Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hatchet has sequels?!

I read Hatchet for the first time around fifth grade.  

I loved the book, so I was excited to read this timeless classic with my own fifth graders.

(The covers have changed over time, which was interesting to discuss with my students.  You can read about it here!)

When I was first starting out, I used donorschoose to write a grant for copies of Hatchet.  In doing so, I realized something:

Hatchet has sequels. 

Not just one, but several sequels.  How did I not discover this until I was an adult??

So naturally I requested six of each and through the amazing generosity of friends and strangers, this grant was funded and I received the novels.  (I have another project expiring soon...)

The Sequels:

Brian's Winter

In this novel, Paulsen responds to reader's notes about the ending of Hatchet by posing an alternative ending.  Essentially, millions of readers watched Brian struggle for months and were a tad disappointed where he seemingly effortlessly flips a switch and is rescued within a few hours.  This novel looks at Brian's struggles through fall and winter.

The River:

Like Hatchet, I'm lucky enough to have several covers in my classroom which allows for great conversation about the illustrator's intent.  In this novel, Brian is asked to go back into the woods with a psychologist (Derek) so that the government can learn his survival techniques.  Naturally, things don't go according to plan and Brian must deal with the consequences of nature.

Brian's Return:

Brian returns (duh) to the Canadian wilderness he's grown to call home.  He works with his therapist, Caleb, and struggles to find where he truly belongs.

Brian's Hunt:

This is the final adventure with Brian.  Brian meets a wounded dog, worries for his Cree friends...and lots of tears are involved.  Consider yourself warned.

Just for fun, Guts

I've never done this novel with a small group but it's awesome to get an informational text from Paulsen.  I learned a lot about his life and how it truly is reflected in his books.  

I have teacher guides for all of the novels and am in the process of revising them to improve the rigor of the questions.  They'll be available individually and as a bundle pack on TpT soon!  

Happy reading :)

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