Saturday, May 28, 2011
Book Review: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Oooh, what a great book! It was written after my time so I never had a chance to read it when I was the right age (although I admit the odds of me reading it then even if I were the right age were slim), but it reminds me a great deal of one of my very favorite books: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell.
In this novel, Brian, a 13-year-old-boy whose parents have very recently divorced, is flying from New York to rural Northern Canada to visit his Dad for the summer. When the pilot has a heart-attack, the plane crashes into a lake, and Brian has to figure out how to survive. But unlike Karana, Brian is a city boy and doesn't know the first thing about how to find shelter, food, or how to start a fire. Exciting, perilous, and ingenious, this book has all the right elements to get a young teen (or tween) boy reading. I couldn't put it down (read it in one sitting in a couple of hours).
For older teens that want to read something similar, I would strongly recommend Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad, which is a true story about a similar situation (a teen in a terrible plane crash on a mountain, pilot and father dead), although it's resolved in just a day or two - not months. This particular edition has a great set of discussion questions in the back and a pre-reading project and a essay idea. Since we picked this up for a student my BF is tutoring, those are particularly helpful.
This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.
I borowed this book from my boyfriend, who bought it at B&N.