Paulsen, Gary. Hatchet. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1996. Print.
Written by: Gary Paulsen
Reviwed by: Anhminh Nguyen
Recommended Audience: High School
The story takes place in the wilderness of Canada. Brian, a thirteen year old, is on a plane headed from New York City to visit his father in Canada; his parents are divorced and the secret that his mother was having an affair creates an internal conflict. On the plane he befriends a pilot. The pilot begins having pains in his shoulder, arms, and stomach. He suddenly starts jerking in his seat, and Brian realizes that the pilot is having a heart attack. Brian takes control of the plane because the pilot just died. He crash lands into a lake in the woods of Canada. Brian swims to land and in severely injured. He believes he will be rescued within a few days.
Brian is stranded in the forest with a hatchet. He is hungry and decides to eat some berries. These berries later make him sick. Brian encounters a bear and avoids it. He creates a shelter with the wood he gathers from the forest. One night while he is sleeping he hears a noise, so he decides to investigate it. He discovers that the noise is a porcupine. He throws his hatchet towards the porcupine, but he misses and hits the stone. This leads to him discovering that the hatchet can create a spark to ignite a fire.
Brian gives upon being rescued as much time passes. He realizes that he must survive in the forest on his own and make it through the winter. He must continue gathering his own food and survive the challenges of nature. Will he be able to survive in the forest or will nature swallow his existence?
Description of the book: http://deuelreading7.blogspot.com/2012/09/hatchet-background-information.html
Author’s Website: http://www.randomhousekids.com/brand/gary-paulsen/
Youtube Video (Interview with Gary Paulsen about Hatchet): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXRa3-oIOn8