Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Hatchet - Gary Paulsen

Rating: ****

The Hatchet was a fascinating story that really made me ask myself if I would be as successful as he was. It is incredibly written and I loved the captivating detail and story line.

A young boy is stranded and alone in the wilderness after the pilot of his small plane suffers a heart attack and crashes into a lake. He just manages to escape as the plane sinks and then must attempt to survive off the land. He learns to create fire, capture and find any food he can and runs into many outrageous problems, including a porcupine, bear, skunk, moose, and a tornado. He becomes very talent and manages to survive through all. After much struggle he is finally rescued and brought back to his family.

This book was once one of my favorites and the sequel is very good as well. It shows the true ruthlessness of nature and how hard it was for the boy to stay alive. It made me realize that if ever in this situation I would have never had a chance and how lucky he was to know all the facts and tricks he retained from school lessons.

If you have yet to, I recommend you read this book, or see the movie, entitled A Cry in the Wild.

Paulsen, Gary. The Hatchet. Prentice Hall & IBD, 1987. Print.


  1. This book has always been a favourite of mine since my childhood, I can remember reading it and thinking to my self how difficult, it must have been for a boy of his age to be alone in the wilderness without family or friends. After rereading it however, I now notice many factors that I had previously overlooked.

    The fact that this young boy is able to convert the teachings of his school into a real life scenario under the stress of his situation is truly impressive. He is able to keep his cool and analyze each new situation he is faced with including multiple life and death encounters with wild life.

    This book makes me think, with all I have learned so far in my two years of outdoor education, to what extent I would be able to survive in the wilderness.

    A great read and one that is written with an element for all audiences and is relatable no matter how old you are.

  2. The Hatchet is one of my favorite books that I have read. It gives a great perspective on what it takes to survive in the wilderness and the struggles that you must over come. I always wondered if I could do what he did, from living in the wild, relying strictly upon yourself, always a struggle day in day out. After reading it I gained some great knowledge about the wilderness and how to survive. I would recommend to read this book if you have not read it.

  3. Rating: ****
    The Hatchet was one of my favorite childhood books. I read it in the 5th grade and I remember idolizing Brian for being so clever and resourceful. His natural instincts grant him the abilities to create fire, shelter, hunt small game and even deal with a multitude of various dangers, including wildlife such as bears and a tornado.
    He struggles with his memories of home and with the fact that he knew his mother was having an affair, but none of this hinders his ability to craft weaponry, shelter and survive the harsh Canadian wilderness and ultimately come out alive.
    Thinking about Brian's trials I wonder how I'd deal with the situations he went through. A very good read, I recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it.

  4. Rateing: **** The Hatchet is a very good book that i would reccomend to anyone. I first read this book in grade 8. Its amazing to see what Brian was able to accomeplish with only his hatchet. It was his lifeline, and without he he would of surely died. He was always on the move, when he wasnt dealing with like threatening problems day by day, he was makeing hunting grear and fishing equipment. He was deffinitly is a lucky spot, there was food of all kinda, water and shelter. If i was in a similar situation to Brian, I question weather i would be able to survive.