Today is the 73rd birthday of YA staple Gary Paulsen, the author of over 200 novels, including Brian’s Saga (read: Hatchet and its ensuing sequels). Hatchet is one of those books it seems like just about everyone we know has read, and just about everyone we know (ahem, including us) was at least a little bit scarred by it — or at the very least, picked up some important survival skills. So as a tribute to the author of this ubiquitous novel, and for a fun trip down memory lane, we’ve compiled a list of YA books that gave us some serious emotional wounds that we may or may not still be nursing a little bit. Click through to check out our list of YA books that totally scarred us for life, and let us know which ones still keep you up at night in the comments.
Hatchet, Gary Paulsen
In this novel, Brian’s plane crashes, leaving him alone in the wilderness with only his hatchet to rely on, staying alive on his wits and this one archaic tool. Okay, we learned some survival skills, but we can’t even bring hatchets on planes anymore. We can’t even bring Swiss army knives! We bought a Swiss army knife after reading this book and then realized it totally wouldn’t help in a plane crash situation! This book just reinforced our feeling that we would probably die if stranded in the wilderness for 54 days. Sigh.