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Guts : The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books Hardcover – January 23, 2001
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What do you do when you're being charged by a red-eyed furious wall of brown fur that is an insane moose? How do you make a weapon with your bare hands? How do you sneak up on a grouse or a rabbit, kill it with a well-aimed arrow, and cook it over a fire--without a pot? All this and lots more is essential learning for Brian Robeson, the young wilderness survivor in Gary Paulsen's classic novel Hatchet. In writing that book, Paulsen was determined that everything that happened to Brian--the survival techniques and the physical and emotional traumas--would be drawn closely from reality and his own experiences. In Guts he reveals the stories behind Hatchet, as he lived them. Linked to specific incidents from Brian's ordeal are the skills and insights Paulsen learned as a teenager passionately in love with hunting in the north woods of Minnesota, the extremes of exhaustion and cold he knew in running the Iditarod dog races in Alaska, the chilling close-up knowledge of heart attacks from his experiences as a volunteer ambulance driver, the silence and majesty of the wilderness. Some great stories are told here: the child killed by two kicks from the razor-sharp hooves of a small deer, the difficulties of sharing a rescue helicopter ride with a terrified dog team, and some spectacular gross-outs about the nutritional need to eat every part of an animal. Hatchet fans will be agog, and parents and teachers will be thrilled to see the enthusiastic reaction of even the most reluctant readers. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell
From School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-Adding to his already considerable oeuvre, Paulsen offers this collection of wilderness survival/hunting essays that concentrates on drawing parallels between his own life and the fictional adventures and misadventures of Brian Robeson in Hatchet (Macmillan, 1986) and its sequels. The author's previous collection of hunting and fishing essays, Father Water, Mother Woods (Delacorte, 1994), was supposed to satisfy readers' need to know the stories behind the stories, but the flow of inquiries only increased. He wrote this collection, which focuses on specific events in the "Brian" books, to answer those fans' questions. Readers find out about moose attacks and plane crashes and attempts at eating raw turtle eggs. The writing is what we have come to expect from Paulsen-at times spare and at others lyrically descriptive of nature and life out of doors-but the repetition of ideas he wants to hammer home gets annoying in a couple of the essays. Every time he mentions money, he goes on to mention that he was working to pay for school supplies and clothes since his parents wouldn't. Guts is more meandering biographical musings than it is traditional essays. It does leave one wondering how he had time to pen his 100 plus books; he seems never to have been indoors since he discovered hunting as a teenager. This title is a must for libraries serving fans of the "Brian" adventures. It's also an excellent book to place in the hands of young readers interested in hunting since it imparts a responsible philosophy of hunting and gun usage.-Timothy Capehart, Leominster Public Library, MA
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Living 'off the land' in a wilderness takes more than I ever knew! MUCH MORE! The book GUTS spelled that out clearly for me as it will for any reader. I learned by his narrative and experiences, and I hope I never have to become self-dependent in the wilderness. I greatly enjoyed and became wiser by reading his book and of his experiences!