A few weeks ago my son came home from school and started talking about this book that his class was studying, Hatchet.
Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen, is a book about a 13 year old boy who survives a plane crash but is left stranded alone in the Canadian wilderness. Of course I had heard of this book before. I knew it was a popular well respected novel, but honestly it just never appealed to me enough to read it. But this novel was now doing something no other book had done before. It was sparking an interest in my son! He told me it was a fantastic book and he hated to have to wait until the next day to continue reading. He wanted to sit down and read it as fast as he could! He's never felt that way about a book before! Each day he would come home from school and voluntarily tell me all about the chapter he had read that day! Seeing this book spark so much excitement in him made me want to read it too so I bought it and started to read it out loud to all my kids. I have to agree it is a very compelling story that really draws you in. Only thing I didn't like was Gary Paulsen's writing style of repeating a thought more than once. It was a little annoyance, it did not overshadow the greatness of this book!
If you are looking for a thought provoking novel unit for grades 5-8 to draw in your reluctant readers please check out my Hatchet Novel Unit in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store, Teacher's Notebook Store, or on CD at Amazon.