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Hatchet is written by Gary Paulsen. It is a book about a thirteen

year old kid named Brian who crash lands in the Canadian wilderness and has to survive

on his own. Brian is flying to Alaska to visit his dad for the summer when suddenly the

pilot has a heart attack and dies. He grabs onto the controls and tries to land the plane but

there’s no flat area so he decides to crash into a lake. He hustles out of the

plane with his hatchet at his side and swims to the shore.

Hatchet is the story of his survival in the wilderness with only a hatchet.

Hatchet takes place in the wilderness of Canada. This setting is important because he has

no man made tools or food. He has to use the natural resources and his brain. Brian uses

his hatchet to make a shelter and weapons. He chops down branches and

sets them up for his shelter. “With the branches he interlaced and wove a wall

of the opening of the front of the rocks. Then he goes to get grass to

put on top of the branches. He uses the shelter to protect him from the rain

and some animals. After he builds the shelter, Brian uses his hatchet to make

spears and arrows. He takes branches and sharpens the tip of them to make

arrows and spears. “He had worked on the fish spear until it had become

more then just a tool.” He shoots the arrows at birds and throws the

spears at fish.

“I know about fire; I know I need fire.” Brian says this the second night he’s

there. Brian needs a fire because he needs it for heat, to cook food and to keep animals

away. Brian makes the fire with his hatchet and a rock. First, he figures out that he needs

some paper so he takes his twenty dollar bill and tries to burn it. Unfortunately the bill

just burns right out and leaves him with no fire. After that he takes his hatchet and cuts

really small pieces of bark. Then he piles them up under twigs. Then he takes his hatchet

and hits a rock with a great blow and sparks catch the bark on fire. He hits

another blow and the sparks catch the twigs on fire. And so he has a fire.

This process shows that whatever Brian sets his mind to he can do it. The

wilderness setting is important because if Brian landed in a major city, it

would be on the news everywhere. His dad would see it and come to get


The most striking point in this book was when he crashed landed in a lake and

tried to survive. He is only thirteen years old. If that was me I would have given up hope

the minute I got there. He never gave up hope. He always knew that his rescue team was


A principle I learned when I read this great book is not to ever give up hope even

when the odds are against you. This kind of reminds me in the book of Daniel. I thinks its

in the book of Daniel. Where Daniel was left in the wilderness all by himself. Well I

think its Daniel, I really don’t remember who it was but it’s in the Bible.

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