Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

I surprisingly enjoyed reading the novel Hatchet, which "is a 1987 three-time Newbery Honor-winning wilderness survival novel written by Gary Paulsen. It is the first novel in the Hatchet series and is followed by four sequels." (Quote is from Wikipedia) 

I use the word "surprisingly", because I'm not usually one to read wilderness survival books, whether they are works of fiction or nonfiction. I am glad that I sought out new reading horizons and read Hatchet as it was worth the time spent reading.

Hatchet is actually the first novel that I've read by Gary Paulsen and his writing style and storytelling are amazing. I was sucked into the storyline from page one. Hatchet is the story of Brian Robeson, a 13 year old boy, who is still reeling from the divorce of his parents and the secret knowledge that the marriage ended due to his mother's extramarital affair. 

At the start of Hatchet, Brian finds himself boarding a Cessna 406 bush plane on his way to spend his summer vacation with his father in northern Canada as Brian's father works at the oil fields in Northern Canada. The pilot of the Cessna has a heart attack on route and Brian is left to make an emergency landing in the Canadian wilderness when the plane runs out of gas. Brian then spends the next 54 to 56 days alone in the Canadian wilderness until he's rescued. 

Hatchet is the tale of Brian's survival and how it changes him forever. The hatchet Brian carries with him throughout this novel is a gift from his mother. It plays a significant role in his survival. Life and how Brian views it after his time spent alone in the Canadian wilderness will never be the same.

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