Thursday, May 25, 2017


Book: Hatchet
Series: Brian's Saga #1
Author: Gary Paulsen

Brian is on his way to Canada to visit his estranged father when the pilot of his small prop plane suffers a heart attack. Brian is forced to crash-land the plane in a lake--and finds himself stranded in the remote Canadian wilderness with only his clothing and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present before his departure.

Brian had been distraught over his parents' impending divorce and the secret he carries about his mother, but now he is truly desolate and alone. Exhausted, terrified, and hungry, Brian struggles to find food and make a shelter for himself. He has no special knowledge of the woods, and he must find a new kind of awareness and patience as he meets each day's challenges. Is the water safe to drink? Are the berries he finds poisonous?

Slowly, Brian learns to turn adversity to his advantage--an invading porcupine unexpectedly shows him how to make fire, a devastating tornado shows him how to retrieve supplies from the submerged airplane. Most of all, Brian leaves behind the self-pity he has felt about his predicament as he summons the courage to stay alive. -Goodreads

Review: My 3rd grade daughter was reading this in school and told me it was 'very violent' so I decided to download it and see what it was about. Brian, a 13-year old boy, is flying to Canada in a small prop-plane to visit his father when the pilot suffers a heart attack and the plane crashes. Brian, a city kid who was clearly never a boy scout, must figure out how to survive. 

This book is recommended for grades 6-8 and I'm guessing that is due to the multiple references to 'the Secret' and a reference to suicide. Essentially, Brian sees his mother kissing another man while she is still married to his father and that is why his parents are divorced. And there is one paragraph where he references giving up hope and trying to kill himself. That being said, my 8-year old seemed to brush over these scenes without really comprehending what was going on and focused on the survival aspect of the book. Although the writing was EXTREMELY repetitive, I enjoyed the core story of survival. 

Grade: 3/5

No comments: