Friday, September 4, 2009

Realistic Fiction—Younger Readers

HATCHET by Gary Paulsen

Bibliographic Information:
Paulsen, G. (1987). Hatchet. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. ISBN: 1442403322

Thirteen year old Brian Robeson has a lot on his mind with his parent's Divorce and knowing his mom's Secret, but when the pilot to the bush plane he's flying in has a heart attack, Brian must think only of survival. After crash landing in the middle of a Canadian forest, Brian must use only his wits and his hatchet to survive the wilderness, the insects and the hunger.

Lead Comments:
This is a fast paced survival book loaded with danger and compassion. The reader keeps reading to keep Brian company, to make sure he eats, and to see if he will be rescued. With issues such as divorce and secret keeping, Hatchet makes a great discussion book, but the suspence makes this a wonderful read aloud book.

Kirkus Reviews: (Excerpt)
A prototypical survival story... This is a spellbinding account... A winner. (pointered review) (Retrieved October 8, 2009 from the back cover of Hatchet, Aladdin Paperbacks)
Publishers Weekly: (Excerpt)
A heart-stopping story... Poetic texture and realistic events are combined to creat something beyond adventure. (Retrieved October 8, 2009 from the back cover of Hatchet, Aladdin Paperbacks)

Teacher Tools & Library Leads:
One of the most interesting problems facing Brian is that he doesn't know where he is. Using a map to show where Brian and the pilot take off from and looking for a possible flight path would be an interesting Geography lesson. Discussing the types of animals and birds Brian encounters as well as the plants he finds could be an extention of that Geography lesson.

Divorce and the consequences to children of divorce is an important theme in the book. Allowing children to discuss their experiences or write about their experiences with divorce is a great lesson. If divorce is not a comfortable topic, secret keeping could be used in the same way. Do you have a secret, do you know one about someone else, how does having this secret affect you?

No comments:

Post a Comment