>Gary Paulsen – Hatchet

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Know how I know I didn’t particularly like a book?  When I don’t remember that I’ve read it before.  It was not until I got to the end of chapter 1 of Hatchet that I realized I read it before sometime in junior high.  I remember reading Lord of the Flies and The Outsiders, but I didn’t remember Hatchet at all.
Well since I didn’t remember reading it, it was as if I was reading it for the first time.  Brian Robeson, a thirteen year old city boy, is involved in a plane crash on his way to the Canadian North.  All he has with him are the clothes that he is wearing, a hatchet his mother got for him, and whatever is in his pockets.  He must learn to survive out in the wilderness.

A hidden meaning, if there is one, in Hatchet is that schools kind of suck for educating.  Almost everything Brian knows to help him survive is from what he can recall on television programs.  The two notable exceptions are when he remembers one of his English teachers pushing self motivation and self belief and a Science teacher who taught Brian that water refracts light.  Oh and somewhere along the way someone taught him that fire needs oxygen.

Perhaps it is my age when I’m reading it, but I found Hatchet pretty boring.  Then again, I must have not liked it very much when I was at that age either if I don’t remember it.  It could also be that I’m not an outdoorsy, nature loving type of person.  If I was stranded in the wilderness, I would definitely curl up and die.  No question about it.

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