Hatchet: With Related Readings

ISBN: 0821929607
ISBN 13: 9780821929605
By: Gary Paulsen

Check Price Now

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

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.

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.

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

Henry

My first foray into childhood favorites for one unlikely-to-succeed purpose: converting my brother from books about Harry Potter to books about anything else, in the world. Any suggestions?When I first read Hatchet, at around ten or twelve, I devoured it time and time again. The idea of learning wilderness survival with nothing but a hatchet and my own wits prickled the pores of my baby-smooth chest with visions of man-hair, tufts and tufts of it, more than I knew what to do with, for after finishing a book about a boy-turned-man's hard-earned survival in the rugged wilderness surely I myself would become a man (I confess to having the same thought at least once when re-reading it at twenty-seven). The book itself holds up as a taut, economically told story, no real flourishes to speak of, and yet when my brother read the first chapter, he woke me up to tell me it was weird. I tried to tease him with upcoming action beat - "there's a plane crash in the next chapter," I told him, at which point he went downstairs to play Super Mario Galaxy.

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.

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.

Nichole Sedler

Written by Gary Paulsen, published by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 1987.Summary: A story about a young boy whose family is torn apart by divorce. He travels on a prop plane to see his dad in Canada but during the flight, the pilot suffers a heart attack and dies. Brian crashes the plane into a lake and amazingly survives the crash. The novel follows his transformation through surviving 54 days in the wilderness before he is rescued. Response: I loved this story. I think intermediate elementary students would be captured by the realistic, dramatic turn of events and by the unlikely hero of Brian. Possible Units: I think this would be a great book for Lit Circles or even to read as a class. There is so much you could do with this book. Language Arts, Character Education, Cause and Effect lessons, etc.

Sara

** spoiler alert ** My step-brother Steven, who isn't much of a reader, told me this was his favorite book of all time, and the only one he read more than once. Every time I see him, he asks if I have read it yet. So Steven, this is for you.This book is about a boy who learns perspective the hard way, by surviving on his own in the Canadian wilderness after the pilot of the small plane he was on has a heart attack. While the boy Brian is the only major character in the book, common literary roles are filled in interesting ways. The villains are despair and "The Secret" (his discovery of his mothers affair which was the cause of his parents divorce). The first he overcomes, the second becomes unimportant. The Hatchet I think, may be my favorite character. Its roles as sidekick and mentor are well established as Brian depends on it for his survival. I look forward to the literary discussion I will have with my step-brother, and maybe he will even become interested in reading again. I can always hope... :-)

Nathan Simpson

The Story sets off in a single engine plane, Brian Robenson the main character sitting in the cockpit beside a pilot that he does not know the name to. Brian is hurting down ddep inside when the story flashbacks to a memory when he saw his mother with another guy at the mall, there is more to the story but that is all Brian's recollection to the flashback at that moment. A few weeks later his mother demands for a divorce. Soon he is forced to leave on plane to see his father in Cananada. Right before he boards his plane, his mother, gives him a gift. A hatchet which foreshadows the events to come. He does not know it at the time but that hatchet would count on his survival. Then suddenly the pilot has a heart attack and dies. Brian then takes control of the plane with the few short lessons he had before the Pilot died, and his failed emmergency contact, he crashes the plane in a lake. There is a sudden feeling that Brian has when he crashes that will determine if he lives or dies. He feels reborn. He feels alive.

Daniel Lowder

What I learned from Hatchet:1. If you see a man grimacing in pain, it could be a heart attack. If this man is the pilot of a charter prop plane that you're flying alone in, you could be fucked.2. If you eat mysterious berries, they just might give you severe diarrhea. And, having just been marooned in a plane crash, you could lack the proper facilities to expel the diarrhea within. So, you could end up shitting your brains out in a cave. Since the tender age of 9, when I glanced upon the pages of this book, I have had a fear in regards to shitting in the wild. Fuck you, Gary Paulsen.

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!

Eric_W

As many of you might know, I abhor the YA designation, believing it to be a form of segregation that simply makes it a target for the Comstockians of the world, witness recent calls for YA books to be more wholesome and less dark. That many so-called YA titles deal with issues that should be of concern to teens seems of little concern to those who want to prevent their sixteen-year-olds from reading about what they experience everyday. The YA designation, I suspect, has, in the past, steered many adult readers away from books so designated, not wanting to be seen as stooping below their level. (I use young adult and adult only in their chronological sense, certainly not from the standpoint of maturity level.)Our reading club decided to discuss a couple of books that had been enjoyed by some of our members from that standpoint. We chose two: Hatchet and Waiting to Forget (review to follow), each in its own way a survival novel, both in a wilderness, but one made of trees, the other of people. The differences are substantial with Waiting to Forget much more adult both in content and style. Hatchet is a great story for 10 year-olds (and young 60 year-olds) about a young boy (age thirteen) being sent to his father in Canada following a nasty divorce. The pilot of the single engined plane dies of a heart attack, and young Brian must find a way to stay alive in the wilderness (a remarkably non-hostile environment with the exception of a moose and tornado) with only a hatchet fortuitously given to him by his mother for survival. The book is told in third-person from Brian’s perspective so it’s hardly a spoiler to say young Brian, a very smart kid, indeed, survives by using his wits and, fortuitously, the hatchet given to him by his mother as a present before he left to visit his father.It's a good survival story although some of the elements like "the Secret" were peripheral and distracted from the story line. The Epilogue was totally unnecessary and redundant, I thought. The last line before it would have made a perfect ending. My understanding is that Paulson followed up with the success of Hatchet with a couple of sequels.As I read this enjoyable little book, I wondered if Paulson had become enamored of Tom Brown who achieved some fame as being a great “tracker” and wilderness expert. Raised in the Jersey Pine Barrens, he was ostensibly the grandson of an Apache named “Stalking Wolf.”(I'm not kidding.) Brown wrote several pieces on wilderness survival for Mother Jones in the eighties. I remember several nature types on the faculty asking me to order his books many years ago, although the luster seemed to tarnish some when it was learned Brown was fond of smoking.Looking up Tom Brown for this review I discovered he has capitalized on his knowledge. http://www.trackertrail.com/tombrown/...Tom Brown books: Tom Brown's Field guide to wilderness survival and Tracker and Tom Brown's Field Guide To Living With The Earth

karen

yes yes yes!! thank you to all the goodreaders who recommended this to me after my love for island of the blue dolphins became known. it turns out i love survival stories!! with teens!! and i wish i could say i never tore my eyes from the page and read this in an hour, but i have been having a distractedish day today; emailing my dad for fathers day (everyone: call your dads!! or if they are at work, email-chat them!) and then there was a fire across the street from me (which is my number one all time fear) and the people in the building are so casual about it - there are two fire trucks in the street, and firefighters swarming everywhere, and i look in the windows and in two different apartments, there are people just sitting and watching and smoking cigarettes. what is wrong with them?? dont they care that their building is on fire?? dont they feel the fear i feel?? did they light their cigarettes from their blazing belongings and treasures?? i dont understand their stoicism in the face of fire. but you know who loves fire?? brian. he uses it to survive in the wilderness. seamless segue back into the review. its great. i could read 400 more pages of this story. and despite my own fears of the fire leaping across the street to consume me and my beloved books, i could still engage in his plight: when he d the h in the w (clever code prevents spoilers) - i actually gasped out loud. and there were several times when he overcame a particular setback that i smiled. i totally cared about this character. i would love more survivaly stories, if anyones got 'em.

Melissa Wehunt

I probably should have read this years ago, but it is (literally) checked out whenever I go to find myself a copy. I finally got my eaudiobook...I was so excited...afterall, teachers assign this book ALL THE TIME! And kids/teens seem to love it. So... my expectations may have been a tad high. With that in mind, here are my pros/cons:Pros-1. Survival Story...that's always fun and interesting2. Would make a great (and easy) discussion book...which is probably why teachers love it3. Book that works for boys Cons-1. The stuff about divorce and his cheating mother. I don't know, it bugged me. I get why it's in there...that Brian needs to work through it and think before he acts and all the super obvious lessons that Paulsen beats over our heads...but it felt obvious and out of place to me. I would have like it more if it had been worked into the story better...like maybe revealing the 'secret' as he was dealing with survival. 2. The things that make it a good discussion book...All the obvious lessons! This isn't really fair to complain about. It's not Paulsen's fault I'm a full grown adult reading a kids book. But I am, and I found it tiresome and a bit eye-rolly. Is that a word? ;) 3. The reader. Couldn't stand him. And the quality of the recording was weird. So, about 2/3 of the way through (I had a copy sitting at the ref desk waiting for a teen to pick it up), I read the rest of it. Much better.

Matt Tyler

What boy has never dreamed of surviving out in the wilderness on his own? As a kid, I daydreamed about "roughing it" on my own with no food or tools. Many of those daydreams were sparked by Gary Paulsen's Hatchet, which was one of my all time favorite books as a kid. Hatchet is one book from my childhood that has always stuck with me. Perhaps it was because I found Brian so easy to relate to. Like Brian, my own parents divorced when I was young, which is something that always seems to creep into your mind when you least expect it. Or maybe it was because 13 year old Brian's frightening adventure as a lone survivor of a plane crash was so thrilling to a boy like me who loved everything about the outdoors. Either way, reading it 15+ years later was a blast. I found this book in a used book store and knew I had to buy it as soon as I found it. It did not disappoint! I thoroughly enjoyed reliving the adventure with Brian. I was amazed, also, of the subtle "life lessons" that Paulsen weaves into the story. Reading this book again makes me want to track down some of the other books that were important to me as a kid. Thanks to Goodreads "Readers Also Enjoyed" section, I was able to find a few of those. I hope to read some of them again over the next year.I recommend this to every young reader, especially boys. I look forward, Lord willing, to reading this to my own son one day.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *