Reviews for Hatchet

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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

When the small plane taking him to his divorced father crashes in the Canadian wilderness, Brian, the only survivor, remains there for 54 days, struggling against not only the harsh surroundings but the inner rage and loneliness he feels because of his parents' separation. [BKL N 15 87]


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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Brian thought he'd perish in the plane crash; instead, he finds himself trying to survive in the Canadian wilderness. Tapping inner resources to fend off starvation, he comes out of the ordeal better equipped to deal with his own life and family problems.


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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Brian's amazing 54-day survival in the Canadian wilderness following a single-engine plane crash is chronicled in fascinating detail. A 1988 Newbery Honor Book. (N 15 87)


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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Gr. 5-9. How does a young teenager armed with only a hatchet survive in the Canadian wilderness? Hatchet challenges readers to place themselves in this predicament and ask, "Could I survive?"


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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Gr. 6-8. A compelling survival story that follows Brian Robeson through 54 days in the Canadian wilderness after the crash of a single-engine plane.


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Gr. 6-9. Flying in a single-engine plane across the Canadian wilderness to visit his father for the first time since his parents' divorce, Brian Robeson is hardly aware of the hatchet strapped to his belt, a gift from his mother for the trip. When the plane crashes and sinks in a lake, Brian somehow pulls free. From his white-knuckle cockpit experience Brian plunges into the intense reality of survival. Fingering the hatchet he feels a searingly painful motivation, ``Right now I'm all I've got. I have to do something.'' What follows is a riveting account of his 54 days in the wilderness; dirty, starving, lonely, crying self-pitying tears, wasted tears, until he learns the most important rule of survival feeling sorry for yourself doesn't work. ``When he sat alone in the darkness and cried and was done, was all done with it, nothing had changed.'' Readers may wince and flinch as Paulsen's drama unfolds: as night blends into the gray false dawn, the grip of the pacing never falters. Brian learns that while smiling at the humor of a funny mistake, he could find himself looking at death; learns that the driving influence in nature is to eat; learns tough hope; learns to be full of tough hope. After a tornado ravages his campsite every fragment of his microcosm of civilization he's back to square one, with nothing left but the hatchet and the changes he has come to know in himself; he might be hit, but he's not done. With an artfully crafted rescue Paulsen draws his vigorously constructed plot to a credible conclusion. PW. Survival Fiction / Divorce Fiction [CIP] 87-6416


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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The thematic concepts of man against nature and man against self are introduced in this story of a 13-year-old boy who is the lone survivor of a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness. His struggle to survive creates an exciting adventure for the reader and poses questions about one's ability to endure environmental hardships.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 8-12 Brian Robeson, 13, is the only passenger on a small plane flying him to visit his father in the Canadian wilderness when the pilot has a heart attack and dies. The plane drifts off course and finally crashes into a small lake. Miraculously Brian is able to swim free of the plane, arriving on a sandy tree-lined shore with only his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present. The novel chronicles in gritty detail 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. Paulsen effectively shows readers how Brian learns patienceto watch, listen, and think before he actsas he attempts to build a fire, to fish and hunt, and to make his home under a rock overhang safe and comfortable. An epilogue discussing the lasting effects of Brian's stay in the wilderness and his dim chance of survival had winter come upon him before rescue adds credibility to the story. Paulsen tells a fine adventure story, but the sub-plot concerning Brian's preoccupation with his parents' divorce seems a bit forced and detracts from the book. As he did in Dogsong (Bradbury, 1985), Paulsen emphasizes character growth through a careful balancing of specific details of survival with the protagonist's thoughts and emotions. Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

A riveting account of a boy's struggle to survive alone in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash.


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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Surviving a plane crash, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness. (N 15 87)


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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

In a classic adventure-survival story, teenage Brian is stranded, alone, in the Alaskan wilderness after a plane crash.


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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

After surviving 54 days alone in the Canadian wilderness with only a hatchet, 13-year-old Brian realizes he can also survive his parents' divorce. (N 15 87)


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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Gr. 6-9. Paulsen supplies a riveting account of a boy's challenge to survive a wilderness plane crash and in doing so comes to terms with himself. (N 15 87)


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

When the pilot of a small, two-person plane has a heart attack and dies, Brian has to crash land in the forest of a Canadian wilderness. He has little time to realize how alone he is, because he is so busy just trying to survive. And learning to survive, to plan on food not just for a day but untiland ifhe is rescued, only begins when he stops pitying himself and understands that no one can help him. He is on his own, without his divorced father, whom he was to visit, or his mother, whom Brian saw kissing another man before the divorce. This is a heart-stopping story: it seems that at every moment Brian is forced to face a life-and-death decision, and every page makes readers wonder at the density of descriptive detail Paulsen has expertly woven together. Poetic texture and realistic events are combined to create something beyond adventure, a book that plunges readers into the cleft of the protagonist's experience. Ages 11-13. (September) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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