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(Brian's Saga #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  322,370 ratings  ·  14,724 reviews
Brian is on his way to Canada to visit his estranged father when the pilot of his small prop plane suffers a heart attack. Brian is forced to crash-land the plane in a lake--and finds himself stranded in the remote Canadian wilderness with only his clothing and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present before his departure.

Brian had been distraught over his parents' im
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers: Richard Jackson Books (first published September 30th 1987)
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Lillian Almost all books do, Harry Potter does as well.

Mostly it doesn't bother me, unless it's Catcher in the Rye.…more
Almost all books do, Harry Potter does as well.

Mostly it doesn't bother me, unless it's Catcher in the Rye.(less)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  322,370 ratings  ·  14,724 reviews

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Feb 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
Though the story was compelling, very compelling, compelling enough that I finished it despite the compelling urge to throw it out the window, I don't think I could ever read it again. The window, oh the shiny window, the shiny open window was very tempting. This book was so repetitious, why so repetitious, I know not why this book was so repetitious, but the repetitions made me want to pull my hair out. My brown hair, the brown hair on my head, the hair that was brown that was on my head.

I did
May 10, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one. This is the worst book I have ever read.
So when I was in the 7th grade, Mrs. Randall (formerly Sr. Mary Randall, an ex-nun) FORCED this pile of garbage upon me and the rest of my unsuspecting classmates. I was an advanced reader and it was a relatively short, easy to swallow book but it took me FOREVER TO READ IT. because it was THAT FUCKING BORING. It's about this stupid snot of a kid whose parents are getting divorced (mom and dad broke up! boo-hoo :'( i'm scarred for life now!) and somehow his plane goes down in the wilderness of C ...more
yes yes yes!! thank you to all the goodreaders who recommended this to me after my love for island of the blue dolphins became known. it turns out i love survival stories!! with teens!! and i wish i could say i never tore my eyes from the page and read this in an hour, but i have been having a distractedish day today; emailing my dad for father's day (everyone: call your dads!! or if they are at work, email-chat them!) and then there was a fire across the street from me (which is my number one a ...more
Daniel Lowder
Sep 18, 2007 rated it did not like it
What I learned from Hatchet:

1. If you see a man grimacing in pain, it could be a heart attack. If this man is the pilot of a charter prop plane that you're flying alone in, you could be fucked.

2. If you eat mysterious berries, they just might give you severe diarrhea. And, having just been marooned in a plane crash, you could lack the proper facilities to expel the diarrhea within. So, you could end up shitting your brains out in a cave. Since the tender age of 9, when I glanced upon the pages o
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars I forgive you for eating the turtle eggs, Brian.

Read for our classics readalong series! Discussion next Friday 5/29 on the blog.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Hatchet (Brian's Saga #1), Gary Paulsen

Hatchet is a 1986 young-adult wilderness survival novel written by American writer Gary Paulsen.

It is the first novel of five in the Brian's Saga series. Brian Robeson is a thirteen-year-old son of divorced parents. As he travels from Hampton, New York, to Canada to visit his estranged father when the pilot of his small prop plane suffers a heart attack.

Brian is forced to crash-land the plane in a lake--and finds himself stranded in the remote Canadian wi
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of survival novels
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) by: A member of the Action/Adventure Aficionados group
I have to be honest. At first I was having a serious 'really?' moment as I started listening. The 'really?' was because this is a three-time Newberry Award winner, and I thought the prose was way too repetitive. The same word would be repeated three times. The same sentences twice. I was steeling myself to keep listening and hope it got better. It did. By the end of this novel, I totally realized why it is a Newberry Award winner.

Hatchet is a story of survival. The protagonist is a thirteen-year
3.5 Stars

Just're 13 years're riding shotgun in a Cessna......your pilot is suddenly unconscious. What do you do?

After the crash, young Brian Robeson has a big problem, much bigger than his secret. In shock, without food or water and alone in the north woods of Canada, he had only his wits and a hatchet as survival tools.

Brian comes face-to-face with some pretty scary and dangerous creatures of the night.....and day....that made for a great learning experience for

Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Some books imprint themselves on your mind and stay with you. You can remember vividly where you were when you first read them. Hatchet is one of those books for me. I remember being in Mrs. Alison’s sixth grade class, and this book was raging though the male half of my class like a wildfire. Even boys who usually hated reading couldn’t put it down. Obviously, as the class’s self-proclaimed queen of the bookworms, I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. So, when a copy finally made it back ...more
This is a great book. It's a good adventure story for early teens. I think it should have won the Newberry Medal for 1988 and so it goes.

Brian has to survive in the Canadian Woods on his own for a summer. He learns to make fire, shelter and hunt for fish and birds. There is also a divorce theme going on as Brian's parents have recently split.

This is your typical survival tale. Brian does face some harsh environments and he learns to be tough physically and more importantly - mentally. He doesn
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Despite some of the repetition getting annoying from time to time, Hatchet is an engrossing story of survival for a young boy unfortunate enough to endure a plane crash to become stranded in the Canadian wilderness. For the most part the story sticks to realistic stuff, concentrating mainly on hunger and food. So many other survival stories focus on more, but really the basics of food and hunger and survival would be the forefront issue most would encounter if stranded alone. It sets in fast and ...more
The writing just flows and you're constantly worried about Brian. Having to survive with nothing else but a hatchet and the clothes on your back can't be easy. I loved seeing how innovative his brain worked. Making tools from his environment. It was super impressive for a thirteen year old boy. I practically flew through the pages. ...more
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: freshmen1
basically, Biran is the main character in the story, he is getting on a plane to go visit his father; his parents are divorced. he also has a giant burden on his back, his mother was having an affair.
before he leaves , his mother gives him a hatchet. after, he sets off, he talks with the pilot and has a little fun by piloting the airplane swerving and swoppoing up and down. until suddenly, the pilot has a heartattack becasue of gas and dies. brian is forced to fly the plane himself, but until t
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson was trapped in a small plane when the pilot had a sudden heart attack and died. Brian brought the aircraft to a forced landing and survived. The first thing Brain did after he crashed was he panicked, he felt lost, and he missed his family. The author described other emotions Brian felt when he was alone in the forest like hopelessness, desperation, and hunger. Every time the author expressed a feeling, it would always paint a realistic picture in my head, sometim ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-my-youth

Seriously, I read this maybe in fourth grade? It was definitly in elementary school, because I remember it was at the same time that we we doing "survival skills"* in Girl Scouts. Not that I ever wanted to be trapped by myself in the wilderness, but I spent a lot of my time in my backyard pretending to find flint with my sister, and starting imaginary fires to keep warm. In winter we dug ourselves igloos. I always went camping with my parents, so this book started a lot of Q&A's
Great story about survival and it reads easily. Good adventure story for youngsters. The only thing I wished the writer would have worked more on is the building of the character. We don't really read much about Brian as a person. Even his secret could have been more human and not that flat. Still it gets 4 points because I did enjoy it.

This book is in the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up challenge I am doing.
Sep 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
Hatchet is a book about a thirteen year old boy, Brian Robeson, who goes through many experiences that ultimately gets him stranded in the middle of the Canadian wilderness. His only two survival tools, his mind and a hatchet, which was a present from his mother. Throughout the book, we learn all of the different ways how Brian learns to adapt to his new and unfamiliar surroundings.

My thoughts:
Hatchet is probably the worst book I have ever read, and I have read a lot of books. The only reason wh
3-1/2 stars
On his way to visit his father after his parents have divorced, Brian's plane crashes, deep in the Canadian wilderness. Brian is the only survivor. How will he keep himself alive?
This book was recommended to me by a kid at church, and her enthusiasm convinced me to pick it up.

I would have loved this book when I was the right age for it. It's an excellent tale of determination and resourcefulness, as 12-year-old Brian explores his surroundings and searches his brain for every lit
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you read a famously classic book and it is such a disappointment. This is not one of those times. This book is amazing! Its a wonderful survivalist tale of a young boy who changes not only physically but emotionally during his time alone in the northern woods after a plane crash. His bravery and ingenuity surprises himself even more than the reader. 😊
3.5 stars

This is a book that really has you rooting for poor unlucky Brian to have something turn out right for once, he faces horrible situation after horrible situation! I love survival stories, children without adult stories, this is quite a tough story, I err on the survival stories where you have some sort of home created, some comforting details, much appreciated because of the hardship. Brian certainly had a lot of hardship and how ironic that when he finds (view spoiler)
Max Stone
Oct 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
(fwiw this is a book I read my kids aged 6-10)

I'd give this book 3.5 stars if I could. Basically the stuff which makes it a classic and is indeed very good is the adventure/survival stuff (he is the sole survivor of a plane crash deep in the woods and has nothing but a hatchet). Both the details of what he is doing to survive, and the psychological changes he goes through in his attempt to survive are believable, interesting, and illuminating.

There is a second thread in the book which is him pro
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-deadtree
I absolutely hated this book the first time I read it. It was required reading in Grade 6 and I finished it only because there were tests. Looking back, I can't quite remember what it was I disliked about it so much. I can only guess it was because I was a huge reader even then, but I hated being told what to read; it also took time away from my other books. Reading it again, 10 years later (and again at least once a year since) it has become one of my favorites, quite possibly in my top 10. I a ...more
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Friggin' awesome. My 3rd grade teacher read this book aloud to my class, a chapter a day, and I remember being absolutely enthralled every single day. She read it to us right before first recess, so whenever that day's chapter ended with a cliffhanger we had the whole recess to discuss what we thought was going to happen next (and act out our own renditions of the time Brian got attacked by a bear). ...more
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I volunteer at the local library in a program between the schools and library to encourage reading. I usually work with high school students but this month I was changed to the 10 to 12 year olds. Our librarian chose the book this time and the kids read the book and met with me at the conference room at the library last week. The book was “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen. The book was a Newbery Honor book for 1987. The novel is about a thirteen year old Brian Robeson who is on his way to visit his fath ...more
Larissa (Book Bosomed Blonde)
link to blog

A book i have heard about my whole life but never actually picked up… Hatchet has been sitting on my TBR pile for over 8 years and finally, i decided to pick it up. Being as it is a middle-grade novel and not as mature as i am used to, i am going to review it that way and not compare it with other YA or Adult novels. I have to say i was surprised by how much i enjoyed it even though it definitely held some major flaws.

The writing style is one of those flaws; i did not like it. I’m so
Jun 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
So when I added this, I vaguely recalled the title, and I swear, I have definitely read it, but what I thought it was about was a boy being stuck under the snow following an avalanche (it turns out the book I was thinking of is apty named Avalanche by Arthur Roth) but anyway, that's not what it is about, and I really don't remember this book at all.

Hatchet I definitely read in middle school at the instruction of my librarian (we had a sort of once-weekly class in the library to introduce us to t
✨Bean's Books✨
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
(Sigh) Oh this book 🙄
Okay I am reading this book as a part of my reading challenge for the year to reread a book that we read in school. I remember this book being read aloud to me in the classroom because the teacher couldn't trust us to actually sit and read the book ourselves.
Foreshadowing? Coincidence? Maybe not.
In case you haven't read the other reviews, this book is about a 13 year old kid named Brian who endures a terrible plane crash and ends up being stranded by himself in the wilds of
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Survival genre is one of the genres that I do not normally read, but 'Hatchet' is the most intriguing survival book I've ever read. In the book, it talks about how hard surviving in the wilderness is, and how it's harder to deal with your own emotions. Thoughts of never-ending surviving. Thoughts of no one coming to save him. Thoughts of staying alone living by himself forever. I really like this book because it actually tells you what happens to stay alive after a plane crash. It isn't like ...more
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
I will be honest: I didn't really enjoy this book. And I even had high expectations because it's the recipient of the Newbery Honor.

I had just read “The Life of Pi” a few weeks ago and enjoyed it immensely despite its otherwise relatively boring, dialogue-less narrative – one that can be expected from a book about a shipwrecked teenage boy (albeit with a Bengal tiger for company). This children's book, Hatchet, had a similar plot: thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson was on his way to see his father
Jan 03, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: boys and tomboys the world over (and any adult counterpart suffering nostalgia)
My first foray into childhood favorites for one unlikely-to-succeed purpose: converting my brother from books about Harry Potter to books about anything else, in the world. Any suggestions?

When I first read Hatchet, at around ten or twelve, I devoured it time and time again. The idea of learning wilderness survival with nothing but a hatchet and my own wits prickled the pores of my baby-smooth chest with visions of man-hair, tufts and tufts of it, more than I knew what to do with, for after fini
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve

Other books in the series

Brian's Saga (5 books)
  • The River (Brian's Saga, #2)
  • Brian's Winter (Brian's Saga, #3)
  • Brian's Return (Brian's Saga, #4)
  • Brian's Hunt (Brian's Saga, #5)

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Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
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“Patience, he thought. So much of this was patience - waiting, and thinking and doing things right. So much of all this, so much of all living was patience and thinking.” 221 likes
“He did not know how long it took, but later he looked back on this time of crying in the corner of the dark cave and thought of it as when he learned the most important rule of survival, which was that feeling sorry for yourself didn't work. It wasn't just that it was wrong to do, or that it was considered incorrect. It was more than that--it didn't work.” 124 likes
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