Saturday, July 25, 2009

Survival Story

Over 2,000,000 copies of Gary Paulsen's Hatchet have been sold. It's a 1988 Newberry Honor Book, an ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults, an ALA Notable Book, and winner of 11 state book awards.

Full of adventure and survival, Hatchet is a compelling story about a 13 year old boy named Brian. He was traveling to visit his father when his plane, a Cessna 406, crashed in the wilderness. The pilot had a heart attack and died.

Maybe one of the reasons I like this book is because his parents are divorced like mine. (I have another post about picture books good for children of divorced parents.) But the main reason I know this book is good is that I couldn't put it down!

Luckily, at the airport, Brian's mother gave him a hatchet. This came in handy when he fought for his life until he was rescued. Do you think you could start a fire with a rock and a hatchet? I don't think I could!

This book would be great for a young teenager since the main character in the story is 13 yrs. old. There is the subject matter of the pilot dying, the divorce and "the secret" which is that his mother had an affair. So keep that in mind, but otherwise, you gain an appreciation for what a person must go through to survive in the middle of nowhere. Maybe I should be encouraging Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts! It's not likely that I'll be put in a similar situation, but I wonder if I could be as clever.

It was actually made into a 1990 TV movie called A Cry in the Wild, but I've never seen it.

Here are 5 Basic Survival Skills from that you would need to have or know how to do in order to survive an experience like Brian's.

1. How to Build a FIRE
2. How to Build a SHELTER
3. How to Make a SIGNAL
4. How to Get FOOD & WATER
5. Basic FIRST AID

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