- ISBN-13: 9781416925088
- ISBN-10: 1416925082
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: September 2007
- Page Count: 188
- Reading Level: Ages 10-14
- Dimensions: 10 x 8.3 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.85 pounds
A survivor's unforgettable story
Gary Paulsen's Hatchet, a Newbery Honor book that sparked a whole series of follow-up novels, has been fascinating even the most reluctant readers for 20 years. The story of a boy stranded alone and unprepared in the Canadian wilderness has perennial appeal, especially when the unrelenting drama and spare, muscular prose is rooted in the author's personal experiences. Brian, the 13-year-old protagonist, struggles with challenge after challengeinternal and externaland gradually accumulates the skill, fortitude and self-reliance to keep himself going.
In celebration of two decades of continuing popularity, a new hardcover anniversary edition of Hatchet adds three things: an introduction and ongoing commentary by Paulsen, plus gorgeous line drawings by artist Drew Willis. The handwritten notes and pen-and-ink sketches are scattered throughout the text like sepia-toned pages ripped from a weathered field journal, giving the book an intimate, journal-like quality, as if Paulsen himself is guiding us through Brian's adventures. Hatchet is all adventure, and which kind is the most horrifying is difficult to say: a dead pilot, a crash-landing, a tornado, wild animals, starvation or the prospect of parents headed for divorce. For young readers dealing with a world composed of shades of gray, Hatchet presents a welcome, vicarious scenario of black and white, perish or survive. This handsome gift edition is a real treat.