one evening as he lay on his sleeping bag, listening to his Walkman. "You're such a wonder, how come you did Leatherwork?" Doug retorted. Why did he fall into these traps? But he kept on. "How come you did Insect Study?" He let his voice rise delicately on the words, Insect Study. "You have a problem with that?" That's the way it always went. Gordon would start something and when Doug gave back as good as he got, Gordon would say, "You have a problem with that?" or "Think you're smart?" and before you knew it, there would be a fight. Why didn't Doug ever remember to say, "You have a problem with that?" "Yeah, I have a problem with that," Doug said, barreling on. "The guy who's always talking big is going to stand up in front of the troop and get his 'buggie badge.' Gordie's gonna get a badge with a big bad cricket on it." "You're gonna get a little squirrel on yours, so why are you spouting off?" Doug couldn't hold back. He had a trump card he'd been saving, and decided to play it now. "You know those envelopes you mailed out for Mom? About the Court of Honor? You know those stamps you promised to put on?" Gordon glanced over quickly. "You know how you were complaining they were all stuck together? Well, that's because I sprinkled pee on them and let them dry." He made for an opening in the tent, but Gordon tackled him and the fight was on. And all the while Doug was yelling he was laughing, too. He didn't even mind the punches. Got some in himself. Just the thought of Gordon licking those peed-on stamps was worth it. Usually their parents let them fight things out. Gordon's punches were quicker, but Doug hit harder. In any case, they always stopped short of homicide. This time, however, Mother's voice came shouting over the scuffle: "Damn it, I want this stopped!" It was not the way she usually talked. Not the way at all. Doug pulled his leg off Gordon. His elbow was bleeding. "Like animals!" Mother was standing at the door of the ten now. Her voice seemed to fill up all the space in the clearing. "We come out here to give you boys an experience that most kids would give anything to have, and you spend it fighting with each other. I'm sick of the quarreling. Sick to death of this ridiculous, idiotic, insane bickering over the slightest little thing!" "Doug just told me..." Gordon began. "I don't want to hear what Doug told you. I want peace. I have enough on my mind without this. Do you understand?" He voice was shrill. "Yes," Doug answered. Gordon nodded. She stalked off toward the woods then, and Doug noticed that her chin trembled. Were they really that bad? It had to be more than just the fight. They'd fought dozens of times before, and worse than this, too. Her worry over Uncle Lloyd, no doubt. The outburst probably didn't have much to do with them at all. Gordon, however, still furious, took Doug's backpack a overturned it onto the ground. Underpants, T-shirts, half-worn socks rolled up in balls, sweat shirts... Doug didn't try to stop him, didn't even go over and empty out his. He just waited until Gordon had stomped outside, then tore a page out of his notebook and in big letters, wrote GORDIE LICKS PEE, and laid it on Gordon's sleeping bag.

From Our Editors

Alone at a remote wilderness campsite, Doug and his older brother, Gordie, have one of their endless fights, and Gordie stomps off. When days pass and Gordie doesn't return, Doug must confront his own fear to rescue his brother, who's trapped on a dangerous ridge. "A solid action story, tense and involving".-- Publishers Weekly