Monday, May 2, 2016

Review: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Hatchet (Brian's Saga, #1)
Brian's Saga: Hatchet (1) 
by Gary Paulsen

Genre(s): Youth/Middle Grade, Young Adult, Adventure, Classic
Published: November 1986
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (and others over the years)

Official Synopsis:  "On his way to visit his recently divorced father in the Canadian mountains, thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is the only survivor when the single-engine plane crashes. His body battered, his clothes in shreds, Brian must now stay alive in the boundless Canadian wilderness.

More than a survival story, Hatchet is a tale of tough decisions. When all is stripped down to the barest essentials, Brian discovers some stark and simple truths: Self-pity doesn't work. Despair doesn't work. And if Brian is to survive physically as well as mentally, he must discover courage."

Review: I first read this book many years ago (either 4th or 5th grade I think). I remembered the basics and that I liked it. More recently I learned it was only book one of a series. There was more adventures of Brian! But before I read the next book, I decided I better refresh the first book...

Overall, I still really enjoyed this. A bit more unbelievable at times now that I am a bit more experienced but I could still see child-me being utterly impressed with Brian. This young teen is a most impressive survivalist. Alone in the Canadian wilderness, he learns to make a fire, a bow/arrow and spear, fish, hunt, build a shelter and so much more. He encounters a bear, mosquitoes, a porcupine, moose, skunk, wolves and even a tornado! For such a short novel, it packs a lot in!

Some of the repetitive thoughts and writing gets annoying at times. More so as an adult. This is most likely perfect for the middle grade reader, or early teens. But even adults can still take something from this.

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