Book Review of Hatchet
The Children’s Book Review
Written by Gary Paulsen
Ages 9+ | 192 Pages
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (1986) | ISBN-13: 9781416925088
What to Expect: Survival, Adventure, Realistic Fiction, and Nature
Gary Paulsen (1939-2021) was a prolific author with a long list of accomplishments. He wrote over 200 books, which both adults and children have enjoyed. It is an incredible feat that he received an estimated 200-400 letters daily from fans; this doesn’t even include electronic communication.
One of his most notable books is Hatchet—a Newbery Honor. It stands alone as the preferred first installment in a novel series. Hatchet is the ultimate survival story and the first in the series of five books. One of the things that sets Hatchet apart is that no prerequisite sequence is required for the other stories.
In this exciting, gritty, and action-packed adventure, Brian’s thirteen-year-old self encounters dire circumstances following a harrowing plane crash in The Northern wilderness of Canada. Using only his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and a hatchet his mom gave him before boarding the plane, Brian creates shelter, hunts for food with his tools, and devises a plan to improve his chances of rescue. With so much alone time on his hands, he also has plenty of time to think about the family secret that led to his parent’s divorce, but self-pity is useless in the wilderness.
Paulsen drew inspiration from his personal experience to create this wilderness survival narrative. This experience involved two forced crash landings and living off the wilds of Canada while hunting with a bow.
Hatchet is a gripping adventure and an unforgettable story of survival and determination and challenges readers to imagine their strengths, adaptability, and determination in unprecedented situations.
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About the Author
Gary Paulsen (1931–2021) was one of the most honored writers of contemporary literature for young readers, author of three Newbery Honor titles, Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He wrote over 100 books for adults and young readers.
What to Read Next if You Love Hatchet
- Brian’s Winter, by Gary Paulsen
- Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe
- Holes, by Louis Sachar
- Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rowls