Author: Gary Paulsen. Release date: 1987. Publisher: Bradbury Press. ISBN: 9781416925088.
Reading level: Grades 5-9
Similar titles: My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.
Personal thoughts: I have always enjoyed survival stories and Hatchet, in a way, is the “godfather” of this genre for young adults. Paulsen’s descriptions of the elements and Brian’s struggle to overcome them are superb, and the novel is a very easy read. I would recommend this title to boys especially, but also to girls as it has universal appeal.
Themes: Survival, nature, hunting/fishing.
Awards/Reviews: Newbery Medal Honor Winner. Positive reviews from Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal.
Series Information: First novel in Brian’s Saga by Gary Paulsen. Other titles, Brian’s Return, Brian’s Winter, The River and Brian’s Hunt.
Brian Robeson – Thirteen-year-old boy who must survive in the wilderness after his plane crash lands due to the pilot’s death.
Annotation: Brian Robeson has just crash landed in the Canadian wilderness with only one tool to help him survive in the harsh elements: his hatchet.