Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 4 - 10R5.742328
This award-winning contemporary classic is the survival story with which all others are compared—and a page-turning, heart-stopping adventure, recipient of the Newbery Honor.


Brian Robertson, sole passenger on a Cessna 406, is on his way to visit his father when the tiny bush plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. With nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present, Brian finds himself completely alone.

Challenged by his fear and despair -- and plagued with the weight of a dreadful secret he's been keeping since his parent's divorce -- brian must tame his inner demons in order to survive. It will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed.
Published on November 1, 1986 by MacMillan Publishing Company.
ISBN-10: 0025274031
ISBN-13: 9780025274037
319 Book Reviews
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  • oofdoof
    oofdoofTuesday, May 21, 2019 at 3:52 am11 star
    i did not like this book! it felt clunky and hard to read, there was very little description of whon the boy was or the place he was in. overall i would not recommend.
    • pearlMonday, May 20, 2019 at 11:26 pm
      in around grade 6 i was forced to read this book by my teacher and write a book report on it. I am quite a skilled reader for my age so something of this size should not have taken me long, i was wrong. this book was painful to read and even harder to write a report on, especially since there is NO DESCRIPTION OF THE BOY other than that he was 13 or something.But this story is very educational!I learnt that if i'm stuck in a forest: -eat random berries -kill wildlife -drink dirty water -burn everything -repeat words a lot and when i get saved to make whole chapters of the book just burning different items for fun. so yeah, great book.
      • hi!!!!Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 4:58 am
        i am Canadian so i can relate>
        • flowerfox
          flowerfoxMonday, May 6, 2019 at 3:02 am44 stars
          Hatchet is a book about a boy named Brian Robeson. He is the only passenger on a single-engine plane he is flying in to go visit his dad for the first time after his parents divorce that happened because of the "Secret". The pilot suddenly has a heart attack and Brian has to crash-land the plane into the Canadian wilderness and learn to survive there.
          • chlooe
            chlooeFriday, May 3, 2019 at 3:21 pm44 starsFeatured
            A survival story that is a must-read. Main character Brian is on his way to Canada to visit his alienated father when the pilot of his two-person 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. Exhausted, terrified, and hungry, Brian struggles to find food and make a shelter for himself. He has no special knowledge of the woods, and he must find a new kind of awareness and patience as he meets each day's challenges. Is the water safe to drink? Are the berries he finds poisonous? Slowly, Brian learns to turn misfortune to his advantage - an invading porcupine unexpectedly shows him how to make fire, a devastating tornado shows him how to retrieve supplies from the submerged airplane. A story of survival, this breathtaking book sparks most readers to take on the impossible.
            • worldunicorn
              worldunicornMonday, May 6, 2019 at 5:49 pm
              You are soo good at writing reviews!!
              • chlooe
                chlooeWednesday, May 8, 2019 at 3:58 pm44 stars
                Thank you! :)
            • olliebob
              olliebobFriday, May 3, 2019 at 10:39 am33 starsFeatured
              This book was good, just not my favorite. Brian is flying over the Canadian wilderness to visit his dad in a little two-person light-weight airplane, when the pilot suffers from a heart attack and dies. Brian somehow keeps the plane flying for a while longer, but eventually crashes in a large lake. Because they had gotten somewhat off-course, Brian is not found by search and rescue. Brian learns how to survive in the wilderness while battling a secret of his own. I think the ending wasn't great, and I don't think it's easy to make an interesting book with basically only one character.
              • worldunicorn
                worldunicornMonday, May 6, 2019 at 5:49 pm
                How do you write such great reviews???
                • chlooe
                  chlooeFriday, May 3, 2019 at 3:15 pm44 stars
                  Good job!
                • Not Nadia Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 10:16 pm
                  All I have to say is do NOT read this book . I am a very good at going through tough times for characters but I didn't have the heart to finish it . I guess it was a good thing that my cousin got a copy and it was destroyed , so I gave him mine . All ends well .
                  • heavytoothpaste
                    heavytoothpasteThursday, January 31, 2019 at 9:44 pm55 stars
                    This book is a very good book. It shows how one boy alone can survive by himself out in the Canadian wilderness.
                    • NATHANMonday, December 17, 2018 at 12:56 pm
                      this is the best book ever
                      • NATHANMonday, December 17, 2018 at 12:56 pm
                        I loved this book it was the best