Monday, April 16, 2012


I love how Charlie Hamilton wrote about the types of Realism in this review! Thanks, Charlie!

Paulsen, G. (1987). Hatchet. New York, NY: Bradbury Press.

One of my favorite authors of all-time, Gary Paulsen, wrote Hatchet in 1987 and it became a three-time Newbery Honor winner. This adventure and survival realistic fiction novel is about a young boy named Brian Robeson who is simply trying to handle the divorce between his mom and dad. While on his way to visit his dad in the Canadian Wilderness, his plane crashes and Brian is left stranded in the wilderness with nothing but a hatchet. The story tells of Brian's attempt at survival in the wilderness and as winter draws closer, Brian begins to accept the realization of never being found.

Realistic fiction is defined by "stories that could indeed happen to people and animals; it is within the realm of possibility." Hatchet successfully fulfills every component discussed by Marshall: (1) Factual Realism: Brian could be one of the thousands of teenagers who is torn between divorcing parents that occur in the United States daily. The book also takes place in a real setting, Canadian Wilderness. (2) Situational Realism is fulfilled by the plane crash, which happens more than we would like in America, and with the survival of a passenger who must live within the elements. (3) Emotional Realism is seen through the heartbreaking and triumphant actions of Brian. (4) Social Realism is provided by seeing the technology used by both Brian and his rescuers. As well as the occupations represented by many adults.

Paulsen has written a whole series devoted to Brian Robeson.

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