Hatchet

ISBN: 0330439731
ISBN 13: 9780330439732
By: Gary Paulsen

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

About this book

The thrilling sequel to HATCHET, the ultimate survival story. Two years earlier Brian had been stranded alone in the Canadian wilderness for fifty-four days with nothing but a hatchet. Somehow, he had survived. Now he can hardly believe it. He has been asked to return to the wilds, so that others can learn his skills. Only this time he won't be alone. This time he will be in control. But plans have a way of going wrong...

Reader's Thoughts

Josh Fugate

The noval Hatchet is one of my favorite books of all time. This is a fictional adventure book. It is about a boy named Brian Robeson. After finding out about the divorce of his parents, he is emotionaly damaged. On his way to the airport, to visit his father, Brians mother gives him a gift. The gift was a hatchet, a very well crafted hatchet. On the plane to his father's house he experiences the fear of all. Brian and the piolet are the only ones on the plane. The piolet has a heart attack and they crash into a lake. Now it's all about survival. Brian saves himself from the sinking boat and pulls himself to land. This is were now he must hunt, build, and plan for survival. This was an amazingly successful noval. I knew from the start that I was going to love this book. What worked for me was the author had me wondering how Brian was going to survive alone, and stay emotionally stable. I thought that it was cool how he built a place to live and stay secure. I also wondered how he made hunting supplies and caught fish, and killed animals so he could eat. What didn't work for me was when he found out about his parents divorce and kept repeating the words, "The Secret" and everyone knew that the secret was the divorse. The theme of this noval was survival, that's all Brian wanted, was to survive. The point of view for Hatchet is third person, Brian is telling the story. The mood of this noval is the want to live, and a hopeful mood.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Theresa ♫

I closed this book,I sat there, mouth open, just . . . . just thinking.Dude.WHAT A BOOK.I mean yeah it took me a little bit to finish but OH MY GOODNESS! OH MY GOODNESS! This is the dream book of mine to read in class--I mean why couldn't we read THIS in 8th grade instead of Lord of the Flies?!Both are about boys (well Hatchet is about A BOY)stranded on an island after a plane crash.BOTH includes the wilderness!But here's the difference: Lord of the Flies--chock full of symbolic nonsense and not exactly teaching us a real lesson (well actually, it taught about logic in a society and...other things I let myself forget because I SERIOUSLY HATED LORD OF THE FLIES, but really this book did not impact me...)Whereas Hatchet . . . HATCHET actually taught about a boy LEARNING HOW TO SURVIVE instead of a bunch of boys trying to kill each other or...or take over one another--JEEZ Lord of the Flies was so . . . forgettable. (*Sorry, sorry, I'm not here to rant about Lord of the Flies, I'm here for this beautiful . . . HATCHET.)1. The words.The words. They were beautiful.Beautiful descriptions. Beautiful words used.Beautiful emotions and feelings and--dude I could see Brian trying to hunt his fish and his birds and his food--and trying to build a shelter--and TRYING TO SURVIVE!I felt Brian's emotions. It wasn't even in first person, but I FELT THEM.I FELT HIS FRUSTRATION. I felt his sadness and loss of hope, I FELT HIS DETERMINATION TO LIVE, I. Felt. It.And THAT, my fellow review readers, is what makes a book rememberable.2. Okay, maybe we won't all get stranded on an island in our life time.But you have to admit, this was a lesson that should be taught in school.Math? Calculus?English? Lord of the Flies?HOW ABOUT WE LEARN HOW TO SURVIVE IF WE WERE EVER TRAPPED IN THE WILDERNESS?!What about we learn about how to explore a land and have adventures if we do get stranded?WHAT ABOUT WE LEARN THESE THINGS--even if we're not going to get freaking stranded on an island--TO JUST EXPERIENCE ADVENTURE IN A CLASSROOM?!This is what we should know about!Maybe we learn a sliver of it in world history or US history or biology or whatever, but seriously!How did our ancestors hunt and grow food, and find water and shelter?What can we do if we were in an emergency like this?WHAT CAN WE DO?!This book has probably opened people's minds to the possibility of getting stranded on an island.It's an adventure about a boy getting stranded and what he plans to do to fix things.3. Dude, what amazes me is how much this book impacted me when there was hardly any dialogue between person-to-person in this book.How minus all the extra information from the author and pictures, this book is way shorter, but it still hit me.This author . . . this dude . . . he probably went on some adventures in life!He LIVED! Lived not in a city where everything is already on a silver platter but he LIVED, working for food for himself and working his butt off just to survive.He was thrown back into the stone age! I've never had to think about this stuff before but this book really brings it to my head. It woke me up to the fact that our way of living is so easy . . .But if we really were humans and we lived along with all the other animals on this world, no way is it easy. NO WAY is it easy.So Gary Paulsen not only weaves a story for Brian to change Brian's life, but he changes our lives too.Because seriously . . . I've never thought about what I'd do if I got stranded in a place in the middle of nowhere.YOU KNOW WHAT, lately I've found so many 5-star books . . . I feel like I haven't ranted about a 1 star book in forever . . .(*sigh)

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.

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.

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

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!

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