When listening to audiobooks during my commute, I find that YA or non-fiction are perfect to keep my attention. If books have too much detail, description or too many characters, I find myself either losing track or paying less attention to the driving which is not a good thing!
After receiving a copy of Hatchet for my Little Free Library, I decided to give it a try before promoting it. I am glad that I picked it up and love that it is a book that I can discuss with my kids. As the mother of 3 boys and 1 girl, I can see that this book would be entertaining, educating and keep the attention of middle-grade boys who might be reluctant readers. I was pleasantly surprised that seeing the book cover on the car screen started conversation with my car pool kids. One of the boys had just finished the story and the older kids had all read the book in younger grades.
It is the story of Brian, a 13 year old boy who is struggling with the recent separation of his parents. He discovered a secret about his mom and is brooding over it. He is torn as to whether or not to confide in his dad who has moved away. During his flight to visit his dad for the summer, the bush plane flying over Northern Canada, crashes after the pilot suffers a catastrophic heart attack. Brian crash lands into the Canadian wilderness where he must fend for himself as he awaits rescue.
As Brian fights struggles in the wilderness he learns lessons of survival. He gains an understanding about himself, his strength and what he is capable of during his weeks in the wilderness. This helps him to put his life experiences into perspective.
The YA novel was published in 1987 and continues to resonate with students today. It is easy to see how this novel will capture the attention of both boys and girls who may seem themselves in and identify with Brian. It is an easy read and I look forward to discussing it with my son. It is interesting to note that this Newbury Prize winning novel is the first of a series of 5 novels.