First edition cover 

Author:  Gary Paulsen

Reading Range:  5.7 (Accelerated Reader)

Interest Range:  Gr 4-8 (AR Finder)

Plot: Brian Robeson’s parents are divorced.  He is trying his best to cope with that fact.  His father has gone to work in the Canadian oil fields.  He is going to visit him for the summer.  While flying in a bush plane to go see his father, the pilot has a heart attack and dies.  Brian is forced to land the plane.  He is left alone in the wildness without anyone but himself to help him.  He has to learn fast how to survive otherwise he would not last long.

Review: This book is very fast-paced even through its focus is only on one character.  There is not a lot of dialogue in this book because most of it is Brian by himself.  It is interesting watching the way he changes through the book.  Brian thought the biggest issue he would have to deal with was keeping his mother’s secret for why she divorced his father.  Then something bad happens and Brian has to adapt quick.  The author gives a sense of the danger that Brian is in.  If he makes one mistake, he could get serious hurt or even die.  This book may seem to appeal just to boys but this book is for anyone who wants to read a story of survival.

Additional Info:

Main Characters:

Brian Robeson-He is going to visit his father for the summer.  He is trying to deal with his parents’ divorce until he discovers he has bigger issues to deal with.

Themes: Survival, Independence, Self-Reliance

Bibliographic Info:

Paulsen, P. (1987). Hatchet. New York: Bradbury Press.



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