Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Hatchet (original 1987; edition 2004)

by Gary Paulsen, Peter Coyote (Reader)

Series: Brian's Saga (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
16,454563293 (3.78)238
After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.
Authors:Gary Paulsen
Other authors:Peter Coyote (Reader)
Info:Listening Library (2004), Edition: 1st, Audio CD
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (1987)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 238 mentions

English (554)  Polish (1)  All languages (555)
Showing 1-5 of 554 (next | show all)
this was a good adventure and survival story but i really didn't like the way it was written. the repetition was frustrating for me, but this was still enjoyable overall. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | May 10, 2023 |
Newbery Medal Winner!
  vashonpatty | Apr 18, 2023 |
"Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose we came from the woods originally. But in some of nature's forests, the adventurous traveler seems a feeble, unwelcome creature; wild beasts and the weather trying to kill him, the rank, tangled vegetation, armed with spears and stinging needles, barring his way and making life a hard struggle." - John Muir

The moment Brian is hit with skunk spray, I found myself thinking: "It wasn't that bad, was it?"

Maybe it was. I was a pre-teen messing around in the National Forest near our home in Colorado, and I walked home to an extended bath to remove the stink. Brian, on the other hand, was lost in the Canadian wilds and was pretty much in a fight for the first protein he had eaten in days. Perhaps it was a little different.

On the other hand, there was no doubt in my mind that the moose attack should have killed him. Kill him dead.

Reading Hatchet brought back memories, created new ones, and excited my imagination (and not just about getting sprayed by a skunk). A staple of middle school English class reading lists for decades, I picked it up again when my sixth-grader read it recently. J.K. Rowling may have made reading interesting to a new generation, but Paulsen is there when they turn to find another book, especially one that isn't rooted in a fantasy world. Instead, Paulsen delivers an adventure that is real and entirely believable. The wild where Brian finds himself, alone and lost, is foreign, uncaring, and hostile. It is a scary and marvelous place.

I asked Abby what her favorite and least favorite parts were and, perhaps conveying a bit more about her own age and values than about the book, she chose the moment Brian *spoiler* was saved and the scene when he tried to kill himself from despair *spoiler*, respectively. On the other hand, the moment that brought me the most emotion was in *spoiler* the moment that he swung the hatchet to cut through the fuselage of the plane, knowing all the while that he was about to lose the very tool that had allowed him to survive. Close to that in emotion was the pain I felt at the betrayal by his mother of their family, and the division it caused between her and Brian's father. But then, I am an adult, married, and partner in marriage myself. *spoiler*

Despite the emotions it at times invokes, Hatchett is a simply told story, even dull on occasion and perhaps that's what lets it soar as a novel. Instead of getting in the way of itself, the reader is able to become Brian, to set himself in Brian's increasingly tattered shoes, to find who he is when the wild is trying to kill him, all from the comfort of a warm, civilized home. ( )
  publiusdb | Apr 4, 2023 |
I LOVED this book - an exciting tale of adventure and survival. ( )
  CarolHicksCase | Mar 12, 2023 |
I really enjoyed this book. Great survival story! A few grisly moments towards the end but all and all it was a great middle grade book. Kids could learn a lot from the experience of the protagonist. A major theme is to learn from your mistakes. ( )
  wolfe.myles | Feb 28, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 554 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gary Paulsenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Coyote, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
secret, secret, oh the secret.
To the students of the Hershey Middle School
First words
Brian Robeson stared out the window of the small plane at the endless green northern wilderness below.
He could not play the game without hope; could not play the game without a dream. They had taken it all away from him now, they had turned away from him and there was nothing for him now. The plane gone, his family gone, all of it gone. They would not come. He was alone and there was nothing for him.
In measured time, forty-seven days had passed since the crash. Forty-two days, he thought, since he had died and had been born as the new Brian.
Many times he thought he would not make it.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This LT work distinguishes Gary Paulsen's original 1988 novel, Hatchet, from later editions that include related readings. Thank you.
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
After his plane crashes on the way to visit his father in the Canadian oil fields, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given to him by his mother. Will Brain ever be able to find his way back home?
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (3.78)
0.5 33
1 90
1.5 25
2 179
2.5 52
3 607
3.5 139
4 920
4.5 109
5 834

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 188,902,222 books! | Top bar: Always visible