Why did I love this book?
I know it’s not recent, but kids continue to read and love it. Hatchet is a survival story. But it’s also about so much more—accepting things we can’t change, not giving up when things get hard, pushing ourselves to do what needs to be done, and forgiving our loved ones even when they disappoint us. In other words: Life.
I don’t know if I’d be writing books that tackle life and death issues today if not for reading Hatchet years ago. I always knew I wanted to write for kids, but I wasn’t sure what limits the teacher and parent gatekeepers might impose on the upper middle grade genre. Hatchet inspired me to take risks and tell the stories of my heart. Make it exciting and interesting, yes, but also let it convey something more—an emotional story, if you will—that will leave the reader changed in some positive way for having read it.