One of the best stories we’ve heard all week has been about the rescue of Michael Auberry, who got separated from the rest of his Boy Scout troop during a camping trip and was lost in the North Carolina woods for four days. “Michael told his father he slept in tree branches during the night, drank river water and prayed he wouldn’t get sick,” according to the CNN report…and Michael’s father has also told other reporters that his son may have picked up those survival instincts by reading Gary Paulsen‘s Hatchet. In the novel, which has sold more than 4.5 million copies in just under two decades, a teenage boy who survives a plane crash and spends nearly two months alone in the wilderness until being rescued.
“I give the boy—it’s Michael, right?—all the credit,” Paulsen told the Baltimore Sun when reached at his remote Alaskan home. “He did it right. He didn’t panic. He found water somewhere. I’m so glad.”