Monday, February 8, 2010

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Stranded in the Canadian wilderness, thirteen-year-old Brian overcomes physical and psychological challenges in order to survive. Hatchet is fast-paced with short chapters making it a good choice for reluctant readers. The prose is simple and often repeats itself – the end of phrases being echoed in Brian’s mind. The repetition was frustrating for me and got in the way of enjoying the story. But this is likely a matter of personal preference. The fact that, not only does Brian survive, but he does very well by himself, with only shoe strings and a hatchet is rather unbelievable. That’s an adult talking. Every thirteen-year-old knows he or she is perfectly capable of doing just what Brian does. And that’s the magic of reading – a suspension of beliefs or seeing your “true” self reflected in the character. In the end, I enjoyed Hatchet and recommend it for late elementary/ early middle school students.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster, 1987     Recommended Age: 10 +
Source: IC Public Library                         Pages: 195
Rating: 3 Stars

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