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Hatchet is the story of a boy named Brian. On a trip to the Canadian oilfields to spend the summer with his dad, the pilot of the Cessna he is traveling in suffers a heart attack and dies. Brian must land the plane in the forest. Brian learns to exist in in this wilderness. He faces many dangers including hunger, animal attacks, and even a tornado. This book gives the reader a better understanding of what it is like to survive in an untamed land.

In Hatchet, thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is stranded alone in the Canadian wilderness. The bush-pilot of a Cessna 406 in which he is travelling to visit his father in the Canadian oil fields suffers a heart attack, and Brian must crash-land the plane. The plane sinks in a remote lake, and Brian is left with only the clothes he is wearing and a hatchet his mother has given him; his only survival tool.

Brian must figure out how to survive for several months. Finally, at the end of the summer, Brian discovers the plane's survival pack, which contains an emergency transmitter. Brian accidentally activates the transmitter, and is rescued by a pilot.

The book is a tale of wilderness survival. Brian, a city boy, must learn how to cope with nature or die. He figures out how to make fire by banging the blade of the hatchet on flint. He forces himself to eat whatever food he can find, such as turtle eggs. He deals with a porcupine, bear, skunk, moose and a tornado. He eventually becomes quite a craftsman, crafting a bow and arrows to hunt birds and fishing with a spear.

During his isolation, Brian reflects on his parents' recent divorce, and the dark secret only he knows: his mother was having an affair.

Paulsen followed Hatchet with four additional novels about Brian. In the first, Brian's Winter, Paulsen answers (by popular demand, he says) the question of what would have happened if Brian had been forced to spend a winter in the Canadian wilderness. He tells an alternate version of the story of Hatchet in which Brian does not use the survival pack radio to call for help. In Paulsen's second sequel to Hatchet, The River, a government agent asks Brian to return to the location of his camp and show him how he managed to survive. The agent gets struck by lightning and falls unconscious, leaving Brian to construct a raft to transport him to a trading post. The third novel, titled Brian's Return, tells the story of Brian



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