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Young Adult Fiction Survival Stories

The Darwin Expedition

by (author) Diane Tullson

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2007
Survival Stories, General, Friendship
Recommended Age
12 to 18
Recommended Grade
8 to 12
Recommended Reading age
12 to 18
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2007
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2007
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2007
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


Tej and Liam are going snowboarding. When they take a shortcut over a treacherous logging road and have an accident, their adventure becomes more about survival than fresh powder. Tracked by a hungry bear, while trying to outrun the weather without any food, Tej and Liam learn about their friendship and what it will take to survive. When Tej is hurt, Liam decides he has to go for help—alone.

About the author

Diane Tullson grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and has studied English literature, journalism and editing. Before becoming an author, Diane worked in newspaper, radio and travel. She is a member of the Canadian Children's Book Centre, the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable, Children's Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia and the Writers Union of Canada. Diane has been nominated for many awards, including the Stellar Award and the Arthur Ellis Award. Diane lives with her family in Delta, British Columbia. For more information, visit

Diane Tullson's profile page


  • Long-listed, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Quick Picks
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
  • Commended, Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) Top Forty

Excerpt: The Darwin Expedition (by (author) Diane Tullson)

The bear lowers its head. When a dog looks like this, it means you could get bitten. When a bear looks like this, it means you could be lunch. The bear's eyes harden, as if he has lost patience with us. We're on his trail and he wants us off. The bear opens his jaws. Big jaws. Really big teeth. His jaws make a smacking sound.
I whisper, "He's going to eat us."

Editorial Reviews

"Manages to combine an exciting adventure with a reading level suited to struggling readers."

The Alan Review

"Should be popular with teen boys as well as the growing number of fans of the Orca Soundings series."

Resource Links

"Combining plenty of action with realistically cogent concerns, this should find some success with its target audience."

Kirkus Reviews

"A story chock-full of action and drama...The reader feels fear, discomfort, and desperate urgency along with the characters."


"Interesting, believable characters and an intriguing plot-line."

CM Magazine

Librarian Reviews

The Darwin Expedition

This novel in the Orca Sounding series appeals to reluctant readers through an interesting plot and fast-paced action in scenic settings that involve snowboarding, friendship, the outdoors and danger. The protagonists roll their truck on an old logging road, and realize they must hike out of the backcountry in order to save themselves. They endure cold weather, scarce food and fighting amongst themselves. Their lives are threatened when they cross paths with a grizzly bear and her cub. The two main characters must learn to trust and rely on each other in order to survive. The resolution of the story demonstrates that friends can disagree and even hurt each other, but they can remain friends nonetheless.

Diane Tullson has published six novels for young adults. A free Orca Soundings teachers’ guide is available at

Caution: Some inappropriate sexual and sexist references.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2007-2008.

The Darwin Expedition (Orca Soundings)

Following an accident on a remote logging road, Liam and Tej must draw on all their resources to survive the elements and escape the bear that is following them.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

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