Book 22 Hatchet

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen fulfills the category “Book Set in a Country that
Begins with the Letter C” for the PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge. The story
takes place in the wilds of northern Canada.
This novel was my second choice for the category. I’ve had Hatchet in my
To-Be-Read pile for eons. My kids read it for school, and I didn’t co-read.
(Bad Mom!) But it fit the prompt and the atmosphere of 2020 nicely.
I will note the book I originally chose for the category
was Fatal Grace by Louise Penny. I got through perhaps the first disc of
the audiobook before I shut it down. The purpose of my blog is not to shame or
rip apart any other author, or their books. That being said, I could not in
good conscious finish her novel and do not plan to read any other of her titles.
On to Hatchet.
The story involved a young man whose plane crashes in
northern Canada after the pilot dies from a heart attack. The boy is alone in
the middle of the wilderness with little food, no shelter, and no hope of being
rescued. It reminded me of My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead
George, but Sam Gribley chose to live in the wilderness. Brian Robeson did not.
I enjoyed the story for a middle-grade read and wondered
what lessons I would use if I taught this book. (Former teacher here btw) Would
today’s children relate to the trials and puzzles the boy had to solve just to
survive the bugs or making a fire or…?
I’m not saying kids today are incapable of surviving in the wilderness, but there’s
a trend in our society away from nature and how to live in it. You should see mine
when I take away the wi-fi.
I also enjoyed Brian’s growth throughout the book. He
took time to pout and cry, but only a little. He understood he was the key to his
survival and stood up for himself. Luck was on his side, but his survival really
depended on smart thinking, open-mindedness, and care.
One thing that struck home for me was feeling “A Mother’s Fear.” I try so
hard not to be a helicopter mom or a snowplow, but I can’t imagine putting
either of my girls on a plane to northern Canada. Ever. I’m terrified to send
them alone to Tennessee to visit their grandfather, much less in a tiny plane over
uninhabited forest. I’d like to read a story from Brian’s mother’s perspective
of dealing with the tragedy of her son’s crash, thinking he was gone, and overcoming
the heartbreak.
In the end, it was an enjoyable novel for the kiddos.

      I give Hatchet
by Gary Paulsen Five little Axes.

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