Hatchet (audiobook)

by Gary Paulsen

AR Level 5.7, 7 points


Hatchet is a book I’ve put off reading, and figured I should at least see what the hype is about.  Since I knew I’d never read it, I decided to listen to the audiobook.  I’m glad I did.  It isn’t my kind of book, and I have no interest in finishing the series, but Hatchet is a Newbery Honor for a reason.

The story starts with Brian flying to visit his father in a small plane.  He is thinking about his mother having an affair and his parents’ divorce, when his pilot has a heart attack and dies right there at the controls, with them still in the air.  Brian is panicked and has to find a way to land the plane.  He crash lands it into the water, and survives.  Brian spends the next 50+ days recovering from injuries and trying to survive the wilderness with nothing but a hatchet to help him.  Brian is eventually discovered, but not before he suffers and grows stronger.

What I liked about the book was that it is action packed from the moment you start reading.  There is drama throughout, and it would hold the attention (I think) of kids who enjoy adventure and survival.  It didn’t have what I would look for in a book, but I can see the merit in it, and why it won the Newbery Honor title.

What I didn’t like about the book was the fact that the pilot stayed in the plane the whole time.  I kept picturing him in there, dead, and knowing that the body doesn’t look great after it’s been underwater (dead) for awhile.  I just didn’t want to picture it, and I knew that he would eventually be discovered by Brian.  I don’t think that’s an image any kid should have, and it kind of weirded me out.

Book 43 of 40 (40 Book Challenge)


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