Jun 15, 2010

Tween Tuesday: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (& other tales of Survival)

Tween Tuesdays is hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen. Check her out here!

I had to read this for a children's literature class in college. Thanks goodness for that! This is such a wonderful book. It is the story of Brian, a slightly nerdy boy who is headed to visit his father in Canada. During his flight the pilot suffers a heart attack and dies. The plane crashes into a small lake in the Canadian wilderness. Brian makes it out with just the new hatchet his mother gave him before the trip. The story begins to take place as Brian learns to survive in the wilderness by using his hatchet to make fire, build a shelter and find food.

This book started my love for survival tales. Two of my other favorites are by Will Hobbs, Down River and Far North. And, of course, Island of the Blue Dolphins. For some reason these stories are so empowering. Who hasn't played survival at one point or another in their life? When you read about young people surviving against all odds it makes you feel like anything is possible!

My oldest son's second grade teacher read Hatchet out loud to them and he loved it. I would have thought second grade was too young, but the teacher's enthusiasm for the story carried through to them and they were enthralled.

If you have a tweenager looking for a great summer read, pick up a copy of Hatchet--I doubt they will be disappointed!


  1. Can you believe I've never read Hatchet?? My dad and brother both loved it though-someday I'll get to it!

  2. Love Hatchett and love Gary Paulsen!