Author: Gary Paulson
: Bradbury Press, c1987. New York
Brian was only going to visit his father. It was supposed to be a quick plane ride over the Canadian wilderness. But all that changed when the pilot of the plane has a heart attach, leaving Brian alone in the cockpit with no idea where he is or how to land a plane. This is the story of how one boy learns to survive in the wilderness. How he finds a way to build a shelter, find food, and learn to live with the local wildlife using nothing but his own ingenuity. And while all of that is great for the short term, how is he ever going to find a way back home?
Hatchet is a classic story of survival for good reason. Brian is a character who is both completely uncomplicated and rational, but at the same time is struggling with personal problems (like knowing the real reason for his parents divorce, even though his dad doesn’t). His desire to survive and ingenuity in solving his problems of food and shelter are impressive, but at the same time he still is a 13 year old boy who makes mistakes along the way. The book is well written and a great read for anyone who ever wondered what it would be like to have to survive on your own.
Genre: Survival Fiction
Reading Level: 6th Grade
Similar Titles: Hunger Games (though older)
Personal Thoughts: classic for a reason
Subjects/Themes: survival, wilderness, hunting
Awards: 1997 Newberry Honor
Brian: 13 year old from
who has to survive on his own New York
Annotation: Would you be able to land a plane in the wilderness?