Book - 1987
Average Rating:
Rate this:
After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.
Publisher: New York : Bradbury Press, c1987
ISBN: 9780027701302
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Pauls cn 1 87 ha 19.75
J FIC Pauls cn 1 87 ha 13.95
Characteristics: p. cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 27, 2018

Hatchet, a young adult fiction novel by Gary Paulsen was published in September 1987. The story takes place in the Canadian wilderness when 13 year old Brian Robeson is on his way in a small plane to meet his father. The pilot has a heart attack so then Brian has to take the wheel, but he manages to land the plane without hurting himself. He’s stranded and scared. He doesn’t think straight so then he gets into some troubles. Later, Brian thinks about things, ends up finding food and water, and builds himself a fire and a shelter.

The book was interesting and made me crave to read more. I could actually feel Brian’s pains, hunger, and sadness. The pace of this book is pretty fast. The way the author achieves this is to explain in detail about Brian’s day, and then just ends the description to skip to the next week. This book is pretty realistic in some ways and not in others. One way this was realistic was that Brian relied on his sources and ate whatever he could eat, but what was unrealistic about this book was that he survived the plane crash and also that he drove the plane for over an hour by himself as an untrained 13 year old.

This book is recommended to everyone, but personally I think both genders and all ages would enjoy this book. It’s action packed and also has a lot of vivid description that makes me say that this book is good for both genders. I would give this book four stars and recommend it to everyone.

Oct 17, 2018

Hatchet is one of the greatest books I have ever read. Perfect for advanced elementary students and middle schoolers. If you love adventure then you will love Hatchet.

Sep 29, 2018

I saw "Hatchet" on the "Great American Read" list and decided to look at it. I had read some of Paulsen's work before, but when I began reading "Hatchet," I had no idea what to expect. Something about "Hatchet" captured my imagination and attention immediately.

Paulsen manages to leave you feeling as if you are with Brian each step of the way, from sitting in the co-pilot seat, watching the pilot die, to experiencing the plan crash. Each page leaves you wanting to turn the next, what is going to happen?

I found the book ended too soon and look forward to reading the works that follow Brian after "Hatchet," in order to learn what happens to Brian after his experiences in the Canadian wilderness. I highly recommend "Hatchet" to readers of all ages.

CircMary Aug 06, 2018

Engaging story wonderfully read by Peter Coyote. Perfect for a car trip. I have always loved "Island of the Blue Dolphins" and was almost equally enthralled by this story.

Jul 07, 2018

I think this book is quite interesting. It’s a good survival and adventure story that has its own perks, it also has a interesting back story.

Jul 04, 2018

This book is a very realistic and astonishing masterpiece. It grabs your inner attention instantly just as you sink in the first few chapters and it's literally almost impossible to move away from!
I couldn't stop reading as soon as I got my hands on it! I 10/10 recommend this remarkable book!

Age category: 9+

Type: Survival, a long journey, thrilling

Recommendation: 10/10

cmlibrary_rkimray May 31, 2018

A thoroughly engaging survival story! I wish that I had been assigned this book as school reading, and I can easily see how it has remained a classic. Hand this to any kid who likes the I Survived books, and I'm sure they will love it!

SnoIsleLib_BrianTH Mar 22, 2018

The Hatchet is an iconic book for anyone who read it in grade school. It is very easy to get wrapped up in this book and kids are almost guaranteed to like it.

Feb 18, 2018

The "Hatchet" is a wonderful story that is realistic and intellectual. The author, Gary Paulsen has created a bright, relatable book that inspires kids and adults of all ages. After the first chapter, I was spellbound by what Brian was dealing with and empathetic of Brians sadness and confusion. He has shown a great deal of courage, by surviving in the wilderness alone. I was captivated by his adventurous spirit and loving personality. In other words, I believe that this book is AWESOME!! Hope you enjoy. :)

Sep 17, 2017

Hatchet is a novel about a teenager who spends almost 3 months in the wild after a deadly plane crash, learning to survive on his own, with only a hatchet. This story touches on the topic of empathy and divorce. The main character Brian struggles to accept his parent's divorce, and when on the island trying to survive, learns more about himself, and life. When reading this novel for the first time, I could relate to almost everything Brian was going through. I could feel his pain, anxiousness, and loneliness. The book allowed me to see a new perspective about everyday life, and to never take things for granted. I recommend this book to everyone. I rate this book 4/5 stars. - @CoolReadz of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

This is an amazing book, and I've read it multiple times and even then it feels as if I can relive what the main character Brian has lived through. The story is of a teenage buy, flying to see his Dad in a small plane with only himself and the pilot when the pilot suddenly has a heart attack and is deceased. Brian must learn how to land the plane and wait for help to come, but it doesn't in the perspective of Brian. He has a gift from his mother from the beginning of the book, a hatchet, his trusty tool that helps him with the large aspects of his survival. The book has its ups and downs, and is written as if it would be Brian writing it, but as if a real teenager would write a book. The book highlights the realistic aspects of being stranded in a forest and that all the bad things that can happen will happen, whether it be a tornado, or a cow almost breaking your ribs, the book shows how Brian can recover from that. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants a rather short read, but a very interesting story, written by an author that has gone through something similar. Rating: 5/5. @The_Suspect of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Hatchet is the survival story of Brian Robeson after he gets lost in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash. He was on his way to visit his dad, but after the pilot underwent a heart attack and dies they crash into the wilderness. I found the story entertaining and action packed. The story was great and made even better with the aspects and added drama of Brian trying to survive, and the problems and incidences he faced along the way made it great. I found the entire book very interesting although I did find some parts a bit unrealistic. It's weird to think that anyone would be able to do what Brian did, especially since Brian didn't have much outdoor knowledge. The book was fun to read and entertaining. You don't need to be a survival expert to enjoy this great book. I rate it 4/5 stars.
- @Storm17 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

This first book of a five part series follows Brian Robeson, a 13 year-old boy with divorced parents. As he travels to his father his plane crashes in a lake surrounded by a forest. Brian now has to find a way to land, survive and find a way back home. This book captures the frustrations of living off the land and the reader can be fully immersed and feel what it really feels like to be isolated with no help. Brian as a character is very interesting as well, as he has no background on survival and is just a normal teenager. Hatchet sparks conversation between our youth. As I read this I could not help but wonder, what would I do if I were in Brian's situation? This is a great read.
- @TRBB99 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Sep 10, 2018

violet_coyote_256 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

Jun 02, 2018

brown_ferret_26 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

Apr 28, 2018

blue_panda_5383 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Feb 18, 2018

anne1212li thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

indigo_dolphin_1250 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 11

Jun 14, 2017

JustinL05 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Apr 14, 2017

2book1 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Dec 18, 2016

amyzlot thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99

Nov 07, 2016

mon_bebe thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 16

Jul 21, 2016

green_bear_1931 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99

View All Ages


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 24, 2015


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.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PPL

To Top