Hatchet

ISBN: 059098182X
ISBN 13: 9780590981828
By: Gary Paulsen

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Genres

Adventure Childrens Classics Currently Reading Favorites Fiction Survival To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

On his way to visit his recently divorced father in the Canadian mountains, thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is the only survivor when the single-engine plane crashes. His body battered, his clothes in shreds, Brian must now stay alive in the boundless Canadian wilderness.More than a survival story, Hatchet is a tale of tough decisions. When all is stripped down to the barest essentials, Brian discovers some stark and simple truths: Self-pity doesn't work. Despair doesn't work. And if Brian is to survive physically as well as mentally, he must discover courage.

Reader's Thoughts

Zach Costello

I enjoyed the book “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen. In this book, a thirteen year old boy named Brian took a plane to go to his father’s house in the Canadian wilderness. His parents were going through a divorce, because his mother had an affair. The pilot had a quick heart attack and he died. From there Brian crashed the plane into a lake, and had to learn to survive. The main characters in this story were Brian and the pilot. Brian was going on the plane to visit his father. Brian was also only thirteen years old and was injured from the plane fall. The pilot had a heart attack and died. This story was told in first story. This story takes place in the present times in New York and Canadian wilderness. When Brian gets in the plane crash he spends the rest of the story wondering in the wilderness. The theme was survival, because Brian had to learn to survive, when the plane crashed. Brian was injured and he didn’t have a lot of food to survive on. He also had to teach himself how to make a shelter and to hunt. I would recommend this book to middle school and high school students, because this book was an easy read. I really enjoyed this book and it is my favorite book.

Madeline

Friggin' awesome. My 3rd grade teacher read this book aloud to my class, a chapter a day, and I remember being absolutely enthralled every single day. She read it to us right before first recess, so whenever that day's chapter ended with a cliffhanger we had the whole recess to discuss what we thought was going to happen next (and act out our own renditions of the time Brian got attacked by a bear).

Lauren Ciccarelli

When my fourth grade teacher decided to read a chapter a day to my class she always said "let's see what Hatchet's up to" & we'd all crowd around to see if he'd been poisoned by berries or hacked his body parts off for nourishment.First off, the kid's name isn't Hatchet, which I still think would have made the book much better. At least it'd have some character, which is lacking in a huge way. The hatchet came from his mother, as a gift, right before his plane went down in the Canadian wilderness. No really, mom didn't plan that..?There's a lot of repetitiveness going on, both in the story & in Paulsen's writing which work against hearing it aloud. Growing up far outside of the wilderness, my preteen angst kicked in & I tuned out most of the book's survivalist techniques thinking I'd never, ever need them.Maybe I would have liked it had I read it myself, but the story & plot are still unappealing enough to keep me from wasting my time.

Khang ... Tran

In this amazing book hatchet, Brian is on a journey to his dads house. But first he has to go across the Canadian forest by plane. It was in the summer when Brian got a chance to visit his father, little did he know, the pilot had a heart attack during the flight. Brian was in shock when the pilot died right in front of him. Was this the last moment of Brian's life? This book is so good, its a thrill to read.I recommend this book to you young up and coming readers.This is a realistic fiction book.

Rachel

So when I was in the 7th grade, Mrs. Randall (formerly Sr. Mary Randall, an ex-nun) FORCED this pile of garbage upon me and the rest of my unsuspecting classmates. I was an advanced reader and it was a relatively short, easy to swallow book but it took me FOREVER TO READ IT. because it was THAT FUCKING BORING. It's about this stupid snot of a kid whose parents are getting divorced (mom and dad broke up! boo-hoo :'( i'm scarred for life now!) and somehow his plane goes down in the wilderness of Canada (which I can admit is the scariest fucking thing I can possibly think of. I'd rather be faced with the zombie apocalypse or a gang of mass murdering rapists than being stuck in the middle of Canada) so snot-face has to learn to survive on his own. He has a hatchet that his mom gave him (though I really can't say what possessed her to give her poor no-one-wants-me warning signs of future school shootings son a HATCHET, but she does) and he eventually stops crying and figures out how to pick berries and chop trees. Or saplings. Or something. I don't know. All I know is, this is the worst book EVER. UGH. And Mrs. "Ex-Nun" Randall made us watch the MOVIE, too. it was TORTURE.

Steve Vernon

A few years ago my stepson Connor asked for a copy of this book for Christmas. I hunted it up in a bookstore and decided to give it a read before wrapping it up. Then I had to go back to the bookstore and by another copy because there was no way I was going to let this one get off my book shelf.Hatchet is my all-time favorite YA novel. I admire the precision and no-words-wasted approach that Paulsen demonstrates with his prose. He cuts right to the bone and steps the action up fast.The story is a simple one. The young protagonist is lost in the north woods with nothing but a hatchet to survive with. It is a good old-fashioned yarn that will entertain and enlighten both young and old alike. I don't have enough thumbs to give this book all of the thumbs up it truly deserves. Hunt up a copy for any kid on your gift-buying list and make sure you buy a copy for yourself.Yours in storytelling,Steve Vernon

Becky

I.love.this.book.Seriously, I read this maybe in fourth grade? It was definitly in elementary school, because I remember it was at the same time that we we doing "survival skills"* in Girl Scouts. Not that I ever wanted to be trapped by myself in the wilderness, but I spent a lot of my time in my backyard pretending to find flint with my sister, and starting imaginary fires to keep warm. In winter we dug ourselves igloos. I always went camping with my parents, so this book started a lot of Q&A's with them about what to do if I get lost in the woods (Hint, No. 1 is STAY WHERE YOU ARE!). Any ways, its a great read for an elementary kid, and everyone should read it.* This was put in quotation marks because it was a total joke. I had been looking forward to these skills for quite some time, finally girl scouts was going to teach me what I wanted! Instead of knives they handed us popsicle sticks. For the love of God CUB SCOUTS get real knives. This was followed shortly on the heels of an outdoor cooking class where none of us were allowed near the fire. Basically we made banana boats, and then the instructor put the boats in and out of the coals for us. We learned how to build a fire with coals, not tinder. Agh. It was at this point that I decided Girl Scouts was NOT for me.

Matt Hewelt

** spoiler alert ** This was a book about a boy named Brian who is going to visit his father in Canada. On the way, he is co-piloting a small plane in which he is learning the ropes of flying. As soon as everything seems content and quiet, the pilot of the plane has a heart attack. Now, Brian lands the plane and has to survive with the only thing he has, a hatchet that his mother gave to him. Brian spends about a month and a half having adventures alone in the wilderness until he is finally rescued. There are a few sequels to this book that I really reccomend you checking out.The genre of this book is and adventure fiction with sparce moments of suspense and action. The language in this book was at a lower reading level, but it didn't take away from the effectiveness of description the author used. Brian was a dynamic character because he changed alot throughout the story and had to adapt to the circumstances presented before him. The theme of this book is don't underestimate yourself, because you never know what you can accomplish without trying. Brian had to try many new things he wasn't used to doing in this book, but he adapted sucessfully. The type of person that would enjoy this book is someone who enjoys fiction books about survival/wilderness. This book would also be good for someone who likes to learn about others experiences and struggles.

Evan

Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen was an amazing novel. Brian, a teenager who had no idea of what he was doing had to survive in the forest by himself without anything except for a hatchet and clothes! I did not enjoy that at the end of the book, Brian finally decides to go into the plane! He found, a survival kit with tools, food, and sleeping bags! Why did he not go into the plane in the first place?The theme of the book was very easy to figure out, never give up. Brian did not stop during his whole "journey" in the forest. He just kept on going and thinking positive. He was very close to giving up when he had failed to get food and when he ate the gut berries. In conclusion, Hatchet had few flaws, but was a great novel!

Jeane

Paulsen, Gary (1987). Hatchet. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. 186 pages.Summary and Evaluation: One summer day thirteen year-old Brian Robeson sets off on a journey to visit his father in northern Canada. Not long into the flight the unthinkable happens -- the plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness and Brian, the lone survivor, is faced with having to survive on his own with only one possession, a hatchet. Through this ordeal Brian learns important life skills including patience, thoughtfulness, courage, and "tough hope". It also becomes a time for him to reflect on and work through the "secret" that has destroyed his family.As I read this novel, I imagined living the same experiences right alongside Brian. I found myself trying to figure out how I would solve the problems Brian encounters -- the need for food, shelter, warmth, and protection. Needless to say, I probably wouldn't have made it past the first few days. The action in Hatchet is fast-paced with a new crisis around each turn, easily holding the reader's interest. This is a story that celebrates human ingenuity, determination, and courage in the face of conflict and prompts the reader to reflect on how much our society takes for granted. I almost regret saying this because of the gender stereotyping implications, but this is a novel I would recommend to young boys because of it's action and problem-solving elements. But as a member of the opposite sex I also enjoyed this novel because of these same things.Booktalk Hook: Assuming a small group I would start by asking several members of the audience what one item they would want with them if they were stranded without hope of rescue. This would then lead into a discussion about the book including a summary of the plot and a short reading starting with "Stupid, he thought" on pg. 161 through "And he had dropped it" on pg. 162.

Marshall Jones

Brian is on a journey across the Canadian forest, on a flight to visit his father. As Brian is on his way to the airport his mom had gave him a pocket hatchet for his trip. On the flight the pilot of the two seat plane started to feel a bit strange and having pains and letting off choking body odors. He was having a heart attack. The pilot had past out and Brian has to take over and steer the plane safley to the ground but insted he safley crashed the plane in the Canadian wilderness. He is now alone. He has nobody.From this point it is just a survival game for Brian, hunting for food and chopping trees for shelter and salvaging any materials from the the crashed plane to stay alive. Brian soon then encounters a big black bear but lucky for Brian he does not go near him. After weeks of staying alive in the wildness alone he manages to get rescued my a search party sent my his father.Hes alive.I really enjoyed reading this book it was very excited and interesting.i would highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys ready very realistic books.

John

When Brian's plane crash lands in the Canadian wilderness, Brian must learn to survive in the forest all by himself with only his clothes and a hatchet given to him by his mum...I wouldn't say this was the best book I've read but I wouldn't say it was one of the worst. This book gives you that feel that 'you're all alone in an unknown place with who knows what kind of dangers there may be'. And yes, it did make me a little scared. But despite the rather, in my opinion, boring ending of the book, it is nonetheless still a good book.

Keely

Gary Paulsen writes in only two emotions: fine and vomit-y. Someone may want to tell him that there are other ways to provoke a response in a reader than going right for the gut, so to speak. This book could have done with some fear and suspense, perhaps some gratification, depression, or joy. I do not mind a tragedy, nor do I balk at watching the man beaten down. I am a fan of Chekhov's. If your idea of suspense is mosquito bites on your nipples, meet your Stephen King.

David

So when I added this, I vaguely recalled the title, and I swear, I have definitely read it, but what I thought it was about was a boy being stuck under the snow following an avalanche (it turns out the book I was thinking of is apty named Avalanche by Arthur Roth) but anyway, that's not what it is about, and I really don't remember this book at all.Hatchet I definitely read in middle school at the instruction of my librarian (we had a sort of once-weekly class in the library to introduce us to the already anachronistic card catalog, and maybe to encourage us to read). It strikes me now as one of those "boy books" and was sort of offered to me as an alternative to Babysitters' Club or Nancy Drew, maybe. It's strange now, because it undervalues literature very much to say that some is suited to boys, and others to girls (which is to say nothing of our society's pathetic need to classify and categorize). Based on my vague and unreliable memory (and the description gleaned from amazon), here are the reasons why you should have your son, nephew, homeless male orphan read Hatchet:1) It is the story about a boy named Brian. Brian is a great boy name (maybe you've considered it for your tot?), and everything he does (probably) exudes the same brand of outdoorsy masculinity that you want your little Timmy, Tommy or Teddy to adopt as an adolescent and adult.2) It takes place outside. What better way to encourage kids to go outside than to have them sit inside and read a book about a boy who is outside?3) There is a hatchet, presumably. Whether little Johnny has that lumberjack vibe, or that investment banker gone Sarsgaard-murder-house vibe, certainly it will be important to introduce them to the concept of the hatchet. A very useful tool that almost no one uses, as far as I know.4) The plot evidently features a plane crash, wherein Brian must be the lone survivor. Very likely to happen. Also, surely all the characters in this book are male, what better way to introduce your young one to a realistic view of the world than to immerse them in world dominated completely by a young boy and some owls, or something. (also see: Lord of the Flies)5. This 20th anniversary edition features a great commentary by the author, Gary Paulson. Even though your little brat probably won't read this (why would he?), it will give his ego the small boost for the illusion of having read a book a little longer than he actually did).6. This is the first installation of a SAGA. For one, "saga" is reminiscent to me of the Nordic mythos, which seems to be the most supporting of the idealized male image. It also means there are multiple volumes following our intrepid Brian. What more could you want? Why invest in Boy Scouts when you could drop a pile of Brian books in your kid's lap and turn him into a man, while saving all that time and money?Get it! So good!

Max Stone

(fwiw this is a book I read my kids aged 6-10)I'd give this book 3.5 stars if I could. Basically the stuff which makes it a classic and is indeed very good is the adventure/survival stuff (he is the sole survivor of a plane crash deep in the woods and has nothing but a hatchet). Both the details of what he is doing to survive, and the psychological changes he goes through in his attempt to survive are believable, interesting, and illuminating.There is a second thread in the book which is him processing his parents' divorce and in particular "the secret" which is that even before the divorce he saw his mother kissing some other guy. I wanted to retch every time this stuff came up. I found it much less believable and also generally an intrusion into the main story. I tried to think of some deep connection between the divorce / "the secret" and his survival which enabled readers to make connections and learn things about one or the other that they otherwise would not have been able to, but I really couldn't. Survival part gets 4.5 stars; his relationship with his parents gets 1.5 stars (my overall is 3.5 because the survival stuff is dominant).

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