cover image for HatchetPaulsen, G. (1987) Hatchet.  New York, NY: Simon Pulse.


What would you do if the pilot of your flight had a heart attack at seven thousand feet?  Could you fly the plane if there was no one else there?  Would you live through the inevitable plane crash?  How would you survive if you crashed hundreds of miles from civilization, with nothing but the clothes on your back….and your brand new hatchet?


Hatchet’s widespread appeal comes from the believability of Brian Robeson’s situation, and how he reacts to it.  Despite being unlikely, none of the events in the book is outside the realm of possibility.  When events first begin to unfold, Brian panics, as any thirteen year old would.  He continues to make mistakes throughout his ordeal, but he also learns from them and always gets back up – eventually, anyway – once he’s been knocked down.  Watching Brian constantly learning and problem solving keeps reader’s guessing “what if?” long past the initial hook of the story.


The credulity of his saga, as well as the betrayal that led to his being on the plane in the first place, bring a emotional immediacy to Hatchet that is missing from most other survival scenarios.  Altogether this is a great book for any tween reader that loves adventure, but most especially will appeal to older tween boys

Best for ages 10-14

Awards: Newbery Honor

Author’s Website: http://www.randomhouse.com/features/garypaulsen/


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: