Thursday, 24 August 2017

Hatchet by Gary Pauls

"He fingered the Hatchet at his belt. It was the only weapon he had, but it was something."

It is very easy to see why this children's novel is a Newbery Honor recipient. Sometimes the best children's books are those who don't treat children as anything other than slightly smaller, less experienced adults and this certainly fits that bill.

I finished this on a beach chair in Port Vila, Vanuatu on a cloudy but warm tropical day - does that make you jealous? It was suitably enthralling despite being such a slim tome.
I like the way the author juxtaposes the upheaval that parental divorce imposes on a child, with far broader and more worrying issues, namely that of survival.

Bear Grylls has nothing on this kid and yet his MacGiver like skills keep the reader on board as they have a somewhat organic nature that delivers real credulity.
I might lend this to my cousin's kids as I'm sure the adventure and sense of suspense will have them entranced. I also know a few adults, myself included, who will also find this hard to put down.

5 out of 5, watch out for the berries and the bear.

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