Des Moines, IA
Dear Gary Paulsen:
book gave me a new vision of just how far one person will go to survive. Hatchet's
depiction of life in the vast wilderness of Canada struck me in a way that I
can hardly explain in words.
I myself have a great
affection for the Northern wilderness. Every page of your book brought me right
back to standing on the shore of the pond behind my cabin in Minnesota or
sitting on the large outcrop of rocks overlooking the lake. When I remember your book, it not only increases the great love
I have for the outdoors, but it also reminds me of just how harsh and
unforgiving it can really be.
I picked up your book at my school library, I had no idea of what a great
impact it would have on me. The way you emphasize just how alone Brian was and
how he managed to survive really made me realize
that I should work harder and harder in life, for although your story is
fiction, it reminded me that many people have been
in situations like Brian's, and unfortunately, not all of them probably survived.
you also write about how the peaceful wilderness can affect someone's attitude
greatly, and I agree. Before Brian was stranded, he was a
troubled 13-year-old boy. You wrote of how much he wished his parents were
still together, how much he wished things were the same as they used to be. But they weren't.
That fact really seemed to
make me think. Here is a kid my age who's lost in the wilderness with nothing
but a hatchet and lost happy memories. This
made me grateful that my parents are still together, for if I was put in the
same situation, I honestly don't know if I would be able to pull through.
techniques being calm also changed me. He thought of what his English teacher
had taught him; to always think positively. He has to
think that way in order to stay alive in the wilderness, while I am just here in Iowa trying to keep my head up in a
difficult football game. This great contrast is what made me know that no task is impossible as long as you keep
thinking and working toward it.
Brian's fifty-four days of survival, you talk of how
much he had to adapt to his surroundings in order to survive. I was very
interested in how he managed to make certain foods and tools with only the help
of nature, such as his fish trap,
his shelter, and a few other
things. That fact inspired me to work harder with
my family and in school like getting my service hours done on time for
conformation, or help my parents in the yard.
found myself feeling just as happy as Brian whenever he would find food or
finally manage to achieve something on his own after hours of hard labor. I
could really relate to how he felt all those days in the forest; how he became more and more aware of his surroundings and how
much he really came to actually enjoy being alone for awhile in
spending fifty four long days in the forest, Brian was a
changed man, and in a way I felt like I too had changed after finally finishing
the last page of your wonderful book. Thank you
for giving me a book which I could easily relate to, and one which I actually
dreaded getting to the end of.