Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet was one of the books I was most excited come cover ~ above the podcast. When I began making a list of every one of the title from my own childhood that ns would want to cover once the show got up and running (well over a year ago!), i’m pretty sure this one was close to the top. I have actually such vivid memory of analysis it for the an initial time together an primary school schooler, and of thinking that it to be so much various than any kind of other publication I’d read before. I couldn’t wait to see exactly how I would endure it together an adult!

As you already know if did you do it tuned in to illustration 61, rereading Hatchet pretty lot met mine high expectations. The points I favored best about it now are various than the things I preferred best around it as soon as I was a kid, yet I guess it is the way it should be… and also overall, I’d say that the 2 experiences balanced out so that I enjoyed the book equally both times. My guest on this episode was soon-to-be debut author Sara Faring, and we spent a most time writer-to-writer gushing about how beautiful Paulsen’s creating is. But, seriously. That very beautiful.

I had actually a lottttt of note on Hatchet, and since we didn’t obtain to chat around them every in what essentially came to be a Gary Paulsen pan Club meeting, i’m sharing the True Story below!

(Check out the illustration here! Plot an introduction of Hatchet here!)


I don’t think I actually knew what a hatchet was when I review this the an initial time…

I think I established prettttty clearly in the episode that ns was steady an indoor cat as soon as I was farming up. And in mine defense, what go a ten-year-old girl living in suburban Pennsylvania ever before really have to do v a hatchet? In my experience, the answer come that inquiry is nothing. She never ever really requirements to execute anything with a hatchet.

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What is sort of embarrassing, though, is the I most likely didn’t ever before ask anyone to assist me number out what a term was till the book was over. Once I was little, i really didn’t prefer feeling stupid or needing to ask a many questions. I was said on more than one occasion that i was a little bit of a know-it-all!

I’m certain I acquired the basic sense of what a ax was based upon the method Paulsen describes it in the book, yet I definitely didn’t obtain a clear snapshot until means after the fact. If I had to guess, I would certainly say that I more than likely learned the meaning years later and also had a minute of, “Ohhhhhhh, for this reason that’s what that book was about!”

Brian had a shockingly mature handle on the legal nuances that his parent’s divorce.

I talk in the episode about the truth that — as a child of divorce myself — i often discovered myself attracted to publication characters whose parents were also no much longer together. As soon as you’re a child that spends a the majority of time making plans based on whose house you’re going to be remaining at top top a offered weekend, friend can’t help but cling to that “divorced kid” identity! (For what that worth, ns glad come say that I’ve moved on native that.) ns think that Brian’s reflections on his parent’s divorce beforehand in the book are probably what drew me in once I read it because that the very first time… since I deserve to tell you right currently that that wouldn’t have actually been the harrowing crash landing or the wilderness survive portions.

What is surprising around Brian’s connection with his parents’ divorce is the level to which he appears to understand the legitimate proceedings that are going on about him. He seems to understand a totality lot about lawyers and how lock can influence his life! my parents gained divorced as soon as I was so small that I have actually absolutely no memory of the legalities of all of it, so the was exciting to think around just just how much a teens might have the ability to pick increase on in the same situation.

The heart attack scene in the beginning of the publication was really tough for me come read.

Shortly after Brian board the small plane in brand-new York so he deserve to fly to visit his dad, the pilot has a sudden love attack. Brian is the only passenger, and also at thirteen, he’s pretty ill-equipped to take care of what’s walk on!

When I read this book for the very first time, I most likely would have actually told girlfriend that several of the an ext survivalist scenes were hardest for me to read — eating the turtle eggs, hunting, dismantling dead pets to eat — yet as one adult, the was the heart assault scene that really got me. The a hazard that hits lot closer to home!

My dad had actually a an extremely sudden heart strike last summer. Thankfully, he’s it s okay now, however it was tough for me to read Paulsen’s graphic summary of one of these episodes and also to think the it could have mirrored at every what my dad went through.

The perspective transition I acquired with Brian’s age was specifically crazy through this book.

This is solid the first time that I’ve reread a book for the podcast and LOL-ed about the fact that i once considered its key character a mature grown-up once they were yes, really a teen — yet it really got me with Hatchet! when I check out it together a kid, Brian appeared so incredibly old come me. Probably it was because I remained in elementary institution or was particularly unfamiliar v teenage boys. Or probably it was just due to the fact that Brian did such an exceptional job of taking care of self for all of those job he was alone! No matter the reason, he usually felt favor an elder come me. See? LOL.

Coming back to the book now having actually been thirteen myself, i couldn’t think that Brian was going through every one of this as soon as he to be so young. That was usually a infant left alone in the Canadian wilderness! wherein I once felt impressed and also intimidated by him, I now felt an almost maternal instinct to safeguard him. It to be a wild perspective shift!

I’m tho not certain what to do of the reality that the didn’t take the rifle…

In the last chapters the the book, Brian manages to get to a survival pack that’s been covert in the back of the sunken plane. That takes most of the items in it, but he leaves the rifle behind. Sara and also I didn’t obtain a chance to have actually a conversation about this, i m sorry is a shame, due to the fact that I think the decision probably has actually a lot to say about the method he creates as a character end the course of the story. It’s additionally a really interesting moral discussion.

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I’m not sure what I think Paulsen to be trying to present us by having actually Brian leaving the pistol behind. Provided the current conversation about guns in this country, I should say that ns was happy that he did, though. Possibly he feel so happy to have actually overcome all of the situations that easily can have eliminated him that he couldn’t bring himself to finish someone else’s life? maybe he realized he might fend for himself and didn’t need that sort of weapon come survive? perhaps he was scared that it? whatever his reasons, I found that Brian’s choice made me like him that much more.

Listen come the podcast episode around Hatchet here!

I can’t wait to hear your “true story” thoughts around this book. Share them with me in the comments below.

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