Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.

A 2019 reading Challenge Book Review.

Hatchet is a novel by the author Gary Paulsen. First published in 1987 Hatchet is considered young adult fiction. Hatchet is the perfect book for our 2019 reading challenge. Although, it is listed as young adult fiction I think it is perfect for anyone to read. 

Hatchet is the first of five novels put out that details the survival ordeal of Brian Robeson. Brian is a thirteen year old boy that is put through a huge ordeal and is forced to face many aspects of survival and internal problems. All Brian knows about survival is what he knows from popular culture which means he does not know much. 

Paulsen brings a lot of varying aspects of survival and internal conflict into this one novel. Some portions of this novel are a picture perfect example of what not to do while, Brian’s struggle to survive alone shows what a person can do when they put their mind to it. Internal conflicts that Brian has like dealing with his parents divorce push him in directions that normal people would not have to go. 

Many times Brian is forced by these situations and other close calls into a very low place. Low enough that he even tries to take his own life. Failing actually turns him around and his drive to stay alive and return home renews. This is just like his evolution from picking berries to wanting fish and larger game. His will  to survive evolves and changes throughout the book. 

The book ends ironically enough when Brian finds a survival pack that has an emergency transponder in it. Thinking it is broken and not working he begins to cook some freeze dried food that he found with it. At that moment a plane lands in the lake that he crashed in. 

Gary Paulsen has a lot of experience in writing books for young adults. He has over 200 to his credit and most of the are all written toward young adults. Paulsen also ran the Iditarod twice finishing in fairly decent standings. He has the knowledge of writing and the real world experience to bring together a book that people of all ages can enjoy. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone that is into survival or bushcrafting. Brian’s journey over this novel is outstanding and worthy of repeating. 

There is the basic information, You decide the outcome!  

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