Book - 1987
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After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Antheneum Books for Young Readers, c1987.
ISBN: 9780689840920
Branch Call Number: PZ7.P2843 Ha 1987
Characteristics: 195 p. ; 22 cm.


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GCPL_Teen Jul 26, 2017

This classic is a great read for girls and boys alike. The action and adventure in a rugged outdoor setting keep the reader's interest.

JCLBeckyC Jul 19, 2017

This riveting book is a great pick for reluctant readers. Listening to the audiobook version is a great way to pass time on long family car rides. Brian is a tough, thoughtful character who should appeal to all genders and ages. This completely believable survival story is both action packed and a tribute to the amazing power of the mind. Highly recommended.

Jun 09, 2017

this is a great survival book

DBRL_KrisA Apr 02, 2017

This is one of those books that all kids apparently read in school at a certain age. It wasn't written till the late 80s, so I was at that certain age too early.
This is a survival story. Brian is a passenger in a prop plane that crashes in the (I guess) Canadian wilderness. He's the only survivor, and has to learn everything he needs to make it in the wild on his own.
Other readers have complained that Brian as a character is pretty bland, that he's not very well fleshed out. But the book is not about Brian; it's about the ability of someone (in this case, a thirteen-year-old city boy) to survive with next to no resources and almost no skills.
I really enjoyed this book, as an adventure story for young readers. I had a couple quibbles - mostly Paulsen's habit of repeating phrases; he repeats phrases; repeats them - but overall, this was a good, fairly quick read. I'm curious to know what the rest of the books in the series will add to the story.

I like this book because I liked the adventure that Brian had. I also like it because he had to fly a plane over a forest and he had to figure out a way to survive. - Daniel, age 11

ChristchurchTeens Feb 07, 2017

This book is about a kid called Brian that goes to his Dad's house to see him because his Mum and Dad have split up. On the way the plane pilot dies from a heart attack but Brian survives the crash and the only thing he has got is a Hatchet!

You will like this book if you like the woods and adventure stories. It is a really good descriptive book because you can see it clearly in your mind.

Reviewed by Andrew


Dec 10, 2016

Read book at school! Loved it and can't wait to share with others.

Dec 01, 2016

great book

Jul 21, 2016

Loved the book! it was all about a thirteen year old boy trying but succeed surviving in the forest for 4 months.

Jul 20, 2016

This is a story about a young boy who finds himself stranded within the Canadian wilderness. I appreciate Gary Paulsen's examination of struggle with actual survival. Although Brian has divorced parents this book is in no way a lesson on how to deal with parental divorce. It's about learning to co-exist, and to overcome any obstacles. The descriptions of how Brian went about making his survival certain, only with the use of his hatchet, was impressive. Regardless of age it wont cease to amaze. His encounters with wildlife vary from mirthful to downright frightful. Hatchet made me appreciate the items I had, as well as allowing me to understand that I should not get too upset over things I desire but don't have. Overall this is an excellent book to offer your 10-13 year old, a book about respect for nature, appreciation for life, and above all understanding that you will build it through the toughest of things as long as you've got the correct tools and are willing to learn a way to use them.
- @magicsoup of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen is a fast-paced novel about a boy surviving in the wilderness. The story starts out with our main character, Brian, flying in a small plane on his way to visit his father. However, the plane crashes, and Brian becomes stranded in the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on his back, the plane wreckage, and a hatchet that his mother gave to him. Gary Paulsen has done an amazing job going into all of the little details of physical trauma and internal suffering that Brain goes through. He doesn’t cut corners with Brian's personal thoughts and emotions, and they are very well laid out and developed throughout the story, as he slowly gets used to life in the forest, and all of the struggles that comes with it. In addition to Brian’s internal conflicts, there is also a lot of attention to detail in the nature and the forest that Brian is trying to survive in. All of the animals, creatures, and how they act in the wild is very realistic and feels so natural you’d imagine that Paulsen was living in a forest himself while writing this book. In all, I think that Hatchet is a great read for people of any age, but especially those who can relate to such a dramatic change in Brian’s lifestyle, and how he slowly learns, and adapts to it. This first novel is a great start to the series and I recommend reading the whole series. Overall, I give this novel 5/5 stars.
- @suchin of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Hatchet is the story of Brian who is stranded in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash that leaves him with nothing but the plane wreck and a hatchet that was gifted to him by his mother. Brian must now learn to thrive in the wilderness with all he has and his prior knowledge; because there is no going back to modern civilization to search up survival skills. A good book if you are into action, thriller and survival novels, but I personally found that Brian’s personality was not greatly enhanced. There were not many exciting things about his character, other than the fact that he is intelligent and determined to make living out of the wilderness. Rating 3/5
- @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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Add a Summary

Apr 14, 2017

After a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness, thirteen year old, Brain must learn to survive the wilderness with the use of his only tool a hatchet.

Jul 08, 2015

this is about a boy named brian survivaling in the wildernees after his plane crashed

Jun 10, 2015

Brian Robeson is going to his dad's home in Canada but the pilot of the small bush plane he is riding has a heart attack and dies. Brian has to land the plane and survive in the wilderness.

Ninja_Kevin Jun 17, 2012

The book that I Have just finished is called, “The Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen a realistic-fiction book. In the book the protagonist is, Brian Robeson a fourteen year old teenager. The setting which most took place was the forest of Northern Canada. Brian is trying to go to Canada by an airplane to see his father during the summer; however, the pilot had a heart attack and died the plane; however, went out of control and Brian and the pilot fell down into a lake in the Northern Canada forest. The protagonist is the obstacles is the things in the forest that is trying to get him dead, for an example: the mosquitoes are keep on biting him and lead poison into his body which could lead him to death. There is a second part to the book which is called, “The River” also by Gary Paulsen and a realistic-fiction book.

Mar 30, 2012

Brian Roberson was going to his father's for the summer.But his pilot had a heart attack and the plane crashed.Can Brian survie in the wildness


Add a Quote

Apr 14, 2017

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Jul 21, 2016

If he
-Robert U

Jul 08, 2015

the hatchet is what got me through all of this I must not give up

Jan 26, 2014

"Food was everything," Thought Brian.


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