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by Gary Paulsen


Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Newbery Award Winner

Recommended Age: 11 +

Main Character: Male

After his plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness, thirteen- year-old Brian Robeson has only his wits and a simple hatchet to survive.


I was walking around the bookstore the other day with my daughter, just enjoying being around all the books, when we happen to stop by a table of books that had been signed. I glanced down and saw one that just stood out to me.

I'm not even sure when I first read Hatchet...if it was back when I was a kid, or teaching reading? Those memories kind of meld together, but what I remember clearly is this book combining the best of adventure, survival, emotion and incredible writing which gives the reader an unparalleled experience page after page.

I grew up in the country at the edge of a forest and a stone's throw from a waterfall. And even though we were surrounded by all things wild, we had all the creature comforts and conveniences so even if the electricity went out, we were warm and fed. My brothers and I would roam the woods and fields exploring, pretending and just doing what kids did back then.

We would spend hours imagining that we were out surviving the wild and perhaps that is one of the reasons Hatchet just captured my heart both years ago and that day in the bookstore.

The classic conflict of man versus nature combines with a boy's coming of age story to give the reader a riveting read that is as captivating today as it was when Gary Paulsen introduced it to the world 30 years ago. Find yourself a copy and keep it on a bookshelf; if you like to categorize your shelves, put it next to Robinson Crusoe and the the Jack London stories!


Enjoyed This Adventure and Want to Do More?

1. Watch the Movie!

The movie, A Cry in the Wild (1990) was based on Hatchet.

2. Assemble a Survival Kit!

Put together a survival pack for either hiking or to keep in your car in case of a breakdown. Include things such as Band Aids, antibacterial wipes, a mini flashlight, a Swiss Army knife, and other essentials. You never know when it might come in handy!

Check out this great page from the Red Cross:

3.  Go Camping!

If your family, friends or Scout troop is up for it, go camping!

4. Take a Hike!

Go on a hike. Take pictures, bring lunch, and enjoy nature! Remember the bug spray! Visit here to find great hikes near you:

5. Read More of Brian's Adventures!

Read the follow up books by Gary Paulsen: The River, Brian's Winter, Brian's Return and Brian's Hunt.




Hello and Welcome!

We're April and Cenzia, the mom and daughter duo behind My Kidz Bookshelf! Thanks for  stopping by! We love to read, review, and do fun stuff too!

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