Alicia Neely's Reviews > Hatchet

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
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's review
Apr 01, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: power-player
Read in January, 2008

** spoiler alert ** Reference information:
Title Hatchet
Author Gary Paulsen
Publisher Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Year 1999
# of pages 208 Genre
Reading level Interest level ages 12-14
Potential hot lava: The mother has an affair, but the author goes into no details.

General response/reaction:
I thought the book was alright. I felt like it was very drawn out and you could tell what was going to happen from the beginning. There were a few surprising factors, but there were few and far between. I also believe this would be a better book for boys because it deals with the outdoors and how to survive when stranded in the woods. I think Boy Scouts would greatly enjoy this novel and the sequel.

Subjects, Themes, and Big Ideas:
The main theme of this novel is to believe in yourself because you might be all you have and you cannot sit around wondering ‘what it’.

Brian Robeson is a 13-year-old boy who spends his days playing outside with his best friend Terry. Before the plane crash, Brian seems to be very outspoken and rude. However, once he is stranded in the woods, he realizes he needs to change.

Plot summary:
Brian’s parents are divorced and he is flying to Canada to visit his father for the summer. His parents are in the middle of the divorce because the mother has an affair; however, Brian’s dad does not know she had an affair and that is why he is going to visit him. The pilot has a heart attack and the plane crashes into the middle of a lake. Brian is left stranded and survives on his own for forty-five days. Finally, a plane flies over ahead and notices the wrecked plane. Brian is saved and finally gets to his father’s house. He decides to not tell his dad the secret because his dad is so shaken up over Brian’s return.

Strengths (including reviews and awards):
• Margaret A. Edwards (1997)
• Newberry Honor Book (1988)
• ALA Notable Book (1987)
Drawbacks or other cautions:
The only sensitive issue in this book is that Brian’s mother has an affair.

Teaching ideas:
I would teach this novel in a small boy only group.


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