Jul 28

Book Review: Hatchet

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

My kid read this for school and liked it, so when I found myself in a reading doldrum, I picked it up.
This is standard survivalist fare, paced to make it interesting and voiced for younger teens. Adults should like it too, as I did. Boy crashes in a plane, lands in the Canadian wilderness, has to make fire and shelter and learn to find food before he starves. Along the way he finds bears, wolves, a skunk, an ornery moose, and even a tornado. The thrill comes from the readers’ musings of “how would I survive?” and “would I be clever enough to do this?”

There are a few details of how he hunts for food, and of the wildlife, and of what it’s like to live in the Canadian wilderness. There weren’t as many details as in that hoary old classic I read as a teen “My Side of the Mountain,” in which a kid does basically what Brian does except deliberately. Maybe this one is more accurate. I can’t imagine Brian being so frivolous as to tame a hawk.

I’m a little baffled to read that the author made this into a series. It seems as standalone as standalone should get.

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