Alex Shub

“He was alone. In the roaring plane with no pilot he was alone.”  Hatchet is an engrossing realistic fiction novel written by Gary Paulsen.  The story focuses on thirteen year old Brian Robeson, a son of divorced parents.  As he travels from New York on a bush plane to see his father in the Canadian oil fields, his pilot suffers from a heart attack and dies.  Not knowing what to do, Brian tries to land the plane, but ends up crashing into a lake in the forest.  Being a lone survivor, Brian must learn how to live on his own with only a hatchet, a gift he received from his mother shortly before the plane departed.


Personally, I enjoyed reading this book and thought it was very interesting.  I don’t read many fiction books, but Hatchet was an exception.  What I admired about this book was the theme of man versus nature, doing anything to survive, and the power of positive thinking.  For example, when a tornado hit Brian’s makeshift home and destroyed all of his tools, he had to stay positive and not give up to survive.  Taking place in the vast north woods of Canada, this setting paints a vivid picture.  This book is written in third person, which has both a positive and a negative side.  The third person narrator who tells the story has access to all of Brian’s thoughts and feelings, but no one else’s.  While reading this book, I found myself wondering what Brian’s parents were thinking while he was missing and what I would do if I was in Brian’s shoes.  Additionally, if I were in Brian’s situation, I would have tried to make it back to society and felt a lot more scared, since I don’t have as much experience surviving in the woods.  While stranded in the woods, Brian stays near the plane crash instead of trying to make it back to society, because he thinks that help will come very soon.  I adore the main plot of Hatchet, because I learned a great deal and never got bored.  Also, I love how the plot is very thrilling and action packed.  This book is 195 pages long, so I would recommend it to readers over the age of twelve.  Furthermore, I would not recommend this book to readers who don’t like adventure.  After reading Hatchet, I cain’t wait to get my hands on another novel by Gary Paulsen.