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Hatchet Paperback – December 26, 2006
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"This is a spellbinding account...a winner."
-- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
-- Booklist, starred review
About the Author
Gary Paulsen is one of the most honored writers of contemporary literature for young readers, author of three Newbery Honor titles, Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He has written over 100 books for adults and young readers. He divides his time among Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, and the Pacific.
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Feeling nostalgic, I decided to go ahead and pick this up to re-read it after all these years. It holds up decently as an adult but you really notice it's flaws.
My main complaint is that it ends so abruptly. I don't remember that, but the end of the books feels really rushed, like the author said, "Whoops, I'm going on too long here," and decided to wrap it up quickly. Not so noticeable as a young kid with a short attention span but pretty jarring when an adult. Still, this book was made for kids so it's excusable.
It's never failed to remind me to take a moment and really look around at the life that's around us.
I can understand the concerns mentioned by others but while not dismissing them need to remind them that this book is about concepts outside of our modern trappings. First our kids today consume massive quantities of false drama. Endless reality shows spend hours highlighting the smallest tiff, vocal tic, or bit of offense as a very big deal. In an age where kids wait half an hour to see who will tip over a chair and walk out of a room, legitimate and life changing drama might seem overwhelming but that doesn't delegitimize the much higher stakes that this book envokes.
This book will grab your attention and stir your imagination and it does so by placing the character in a high stakes, life and death situation. However for the reward to be high, so must the stakes. The reward in terms of enjoyment for this book is totally worth the risk. Sure there are books out there where the conflict involves nothing more than petty matters but what can the reward be on such silly concerns? The main character undergoes a transformation that you would be lucky to have your child subconsciously acquire. He gains an incredible perspective on what matters, and what doesn't, and on what it takes to get and stay ahead in life.
on the comment side one commented and mention the story of Brian in the 'hatchet', i got intrigue and look for the book in amazon. i found it and when i start reading it i can not put down the book, though i know it's fiction but the comment is true, a 13yo boy survive alone without anything except his hatchet. very nice story.