Hatchet (Brian’s Saga #1)



Since it was first published in 1987, the story of thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson's survival following a plane crash has become a modern classic. Stranded in the desolate wilderness, Brian uses his instincts and his hatchet to stay alive for fifty-four harrowing days.  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)


In defense of this book, I have a strong feeling the reason I didn’t enjoy the rereading of this book was just being older.  I remember being completely absorbed when I read this as a kid.  I went through a phase (and still do have an interest) in survival stories in the wilderness.  As an adult though, this book just fell a little flat for me.

The beginning is a bit repetitive and I never felt the tension in the book.  I remember there being a lot more action, more things going on and being completely invested.  Also, I found the aspects about his parents divorce oddly stunted.  I understand where Paulsen was going with it to some degree, but reading it as an adult it seems quite unfinished.  Now that I realize there are additional books in the series, perhaps that’s the solution.  All in all, I enjoy my memory of the book better and I doubt that I’ll ever get around to reading the rest of the series.

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Middle grade kids interested in the outdoors!

Want to read the whole series?

  • 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)