Hatchet is a young adult, coming-of-age novel by Gary Paulsen that was published in 1986. It describes the a thirteen-year-old boy’s struggles to survive alone in the Canadian wilderness after the plane he is in crashes, as he also tries to come to terms with his parents’ divorce and affirm his adulthood. Paulsen’s success with the novel led to four additional novels in the Brain’s Saga series: The River (1991), Brian’s Winter (1996), Brain’s Return (1999), and Brian’s Hunt (2003).  


Read our detailed chapter-by-chapter Summary & Analysis or Full Book Summary of Hatchet.


See a complete list of the characters in Hatchet and an in-depth analysis of Brian Robeson.

Literary Devices

Here’s where you’ll find analysis of the themes, motifs, and symbols in Hatchet, as well as a listing of other important literary from the novel including genre, setting, and point of view.


Find the quotes you need to support your essay, or refresh your memory of Hatchet.

Quick Quizzes

Test your knowledge of Hatchet with quizzes about every section, major characters, themes, symbols, and more.

Deeper Study

Increase your knowledge of Hatchet by reading background information about Gary Paulsen and his novel.