13 year old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father in Canada. He is on a plane from New York, where he full time lives to the oil fields of Canada where his father lives. He has to go visit his father in the summer because his parents are divorced.
Before he left to leave and go live for the summer with his dad his mom gave him a gift, it was a hatchet. He didn't like the hatchet but he pretended to like it so his mom wouldn't feel bad.
While they were flying to Canada, the pilot got violently ill and ended up getting a heart attack while they were flying. Brian crash landed the plane and the pilot was left dead in the bottom of the lake.
Brian woke up with bugs attacking him and eating him alive. He was terrified and very scared that he was going to die. On top of that he got injured from the crash.
Brian got very thirsty so he decided to drink water from the dirty lake he drank so much it made him throw up all the water. Brian kept thinking about his old English teacher Perpich and how he would always tell him to think positive about his current situation.
Brian found a cave that he called home since he didn't know if he was going to live. He got very hungry so he went searching for food. He found sour and gross berries that he called gut cherries. He only ate them because there was no other food available. He ate so many of those gut cherries that he got sick that night.