After hearing rave reviews about Gary Paulsen’s book, Hatchet, I happily checked out a copy from the library. Turns out my timing couldn’t have been more perfect as a local grade seven class was using it for their current novel study.
This is a quick junior fiction read with a great impact of a story. After surviving a plane crash, a thirteen old boy finds a way to survive in the barren Upper Canadian wilderness. Alone and isolated with a limited chance of being found by search planes, he channels past life lessons and information he read in books/saw on television in order to gift himself with the best chance of survival.
What struck me most about this story was the two main lessons it transposed to the reader. The first, when in a crisis, stop and evaluate what you in front of you – look at the whole picture, not just the minute parts. Most importantly, trust yourself to do what you need to do to survive. Secondly, never under estimate the importance of connection – specifically, with the world around you. Such intimate knowledge can, literally, save your life one day.
I can certainly appreciate why this book has sold so many copies and won numerous awards. It’s a straight to the point story of survival in the most dire of circumstances. You finish the last page truly believing that if push comes to shove, we really all can be survivors.
Next up on the book shelf*: Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
*Yes, I realize this is the 50th book in my challenge BUT I kind of crapped out on book number 10 as I couldn’t finished it – it was SO boring. Therefore, for the sake of truth and fairness, I am going to read 51 books to make up for the one that became a terrific sleep aid.