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The Girl (age 11) read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen for her assigned summer reading.  She wanted to share her thoughts with you all, but she wanted me to ask her questions about the book, rather than write up a review.

Tell us about Hatchet in 5 sentences or less.

A 13-year-old boy named Brian is on a small plane with just him and the pilot on the way to visit his father.  The pilot has a heart attack, and the plane crashes.  He has to figure out a way to survive with just the stuff in his pockets and the hatchet on his belt that his mother gave him before he left.

Tell us about the main character, his personality, conflicts, etc.

Brian is upset about “the secret” that broke up his parents’ marriage.  He has to stay alive in the wilderness, with bad weather, no food, and wild animals.  I think he’s a smart boy.  He takes time to think about his situation before acting.

What 3 words best describe the book?

Suspenseful, interesting, action

What did you think of the author’s writing style?

It could have been more exciting.  It was descriptive, but I really didn’t like how it was so repetitive.

Divorce.

Secrets.

No, not secrets so much as just the Secret.  What he knew and had not told anybody, what he knew about his mother that had caused the divorce, what he knew, what he knew — the Secret.

Divorce.

The Secret.  (page 3)

There were some more parts like that.

Did you learn anything from the story or the main character?

I learned that you can start a fire with a hatchet and a stone.

Did you like the book?  Would you recommend it to your friends?  Would you recommend it to adults?

It was the best book the school has chosen for summer reading so far, but it’s definitely not one of my favorites.  It was a bit slow, and I think the author spent too much time having the character find food over and over again.  But when the action happened, it was pretty good.  I guess I would recommend it to a friend if they were interested in survivor stories.  I guess adults could find it interesting, too.

Have any of you read the book?  What did you think?

Disclosure: I purchased The Girl’s copy of Hatchet. I am an IndieBound affiliate and an Amazon associate.

© 2011 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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