19. “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen & “Once Upon A River” by Bonnie Jo Campbell
Brian has his hatchet and Margo has her rifle, and both are fending for themselves in these stories of survival. Their isolations are different though; where Brian is alone in the wilderness after surviving a plane crash, 16-year-old Margo is traveling along the Stark River in rural and sparsely populated Michigan in search of her long-lost mother. The dangers she encounters are real and often disturbing, but her perseverance is legendary.
Do you agree these were good compliments? What did you think of the books themselves?
Note: I have linked my reviews to each of the respective books as the titles in the beginning of this post. Also, if you have not read the books, I will likely have spoilers below so watch out!
In both of these books, the main protagonist is trying to survive. In the “Hatchet”, it’s physically, but in “Once Upon a River” I think it was more psychologically. I’m not sure if Margo ever even really realizes what’s going on around physically some times. They’re each isolated, so I will agree they match in that sense, but Brian had no choice whereas for Margo it was a little more self-imposed. In that sense, I say that these books are complements.
Since I found reading each of these a little lack-luster, I’m not sure I’d recommend them whole-heartedly. As such, that makes it a little more difficult for me to talk about the books since I’m somewhat indifferent.