I read to my eight-year-old son at night before he goes to bed, just a quick chapter or two. Well, with our latest book, we decided to take a break from the endless series(es) of dystopian/steampunk/clue-finding/dragon-training/world-building books that are so-hot-right-now (ugh) and, instead, read a skinny book called HATCHET (One book! Can you believe it? Not part one of an epic, nine-volume, movie-tie in extravaganza!) HATCHET by Gary Paulsen. Oh, you've heard of it, great!
HATCHET is super awesome. A kid has to survive the wilds of Canada with, that's right, a hatchet. I have to be honest here, I hadn't read HATCHET before. I know it's one of those books everybody was supposed to read as a kid. Somehow, I missed it. It's 195 pages long and it's a great time. My son and I were both totally into it.
When "Brian," the main guy (we just called him "Hatchet,") first crashes into the woods I asked my son what he thought "Hatchet" should do to survive. My son's earnest response was, "He should find some kind of animal sidekick." Good grief.
I like everything about HATCHET (this sounds like a book report) except for one thing: the cover. The cover's kind of boring. My copy has a milky-white drawing of "Hatchet" with something like that "Three Wolves Howling at the Moon" T-shirt superimposed over it. It's pretty lousy. So I thought, just for kicks, I'd do an awesome cartoon cover for the book:Yeah! Tell me that wouldn't bring in some new readers. Check it out! Spoiler alert! If you haven't read the book, this covers gives away all kinds of stuff--woops!