Book Title: Hatchet

Author: Gary Paulsen

Genre: realistic fiction, survival, adventure,

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

  • ISBN-10: 1416936475
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416936473

Pages:  192

Age: 12 and up

Awards:  1988 Newberry Honor, William Allen White Children's Book Award 1990

Why Did I Choose It?  Not only is this a receiver of the Newberry honor but I've read this book twice now and I am looking forward to reading it again!  It's a must read for my youngest son when he's older and it's a must read for every boy (and girl) out there!

A Bit From The Back Cover:  Thoughts of his parent's divorce fill Brian Robeson's head as he flies in a single-engine plane to visit his father in the Canadian wilderness.  When the pilot suffers a heart attack and dies, Brian must somehow land the plane by himself and then, left with only the clothes he is wearing and a hatchet he received from his mother as a parting gift, Brian must put thoughts of his past behind him and try to figure out how he can stay alive...

My Review:  In my honest opinion, this is one of the best - if not THE best- Living Book our there for boys in this age range. The book is wonderful to say the least. It's beyond the typical adventure story for boys and leaves you, heart stopping, turning the pages for more.  This is the first book my son continuously asked me to keep reading and not just during our set 'read-aloud' time.  Told from a third person point of view, the story tells us Brian's thoughts and feelings through the  action packed events in the story. The reader follows Brian through learning to fish, make fire, build a shelter, and encounters with wild animals and we see him grow in every way imaginable. We were sad that the book ended, but thoroughly delighted to learn it was the first in a series!

Other Books By This Author:  The River, Brian's Winter, Brian's Return, Brian's Hunt, Dogsong, Soldier's Heart, Harris and Me, and many more!



Lily Mollahan's bedroom was at the top of the stairs, the only one on the second floor. "The top of the house," Gram always told her, "the top of the world".
But Lily didn't feel like she was at the top of the world much during the summer of 1944.

Lily's Crossing, written by Patricia Reilly Giff , won a Newberry Honor in 1998 (The Newberry Medal Book of that year was Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse).
This historical fiction children's book takes place in Rockaway, New Jersey in 1944.  By summertime, it seemed life as she knew it was changing for Lily.  Even though she was headed for Rockaway, her usually summer spot by the beach, her best friend was going away for the summer to a wartime factory town, her father was leaving to go to war and the new boy, Albert, was a refugee from Hungary. Both Lily and Albert have secrets and a need to tell lies...

While my major goal is to read all of the Newberry Medal Books, I also have a desire to read the Newberry Honor books.  Lily's crossing was not a disappointment.  It is, I feel, one of the finer historical fiction books I've read geared for 8-12 years of age but a nice read for any age.

A theme of friendship intertwined among the historical hardships of the time.  Lily feels overwhelmed by the move of her best friend at the beginning of the story; her first encounter with Albert doesn't help!  But as the story progresses, their friendship develops and deepens and is a testimony to how vital a friendship can be during life's struggles.

Patricia Reilly Giff was born in Brooklyn, New York and spent her childhood with her nose in books.  Some of her favorite childhood books, like me, included Little Women and the Nancy Drew series! She also loved to write from early on.  Before becoming the popular children's author that she is, Giff spent twenty years as a reading teacher.  Her focus in the beginning, as an author, was to offer fun and exciting chapter books to grasp the attention of the reluctant reader and keep them turning pages.  She has received the Newberry Honor not only for Lily's Crossing but also Pictures of Hollis Woods.  Nory Ryan's Son was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adult and an ALA Notable Book.  She is also known well for her Polk Street School series. Ms. Giff  lives in Connecticut with her husband and cats.

What books have you read by Patricia Reilly Giff?


Who doesn't love books?

Okay, I realize there are a few but those are just crazy actually, I believe  those people were just  never given the right books!  My true passion for books started with this one:


I read lots of books before that...true...but my need to devour a book began with Nancy Drew.  I polished this one off in two days and I was only in 2nd grade!  I later devoured many more and I plan to devour quite a few this year.  I thought I'd share my plan for books with you for 2014....   I touched upon it in my New Year's Resolution post...  but since then I've made a list and updated my photo for the blog with the books I'm currently reading or plan to read in the upcoming year.  They are not ALL on the shelf yet, obviously...  I haven't yet purchased all of the Newberry Medal books yet and I hope that I will add more as the year goes on.  But here is what's on the shelf so far:


  • Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman*
  • Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz*
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  • Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
  • Carry On Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
  • ?  still deciding....
  • ?  still deciding
* They are not in the picture because I haven't purchased them yet!


  • Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Englemann - I've read the parts I need to 'read' but we are still using it for the exercises so I don't count it as totally completed yet!
  • Exploring America by Ray Notgrass -  Reading Book #2 with my son for school
  • Laying Down The Rails - Sonya ShaferThe Early Years - Shafer & Smith
  • All Day Charlotte Mason Seminar  &  The Books and Things Seminar - DVDs and workbooks presented by Simply Charlotte Mason
  • When Children Love to Learn by Elaine Cooper


  • Writing Picture Books: A Hands on Guide From Story to Creation by Ann Whitford Paul
  • 2014 Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market
  • A Family of Readers - The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature
  • Honey For A Child's Heart - The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life  (this one easily falls into the Homeschooling category as well as A Family of Readers)


  • The Orthodox Study Bible - yes, I've already read it 🙂  But the bible is a daily must no matter how many times one has read it,
  • The Faith by Clark Carlton
  • Inner River: A Pilgrimage to the Hart of Christian Spirituality by Kyriacos C. Markides
  • The Open Door by Frederica Mathewes-Green
  • 2014 Daily Lives, Miracles and Wisdom of the Saints (Fasting Calendar by The Orthodox Calendar Company)


  • The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
  • The Coconut Miracle by Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D.
  • It Starts With Food by Dallas & Mellissa Hartwig - I've read this before but I have a feeling I'll be reading it was that good and packed with great information.
  • ??  More to be Determined!


  • Dr. Sleep by Stephen King  ***  I couldn't let this one go by, no matter how many other books I'm reading!  It's the sequel to The first Stephen King book that I ever read!
  • Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff - a Newberry Honor Book
  • The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson  -  sadly it's not in the picture because it doesn't come out until January 7th.... but I should be getting it delivered that day!!
  • Glimpse - the debut novel by Kendra  Leighton... apparently based on the epic poem, The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes... this book is due out in August.
  • The Red Badge of Courage (my son is reading this one this year and I never have)
  • The Pearl by John Steinbeck (Another my son is reading)
  • The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway (And another)
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare (My son's first Shakespeare - wish us luck!)
  • Others, if time, To Be Determined.....


  • No current list made.... I'm sure there will be tons....  at the very minimum we go to the library every 2-3 weeks and get at least 12-15 books..... that should involve a lot of reading!

What's on Your bookshelf to read?


The Newbery Award is the first children's book award ever created.


The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association to the author of the most distinguished American children's book published during the previous year.  This medal and the Caldecott are considered the two most prestigious awards for children's literature in the United States.

It is my goal to read all of these books.  That goal got put on hold for several years but I am back on track.  I am also eager to read the Newberry Honor books - from the beginning of the awarding of the Newbery and Caldecott Medals committees typically cited other books as worthy of attention. Such books were referred to as Newbery or Caldecott "runners-up." In 1971 the term "runners-up" was changed to "honor books".                                                                                                     Newbery_Honor_Seal

I've never been disappointed by a Newberry medal winner or honor book yet.  Some are higher on my favorite list, but I find them all to be of quality literature and worthy of their label.  Out of the Newbery Medal Winners from 1922- Present, I have read 31 out of 91... I have a way to go!  How many have you read? Do you have a favorite??

Newbery Medal Winners, 1922 - Present

2013: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins Children's Books) 2012: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (Farrar Straus Giroux) 2011: Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books) 2010: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children's Books) 2009: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean (HarperCollins) 2008: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick) 2007: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illus. by Matt Phelan (Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson) 2006: Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins) 2005: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster) 2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press) 2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (Hyperion Books for Children) 2002: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park(Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin) 2001: A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (Dial) 2000: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Delacorte) 1999: Holes by Louis Sachar (Frances Foster) 1998: Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (Scholastic) 1997: The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (Jean Karl/Atheneum) 1996: The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman (Clarion) 1995: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (HarperCollins) 1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry(Houghton) 1993: Missing May by Cynthia Rylant (Jackson/Orchard) 1992: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Atheneum) 1991: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (Little, Brown) 1990: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Houghton) 1989: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman (Harper) 1988: Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (Clarion) 1987: The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (Greenwillow) 1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (Harper) 1985: The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (Greenwillow) 1984: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (Morrow) 1983: Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt (Atheneum) 1982: A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard (Harcourt) 1981: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (Crowell) 1980: A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos (Scribner) 1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Dutton) 1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Crowell) 1977: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (Dial) 1976: The Grey King by Susan Cooper (McElderry/Atheneum) 1975: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton (Macmillan) 1974: The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox (Bradbury) 1973: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (Harper) 1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien (Atheneum) 1971: Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars (Viking) 1970: Sounder by William H. Armstrong (Harper) 1969: The High King by Lloyd Alexander (Holt) 1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (Atheneum) 1967: Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt (Follett) 1966: I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino (Farrar) 1965: Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska (Atheneum) 1964: It's Like This, Cat by Emily Neville (Harper) 1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (Farrar) 1962: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton) 1961: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell (Houghton) 1960: Onion John by Joseph Krumgold (Crowell) 1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Houghton) 1958: Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith (Crowell) 1957: Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen (Harcourt) 1956: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (Houghton) 1955: The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong (Harper) 1954: ...And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold (Crowell) 1953: Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark (Viking) 1952: Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (Harcourt) 1951: Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (Dutton) 1950: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli (Doubleday) 1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (Rand McNally) 1948: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois (Viking) 1947: Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (Viking) 1946: Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski (Lippincott) 1945: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson (Viking) 1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (Houghton) 1943: Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray (Viking) 1942: The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds (Dodd) 1941: Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry (Macmillan) 1940: Daniel Boone by James Daugherty (Viking) 1939: Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright (Rinehart) 1938: The White Stag by Kate Seredy (Viking) 1937: Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer (Viking) 1936: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (Macmillan) 1935: Dobry by Monica Shannon (Viking) 1934: Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women by Cornelia Meigs (Little, Brown) 1933: Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis (Winston) 1932: Waterless Mountain by Laura Adams Armer (Longmans) 1931: The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth (Macmillan) 1930: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (Macmillan) 1929: The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly (Macmillan) 1928: Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji (Dutton) 1927: Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James (Scribner) 1926: Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman (Dutton) 1925: Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger (Doubleday) 1924: The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes (Little, Brown) 1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (Stokes) 1922: The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon (Liveright)