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Hatchet: 20th Anniversary Edition
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230 of 256 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2000
This story about a young boy stranded in the Canadian wilderness will never lose it's affect on me. Being a child of divorce I can totally empathize with Brian's struggles to cope. And I appreciate Gary Paulsen's comparing that struggle with actual survival. But this book is in no way a sermon on how to deal with divorce. It's about learning to co-exist, and to overcome any obstacles. The descriptions of how Brian went about ensuring his survival, only with the use of his hatchet (hence the title) were awe inspiring when a pre-teen and the book still retains a sentimental hold over my heart as an adult. the encounters with wildlife range from comical to downright horrifying. Hatchet made me appreciate the things I had and also allowed me to realize that I shouldn't seek too hard the things I desired to have but didn't. Overall this is a great book to give your 10-13 year old, a book about respect for nature, appreciation for life, and above all understanding that you can make it through the toughtest of situations as long as you have the right tools and are willing to learn how to use them.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2006
Are you tired of reading boring books? Then you should definitely read Hatchet, a book by Gary Paulsen! This book is about a 13 year old boy named Brian Robeson who goes to visit his father after his parents get divorced. On the way there, the pilot suffers a major heart attack and the plane crashes, but Brian makes it out alive. He has to survive alone by making fire, cooking fish, and hunting meat until a rescue plane finds him. Will Brian be rescued? What I like about this book is how Brian never gives up and always tries his hardest. Brian works hard no matter

what happens and I like that attitude. This book is well suited for kids who like survival novels. The best age for the reader is ages 9 or older because not all the words are easy to read. The genre for this book is Realistic Fiction because this could actually happen. You should definitely read this book!
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65 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2000
Imagine being stranded in the wilderness alone and learning to survive. We all think about it at least once in our life, learning to hunt, getting shelter, and staying sane. In the book, Hatchet, Brian Robeson, age thirteen, is stranded in the Canadian wilderness, after his plane crashes, with only a hatchet and the clothes on his back. Brian was on that plane to his dad's house because of the Secret... This survival-fiction book tells how Brian undergoes a complete character change. When he first arrives he is relatively weak, but eventually Brian has keen, alert, senses, and he is a stronger person. In the book, Brian must deal with insane moose, and making a new friend; fire. Hunting and food gathering is a major part of the book, which makes it seem very realistic, but will Brian ever make it home alive? This book is a Newbery honor book and I believe it is very deserving of that prestigous award. Gary Paulsen's portrayal of someone in that predicament is very accurate. He puts you right in the action and in the struggle. I recommend this book to people of all different ages and backgrounds. You will feel every moment of hope and rejection in this amazing Paulsen novel.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2001
Brian Robeson is thirteen and is on a survival mission in the Canadian wilderness. His plane crashed because his pilot had a heart attack and died. Brian then then found himself having to fly the plane all by himself. Brian decides to land in a near by lake. When Brian survives the crash he finds himself with only a twenty-dollar bill,a windbreaker, and his new hatchet his mother had given him. The lake in which he crashed in provided him drinking water, a bath tub and food. Brian learns to scavenge for berries and catch fish. He made a spear out of a long narrow stick. He speared fish, rabbits and foolbirds. Brian was not successful at this in the beginning. Brian learns to survive in the willderness with little or nothing at all. I reccommend this book to anyone who likes the outdoors or wo li kes a great adventure. This is a great book for anyone who wants to read and have fun. You do not only read the book but you learn in the process as well. You learn how to survive in the wilderness with limited supplies.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2011
Thirteen year old Brian is on his way to visit his father when the pilot of a small, two-person plane has a heart attack and dies. Brian crashes the airplane into a small lake in the middle of a Canadian wilderness. Sore and shocked from the crash, the boy finds himself on a sandy tree-lined shore with only his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the belt-attached hatchet his mother had given him as a present.

At first, Brian hopes to be rescued in a couple of days, but later he realizes that his life depends only on him - the rescue is not near, since the plane drifted off course significantly soon after the pilot died. Now Brian has to learn how to survive, to toughen up, and to let go of self-pity: "...he learned the most important rule of survival, which was that feeling sorry for yourself didn't work."

Gary Paulsen effectively describes how Brian learns to watch, listen, and think before he acts, learning to co-exist, and to overcome any obstacles. The reader sees Brian's mistakes, setbacks, and small triumphs as, with the help of the hatchet, he manages to survive the 54 days alone in the wilderness - he attempts to build a fire, to fish and hunt, and to make his home under a rock overhang safe and comfortable.

An epilogue of the book describes the lasting effects of Brian's stay in the wilderness -
his character have changed from the "city boy" mentality to enlightened and being as one with nature. "None of that used to be Brian and now that was a part of him, a changed part of him, a grown part of him, and the two things, his mind, and his body, had come together as well, had made a connection with each other that he didn't quite understand."

"Hatchet" is a heart-stopping tale of accomplishment, sadness, anger, and happiness that brings a new appreciation for life and respect for nature. This particular 20th Anniversary edition has a bonus feature of author's notes and some truly great pencil drawings.

P.S. I'm sure Brian wished he had seen Bear Grylls' show Man vs. Wild :) LoL

Julia Shpak
Author of "Power of Plentiful Wisdom". Available on Amazon.
For more reviews on children's books visit my blog "Julia's Library" at: ForwardQuoteDOTcom
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52 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2002
My favorite book that I've read is the very well known novel entitled, Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen. The novel is about a regular boy named Brian Robeson, and he goes to meet his father in Canada, but as he's in the plane heading to his father, something goes terribly wrong; the pilots of the plane gets a sudden heart attack! As the plane goes down in the story, the stakes rise for Brian. That's one example of why this book is so great! Gary Paulsen explains Brian's troubles in simple words, yet he uses lots of those words to describe Brian's troubles well. One other example is, it sparks your mind into reading or makes you start reading Gary Paulsen's nooks. I assure you, give this book to a person that doesn't like reading, and after a week, they'll come to you asking for books written by Gary. In this novel, the question is," How will the main character, Brian, survive?" So it's obvious that this book is an adventure and a "man against nature" conflict novel. As you have probably guessed, Brian suffers from hunger and searches for food and shelter. When Brian finds any kind of food, Gary describes Brian to feel like he just found money []off the street! The third reason why this book is so well thought out is because of the creativity Gary has put into Brian. Brian uses a lot of things in his environment around him in every way; a common stick can be a spear or an arrow. To sum it up, when you start this book, you won't stop reading it until Brian is rescued. I feel that Gary Paulsen gave Brian Robeson life, and that's what
made, Hatchet a great book.
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288 of 369 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2006
This text is frequently assigned for 5th grade readers who are often 10 and 11 years old. Parents should be aware that there is a suicidal attempt made by the main character in the book. He slits his wrist in despair and passes out. He happens to wake up and change his mind.

Furthermore, a sub-plot involves the child in the story finding out that his mother is having an affair while still married to his father. His father does not know. Therefore, the boy struggles with having to keep this secret from his father. These issues involve violations of trust in marriage and child-parent relationships. There is never any resolution to this story line or questioning of the moral dilemna this boy is thrust into.

The story issues may be more appropriate for older high school students, but the issues of depression among our students and infidelity of parents should have parents and teachers consider any literary value the text might have to be limited. Parents and teachers should strongly consider their trying to meet objectives with more appropriate alternatives for students.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2014
If excitement and adventure are what you long for, reading the Hatchet will give you that and more. Brian is on his way to visit his dad, but a terrible accident leaves him all alone in the wilderness. He is left to survive with nothing, except his hatchet that his mother gave him. Brian faces danger, pain, wild animals and loneliness. He gains many things on his survival journey; self discover, confidence, survival techniques, and even happiness. I thought this book was super interesting and thrilling. Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen the author would add a twist. The author makes you feel like you are right there beside Brian and you are engrossed in his experience. It was full of suspense and action. I learned many survival techniques, tips, and how one might make it in a similar situation. If you enjoy reading about survival and people faces immense physical and mental challenges you should read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2000
In this epic tale of adventure/survival Brian,a city boy,crashes in the Canadian wilderness and has to live off the land for fifty-four days. gary Paulsen takes us on this roller coaster of accomplishment,sadness,anger, and happiness.{The importance of the setting and the character traits makes this a delightful book to read.} Nature is a great setting for the story because it provides a lot of imagery for the reader to absorb. "Some swamps,but they had trees scattered through them." "No roads,trails,or clearings." Also the reader can connect with the character and imagine what is happening. "As soon as he moved,the hair on her back went up and she charged him again, using her head and front hooves this time, slamming him back and down into the water and she left again." Brian has changed since the crash so long ago. His character traits have changed from city boy to enlightened and bieng at one with nature. "None of that used to be Brian and now that was a part of him, a changed part of him, a grown part of him, and the two things, his mind, and his body, had come together as well, had made a connection with each other that he didn't quite understand." "When his ears heard a sound or his eyes saw a sight his mind took control of his body" gary Paulsen's knowlage of writing a story has really helped him complete this story. Also his knowlage of the wilderness and the safty equipment has helped to enrich the already interesting story.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2003
On my opinion, and mind only, I think the novel Hatchet is a fantastic and exciting book. Thoughtout this book I could tell how the author used descriptive language which then created imagery in my mind. This novel is mainly about a young 13 year old boy, Brian Robeson, who is travelling to his father's with a timid pilot. Soon, the pilot gets sick and has a massive heart attack. Brian panics tremendously and using the knowledge that the pilot has given him Brian tries to land the plane in a lake. With great luck the plane cashed in a L shaped lake leaving Brian in the Canadian Wilderness all by himself. I would diffenitly have to rate this book with 5 stars and I would like to take this time to say congradulations to the intelligent author, Gary Paulson, who made my day every chapter of the novel. It is a magnificent novel, perhaps the best one I have ever read in my entire life. I would love to create a wonderful book like Hatchet and have the knowledge to do so. It was just a reamarkable novel!!
Thank-you for your time
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