Books To Read After “Hatchet”

Hatchet, a captivating novel by Gary Paulsen, leaves many readers longing for more tales of survival, adventure, and personal growth. In this novel, the young protagonist Brian is forced to rely on his wits and resourcefulness in the harsh wilderness after a plane crash, leaving readers with a deep sense of admiration for his courage and resilience.

This blog post is specifically designed for those who fell in love with Hatchet and are seeking similar reads. We’ll be delving into books that touch upon similar themes – whether it’s the struggle for survival, the relentless power of nature, or a young character’s journey to maturity.

In the following sections, we will explore a curated list of books that will quench your thirst for riveting tales of resilience and survival, and deepen your appreciation for the genre.

Stay tuned to find your next adventurous read!

The Significance of Adventure and Survival Books

Adventure and survival books are more than just thrilling page-turners. They can serve as a mirror reflecting our own lives, particularly when we are faced with challenges.

How They Contribute to Personal Growth and Understanding

The characters in these stories often experience significant personal growth as they overcome adversity. As readers, we can learn from their experiences and apply these lessons to our own lives. They challenge us to think about how we would react in similar situations and push us to consider our own strengths and capabilities.

The Power of Resilience in Difficult Circumstances

Characters in survival stories are typically thrown into extreme circumstances. Their ability to persist and not just survive, but often thrive, is a testament to the human spirit and the power of resilience. These books remind us that, regardless of the situation, it is possible to overcome and grow from adversity.

Importance of Connection with Nature

Many adventure and survival stories, including Hatchet, are set in the wilderness. This setting underscores the importance of respecting and understanding the natural world. These narratives encourage us to appreciate nature’s beauty and power, emphasizing our human responsibility to preserve and respect it.

In the following sections, we’ll delve into specific books that embody these themes, each offering a unique take on the adventure and survival genre.

“My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George

One of the standout books to explore after Hatchet is Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain. This book resonates with many of the themes found in Hatchet and provides a unique perspective on a child’s survival in the wilderness.

Brief Summary and Key Themes

My Side of the Mountain revolves around a young boy named Sam Gribley who decides to leave the confines of New York City and live in the wilderness of the Catskill Mountains. Similar to Brian from Hatchet, Sam is confronted with harsh conditions and learns to live off the land, creating his own shelter, hunting and gathering his own food, and even taming a peregrine falcon for hunting.

Comparison with “Hatchet”

In both Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain, the main characters are young boys who must rely on their resourcefulness and determination to survive in the wild. The books share themes of self-reliance, the power of nature, and personal growth. However, while Brian’s journey begins out of necessity after a plane crash, Sam’s is self-initiated, providing a different context to the survival narrative.

Reasons Why It’s a Good Follow-Up Read

If you appreciated the raw survivalism and natural environment described in Hatchet, My Side of the Mountain should definitely be on your reading list. It’s not just about survival, but also a celebration of nature’s grandeur and the joy of solitude. The book offers a deeper understanding of the environment and wildlife, while also portraying the strength of a young individual when challenged by nature.

“The Cay” by Theodore Taylor

Another compelling read in the vein of Hatchet is The Cay by Theodore Taylor. It’s a profound story of survival and friendship amidst adversity and challenges.

Brief Summary and Key Themes

The Cay is the story of a young boy, Phillip, who becomes stranded on a deserted cay (a small, low island) in the Caribbean Sea during World War II after his ship is torpedoed. He is blinded due to a head injury and must rely on Timothy, an older West Indian man also stranded on the island, to survive.

Comparison with “Hatchet”

Similar to Hatchet, The Cay is a survival story that follows a young boy’s transformation when faced with a life-threatening situation. While Hatchet focuses on the singular experience of survival, The Cay presents survival as a shared experience, emphasizing the power of cooperation and friendship. It also introduces the theme of overcoming prejudices, as Phillip learns to trust and rely on Timothy despite initial racial biases.

Reasons Why It’s a Good Follow-Up Read

If Hatchet left you longing for more survival narratives, The Cay should be next on your reading list. This poignant story offers not only the thrill of survival but also delves into themes of friendship, trust, and overcoming biases. It will keep you engaged from the first page to the last, and leave you with much to contemplate long after you’ve finished the book.

“Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’Dell

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell is another enchanting survival novel that fans of Hatchet will appreciate.

Brief Summary and Key Themes

This Newbery Medal-winning novel is based on the true story of a young girl named Karana, who survives alone for years on an island off the California coast. The book details her day-to-day struggle to survive and the resilience she develops over time.

Comparison with “Hatchet”

Similar to Hatchet, Island of the Blue Dolphins features a young protagonist faced with the challenge of surviving alone in the wilderness. Karana’s resourcefulness mirrors Brian’s, as both characters must rely on their intelligence and determination to face the trials posed by their surroundings. However, unlike Brian’s temporary situation, Karana’s isolation extends for years, adding an extra layer of complexity to her survival story.

Reasons Why It’s a Good Follow-Up Read

Island of the Blue Dolphins is an engaging read for those drawn to stories of survival and resilience. The book offers a unique perspective by featuring a female protagonist in a survivalist scenario, a rarity in this genre. Additionally, it’s a poignant exploration of loneliness, resourcefulness, and the enduring human spirit. This is a book that will not only captivate you with its survival aspects but also move you with its deeper themes.

“Wilderness” Series by David Thompson

If you’re looking for a series to dive into after Hatchet, the Wilderness series by David Thompson is a fantastic option.

Brief Summary and Key Themes

The Wilderness series follows the adventurous life of mountain man Nate King, who left his home in New York in the 1820s to live in the Rocky Mountains. Throughout the series, readers will follow Nate as he faces the harsh wilderness, dangerous animals, and often equally dangerous humans.

Comparison with “Hatchet”

While Hatchet and the Wilderness series both revolve around survival in the wild, they offer distinct experiences. Brian’s story is one of sudden and unexpected survival, while Nate’s journey is a lifestyle choice. Despite this difference, the series aligns with the themes found in Hatchet – resourcefulness, survival skills, and the indomitable human spirit.

Reasons Why It’s a Good Follow-Up Read

The Wilderness series provides a rich, long-form narrative for readers who crave more than a standalone story. With over 70 books in the series, fans of Hatchet will find plenty of survival scenarios, wilderness wisdom, and character development to hold their interest. It’s an excellent choice for those who appreciated the wild landscape and survival elements in Hatchet and are ready to embark on a more extended journey.

“Julie of the Wolves” by Jean Craighead George

Last but certainly not least, Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George is a riveting tale of survival that fans of Hatchet will find intriguing and engaging.

Brief Summary and Key Themes

Julie of the Wolves is about a young Eskimo girl named Miyax (or Julie, as her pen pal calls her) who, lost on the Alaskan tundra, turns to a pack of wolves for survival. The book beautifully explores the interconnectedness of nature, animal behavior, and survival.

Comparison with “Hatchet”

Both Hatchet and Julie of the Wolves feature young protagonists who must survive in harsh environments. They both deal with themes of survival, resilience, and the power of nature. However, Julie of the Wolves goes a step further in its exploration of animal behavior and human-animal relationships.

Reasons Why It’s a Good Follow-Up Read

If the themes of survival and resilience in Hatchet resonated with you, Julie of the Wolves is an excellent follow-up read. Not only does it offer a compelling survival story, but it also provides insight into the world of wolves and their social dynamics. The book is a moving portrayal of a young girl’s determination and resourcefulness in the face of adversity, and it beautifully encapsulates the bond that can exist between humans and animals.

Wrapping Up and Encouragement to Explore

There you have it – a collection of engaging books that will certainly resonate with fans of Hatchet. Each offers a unique perspective on survival, resilience, and the profound impact of nature, similar to Gary Paulsen’s unforgettable novel.

Broadening the Horizons of Adventure and Survival Genres

By exploring these titles, readers can broaden their horizons within the adventure and survival genres. Whether it’s another child’s survival story, an ongoing series about living in the wilderness, or a tale of survival intertwined with animal behavior, there’s plenty to discover and learn.

The Universal Appeal of Survival Stories

The universal appeal of survival stories lies in their ability to highlight the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. These stories, like Hatchet, serve as a powerful reminder of our capacity to adapt and survive, and our innate connection with the natural world.

Remember, this list is just a starting point. There are countless other books out there waiting to be discovered. Keep exploring, and you’re bound to find more thrilling adventures and captivating survival tales to enjoy!

rj adams books

R.J. Adams

My first job was at Barnes & Noble, so books and reading have been a big part of my life for as long as I could remember. My Kindle is jam-packed with books I likely will never get around to reading and my To Be Read pile is even longer!

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