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Parent reviews for Hatchet

Common Sense says

Hold on tight for an intense tale of survival.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 44 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 118 reviews
Adult Written byhudziak July 14, 2011

Hatchet

Brian is a 13-year-old boy whose parents are divorced. He survives a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness en route to visit his father and must use the hatchet his mother once gave him to stay alive.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byYo Teach May 18, 2011

Great book, quick read and enjoyable for even middle aged readers.

Great book. Gave it to my students and they didn't want to put it down. My only negative comment would be I had a parent complain about the mention of the main character's mother having an affair with another man. Other than that this is a great book to get students to read.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written bymcdolins August 2, 2011

Adult issues involved

To be honest, I am disappointed that this book is regarded so highly. Although it is well-written and I am sure that my almost-10-year-old will love the adventure story when his 4th grade class reads it this year, I do not believe that it is appropriate for him to be reading about the character's "secret" - the fact that he knows about his mother's marital infidelity that led to his parents' divorce. This is adult content, not suitable for children of this age. Also, the graphic detail at the beginning of the book (describing how the main character gets stranded) is scary...

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byEmh1229 March 31, 2019

Great book

I cant believe so many people have children that are 4th graders that think this book is scary at all....the watch and see scary stuff in cartoons or video games or hell even the news!!!! Also any of the adults that think there are inappropriate issues brought up? Divorce, cheating parents, suicide... sad to say but this is almost a damn norm now in 4th grade life, maybe even younger. Do for this to be in a book that perhaps a child can relate to and if it helps them.see things more clear or even let them know it's going to be ok then yes please let them read!!

This book is great! My son loved it! And he has read 4 other of his books all with the same excitement to read them.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byVenomtwo7 March 24, 2019

Great book for kids

I read this book when I was 10 in class with everyone else . I'm 30 now . You parents saying this book isn't appropriate for your child are lost . Weak . And should probably wrap your child in bubble wrap. I can still remember the main character forging on...eating "gut berries " . Remembering supplies in the sunken plane and diving for them . Building a fort . Fighting a bear . If your child reads this 10/10 chances They will be a better adult then you . Maybe they will learn they can do more than they ever thought. And God forbid they come into a situation anything close to this that they will have a stronger will. I'm a liberal person and support a lot of lifestyles . But I am lost as to why anyone wants to raise such sheltered , over protected kid who is now not going to learn more because you "pulled them from the assignment " ....sad

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written by[email protected] January 8, 2019

The BEST!!

I personally think it is very energetic and adventurous.I think,no,know that people should read it throughout your life.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byDylan Merrill January 8, 2019

Pretty Noice

very awesome, but violent for young ones. ;)

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byt4 November 19, 2018

A bit.. well

Boring. The first 2 or 3 chapters were fun and exciting, but after that it just gets boring. Brian makes a fire. Brian eats. Brian gets hurt. The book doesn't have any extreme sexual refrences, but Brian's mother cheats on Brian Dad. The book is just OK, but it may be long for somebody under the age of 8-7, depending on their reading level.
Adult Written byhstevens2007 September 28, 2018

hatchet

it is sa good book

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Language
Consumerism
Adult Written byAlyssa789 August 26, 2018

Great Story

This story is very good, it teaches kids to be grateful, i enjoyed this book so very much and im sure anybody else would too.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byAng_Sails February 26, 2018

"Brian finds food. Brian learns a new way to do things in nature. Brian learns something new about himself." - Every Chapter

We are reading this in school. Every time I see this book on our desks I start plotting my escape, 'How do I leave the classroom to avoid reading Hatchet this time?' I catch myself constantly thinking.

People consider this heap to be immersive and interesting, and I'll admit, the first few chapters were interesting what with Brian's plane crashing. Him trying to survive, all good. Then things take a turn for the worst. Every chapter is the same.

My teacher tells us that this chapter will be intense and page turning, Brian comes to a new realization about himself, learns about the wild in new ways. Brian hunts for food, maybe It's a food he's never hunted, but just food nonetheless. He realizes he's - so different now, and that, Whad'ya know, it's hard to survive in nature!

I can't help but refer back to the 'infamous' turtle egg chapter that any reader can easily trace back to. Chapter 9 or 10 I believe. In which our, totally interesting main character Brian finds raw turtle eggs. The same as every single other chapter, but I digress. Our main focus is when he decides to eat these turtle eggs. Slowly swallowing 6 of them, struggling to peel open their leathery shell until he is finally able to eat the raw eggs. Brian reluctantly swallows as the raw egg yolk descriptively glides slowly down his throat. Honestly this chapter made me want to hurl.

Just yesterday in class I fell asleep during class reading of this book! I took a half-nap, in a way that I was pretending to look at the book (the teacher can't tell if my eyes are opened or not from a distance because I have glasses) along with checking back at the clock every few minutes. I woke up to ask my friend what happened in the chapter, the hurricane chapter. She summed it up in one sentence, unlike the tedious 10 pages this book provided.

Overall I dont recommend this book to anyone! And any teachers reading should have their class read something different! I'm a 7th grader, and assume I'm in the range to read this book, as the class does. But I find it to be terrible! Eep sorry this is long, Its 9pm aha I'm bored at this totally reasonable hour. In fact, maybe while I'm bored I'll read an actually good book!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byKarly M. November 14, 2017
Read this with my 9 year old step son and he enjoyed it. My husband and I read it with him so we could always be there to answer questions that he had about the content.
Yes, the book as some serious topics such as death, injury, and infidelity... most classic literature does.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Adult Written byDanielle S. November 3, 2017

As a reader and a teacher

I have read the comments about this book and I am somewhat shocked at the fact so many people think the books themes are inappropriate. Yes, the book does talk about infidelity. Yes, it talks about divorce. Yes, it even touches on suicide. Unfortunately, there is at least 1 child in any given 4th grade classroom dealing with one or more of these issues. We all wish children never thought about depression, anxiety, or suicide. But they do. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in people aged 10-18. A large number of children have divorced parents. Children also know what cheating is. You may want them to be blind to certain parts of the world, but they aren't. We shouldn't just try to hide the parts of world we don't like, that isn't going to stop them from knowing about it. We should talk about these things. Some of the themes in this book are dark, but it's a good opportunity to have an open and frank discussion about such topics with your kids. Refusing to talk about suicide isn't going to stop kids from doing it, it's just going to make them feel outcast and like they are the only ones who have ever dealt with depression. Pretending it isn't happening is just going to make children less likely to come forward and talk about their feelings. Refusing to talk about divorce isn't going to stop divorce. It's just going to make children who have divorced parents feel bad. Even if you think, "well I'm still married, and I will never get divorced, it's not something my kid will know about or understand." I guarantee your child has friend, family member, or someone close them that has divorced parents. We can't sensor books because they are "too dark". We need them more because it helps children understand these dark, but important, topics. Hatchet is a classic work of literature. If you refuse to let your children read books you think are dark you are truly doing them a disservice.

Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak's books cover dark themes like the Holocaust, atomic bombs, and the Cold War. To Kill A Mockingbird uses the N word. Bridge to Terabithia talks about Atheism. Charlotte's Web talks about slaughtering animals. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass has the word ass in the title. The Giver is based on the authors fathers dementia and talks about suicide and euthanasia. Anne Frank is about the Holocaust and genocide. Julie of the Wolves talks about rape and alcoholism. The Great Gilly Hopkins has racist comments and stars a girl in the foster care system. Tons of picture books have been banned for "homosexual themes". Where's Waldo has an image of a topless woman.

And if we start banning books, where do we stop? Yeah, this book has dark themes, maybe you think your 4th grader shouldn't read a book that has cursing in it, and talks about thoughts of suicide. But then other parents will want to ban other books for their own perceived offenses. The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte's Web, and Winnie the Pooh will be banned "because talking animals are offensive to God". The Giving Tree for being sexist. The Diary of Anne Frank because it's "too depressing". Harriet the Spy because it "teaches children to lie, spy, and talk back". Alice in Wonderland for encouraging drug use. The Lorax because it "criminalized the foresting industry" and would thus persuade children against logging. Brown Bear Brown Bear because the author has the same name as a marxist philosopher. And the dictionary for defining words like oral sex. And if you think I'm being dramatic, all of those were actual examples of books that have been banned. Don't "protect" your child from classic literature, the only thing you're doing is holding them back.
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byRaising Readers August 9, 2017

Depends on your child

I read this book and knew my older son (who was 8 at the time) would love this book. He read it and has re-read it multiple times. The first time, we mostly read it together and discussed many different aspects of the book. He had no issues being scared and loved the main character and his ingenuity. My second son, I think would be uncomfortable reading this, just knowing his personality, so we are saving it for a year or two - he's currently 7.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Adult Written byBob P. June 12, 2017

A good story, but only for a secular audience

From a purely literary perspective, Hatchet tells an engaging story and deserves its awards. However, I have come to realize that this doesn't automatically make a book ideal for teaching positive, God fearing values. For that piece, Hatchet falls far short. There are several reasons often mentioned for this (marital infidelity, attempted suicide, etc.), but one that I always add is how Brian miraculously survives a crash landing despite his lack of flying experience, then also survives in the wilderness...and there's not one mention of Divine Providence. It's all simply attributed to "luck."
Adult Written byhjh k. March 6, 2017

Worst piece of garbage ever written, don't bother reading it it is a waste of time, it deserves a -infinity out of positive infinity

This is a garbage book with written in a deplorable (at best) writing style replete with grammatical errors and a very limited, simpleminded, elementary vocabulary and written at the junior kindergarten level. This book has no educational, entertainment or time-passing value whatsoever. The book has no real plot and repeats the same 1 1/2 sentences and "objectives" constantly. The characters have no logic in their actions, thoughts, emotions etc. and the book makes absolutely no sense and is completely unrealistic in a bad not whimsical or fantasist manner. The pacing, writing, plot and characters are appalling if you can even say the book has them and all of the dialogue and interactions between characters is written so egregiously that it sounds as if a robot with no idea how humans interact or some 70 year old hermit trying to sound cool, hp and with the times is speaking and interacting. This book is extremely cringey and the height of cringe. It is so bad that it is scarring. My final verdict is that it is scarringly cringey and scarringly abhorrent. Do not colossally waste your time reading hatchet.
Parent Written byJessica A. December 5, 2016

Favorite book by far!

This story is very well written. It starts out very intensely which keeps you interested throughout the whole book. The main character is a tough kid and i was very proud of him through the whole book!! I would suggest this book to all.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bySerenity N. December 5, 2016
The book hatchet has lots of adventures. In the book the main character is Brian. He was in an small air plane to go visit his father. But out of no where some thing happens to the driver then after he wake up he could berly move he was in the middle of no where . how. Survive. If I die. Those are the thought that where going thru his head after he woke up . there is some thing that has been going through his head its "The secret" about his mom. And having to learn to find his own food ,make his own shelter & having to face the good and bad weather. The them of this noval is to never take things for granted

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent Written byJennifer D. August 19, 2016

Age range not appropriate

Many sites says this book is for ages 11 to 13, but personally, I think that is still too young. Mom has an affair, thoughts of suicide and using God's name in vain is not for tweens, in my opinion. Plus, killing of animals can upset younger tweens too. I know this is 2016 and kids are exposed to more, but I stand by my opinion.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written bylarkin s. August 8, 2016

HATCHET

This book is a favorite of mine. I read it in 5th grade and plan to read it together with my seven year old. It is full and of adventure. Great read individually or together.

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Positive Messages
Positive role models

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