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Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Survival Book for Boys

One of the challenges of homeschooling or having kids for that matter is finding great books for them to read. So I thought I would start sharing some of my favorite books with you. Here is the first one. A book for boys (and girls who love the outdoors).

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen


Grade level & category: 

Grades 5-8+; American Literature; Setting: Contemporary Canadian wilderness; Newbery Honor, ALA Best of the Best Books for Young Adults, ALA Notable Book, Booklist Editor’s Choice, Notable Children’s Trade Book In the Field of Social Studies, winner of 11 State Awards, 3 Apples Book Award Master List (NY),


nature, science, survival, courage, inner strength

Author biography: 

Gary Paulsen developed a love for reading at a young age when he was given his own library card. He traveled with a carnival, worked summer farm jobs, and also worked as an engineer, satellite technician, truck driver, sailor, construction worker, and ranch hand. This experience, along with running the 1,180 mile Iditarod Alaskan dog sled race twice, provides rich material for his stories.
An admitted workaholic, he works 18-20 hours a day. Paulsen is a master storyteller who has written more than 175 books and some 200 articles and short stories for children and adults. Three of his novels — Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room — are Newbery Honor Books. His books frequently appear on the best books lists of the American Library Association. Paulsen and his wife, Ruth Wright Paulsen, an artist who has illustrated several of his books, divide their time between a home in New Mexico and a boat in the Pacific.

Book summary: 

Over two million copies of this spine-tingling adventure have been sold. Thirteen-year-old Brian finds himself suddenly alone in the Canadian Wilderness after a plane crash. With nothing but the hatchet his mother gave him as a gift, he must survive with all his courage and ingenuity. He struggles and must find the strength to survive. An enthralling tale of survival and the human will to live.
Gary Paulsen has written four sequels including, Brian’s Winter, The River, Brian’s Return, and Brian’s Hunt.
Other books you might love if you love this one: Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Lost in the Barrens by Farley Mowat, My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, The Boys' Book Of Survival (How To Survive Anything, Anywhere) by Scholastic, Essential Survival Skills by DK, and Two Little Savages by Ernest Thompson Seton.

To talk about: 

What is really important and what do you truly value? What is superficial and what is lasting? How would you attempt to survive in a wilderness situation?  Read Psalms 23, 42, and 118. Where does our strength come from?

My favorite quote from the Book:

“He was not the same. The plane passing changed him, the disappointment cut him down and made him new. He was not the same and would never be again like he had been. That was one of the true things, the new things.”

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