Friday, July 1, 2016

Hatchet (Gary Poulsen)

I spent a bunch of time thinking, "What's on his head?" Now I finally get's an axe...a hatchet!

I chose this book because my son had read it and loved it. He wants me to get him the entire series (there are three more books). I figured it would be a quick read and needed something for my weekly reading response for my students. 

I was totally taken by the story. Brian is on a plane when the pilot has a heart attack. He has to land it. It crashes, but he survives but he ends up in the Canadian wilderness. I'm not a fan of camping and this was ultimate camping. I read it with one eye closed, hardly able to stand everything he was going through - but I couldn't stop because I had to make sure he made it safely through the whole experience. Sometimes I would gasp out loud when something worse would happen. How could it get any worse?? It did!  It reminded me of what it was like to read Wild. That story was hard for me to read as well, but I had to keep going to make sure she made it through okay.

The ending, although really sudden, struck a chord with me. I loved how he said he was forever changed by this experience. I have had people say that I am different ever since certain events in my life. I am surprised that some people think you should stay the same forever. Some events do change you. And they change you forever. 

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present -- and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent's divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self pity, or despair -- it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive. 

For twenty years Gary Paulsen's award-winning contemporary classic has been the survival story with which all others are compared. This new edition, with a reading group guide, will introduce a new generation of readers to this page-turning, heart-stopping adventure.

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