13 Best Books Like Hatchet For Adults Update 05/2022

Books Like Hatchet For Adults

One of my all-time favorite books is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. In my adolescent years, I must have read it at least a thousand times. In addition, I devoured any and all Hatchet-style books I could get my hands on. This isn’t surprising, given where I grew up.

Canada’s rural areas have shaped my life. At my junior high, we had to take an outdoor education class each year, which covered topics like wilderness survival, animal identification, and gun safety. The Hunter’s Safety Certification was handed out to each and every one of us (all 10 of us!) in the classroom. People who lived and worked in the Canadian Rockies had a profound impact on my life.

When I was a kid, Brian’s story about crashing his plane in the middle of the Canadian wilderness and surviving solely on his wits fascinated me. Even now, I’m a fan of survival stories set in the wilderness. Give me a book about the resilience of the human spirit, the will to endure, and the ability to triumph over adversity, and I’ll devour it wholeheartedly.

An increase in the number of young adult books about wilderness survival has caught my eye recently. Hope this trend continues and that there are more books like Hatchet available.

If you enjoyed Hatchet, here are some recommended reads for you. Not every book on this list has a “Content Advisory,” but the ones I have read have. Each book on this list has been assigned an appropriate reading age range based on the subject matter.

Books like Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Lost in the Antarctic: The Doomed Voyage of the Endurance by Tod Olson

Lost in the Antarctic The Doomed Voyage of the Endurance by Tod Olson

Nonfiction book about British explorers who attempted to cross Antarctica in 1914 is the first on our list of Hatchet read-alikes. The Antarctic ice cap trapped them before they could reach land. Extreme weather, freezing temperatures, and perilous ice were all hazards they had to deal with. In the most hostile environment on Earth, this gripping tale of survival is told. Photographs taken during the actual voyage are used to illustrate the book.

Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth

Tash, her best friend Sam, and their trusty yaks flee Tibet for India when Chinese soldiers detain and question their parents. They have to cross mountains, avoid snipers, and endure blizzards to get there. This is a must-read for young readers who enjoy books like Hatchet.

Alone by Megan E. Freeman

In comparison to the other books on this list, this one is a little unique. That makes for an interesting and engaging reading experience. As soon as Maddie wakes up and discovers that her town has been completely abandoned, she must learn how to survive on her own. Fortunately, she has the company of her neighbor’s dog, but surviving each day is a challenge. She is forced to go on the hunt for food and avoid danger at all costs. This book is both thought-provoking and action-packed, so kids won’t want to put it down.

Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry

Maftu decides to overcome his fear of the sea after being labeled a coward. So he sets out on a solo journey, accompanied only by his dog and an albatross, to prove himself. It’s a classic survival story that will keep kids occupied for a few hours.

The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence

The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence

Two young men are stranded in the Alaskan wilderness after their boat sinks during an ill-fated sailing trip. They can’t make it if they can’t put their differences aside and work together. Those who enjoy family secrets, superstition, and the suspense genre will enjoy this fast-paced and often creepy survival tale.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

The Island of the Blue Dolphins is a must-read for any list of young adult survival stories. As a teenager, I adored this book, and now my daughter does, too. While the rest of Karana’s Indian tribe sails away, Karana is left behind on the island she calls home. Fans of Hatchet will fall in love with this tale of survival and the strength of the human spirit.

Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson

Victoria, a 14-year-old sled dog handler, gets lost in the Alaskan wilderness on a routine outing with her dogs. A mysterious boy she meets in the woods joins her in her quest to survive the elements and return to civilisation. In this gripping tale of survival, a girl and her dogs form an unbreakable bond and an unlikely friendship.

Falcon Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson

As they were on their way to hand over a falcon, Karma and her family were involved in an accident. Despite her best efforts, she becomes hopelessly lost in the Montana wilderness while searching for help. While on their journey, they meet a young man named Cooper, and together they battle the elements and wildlife until they reach help.

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George, illustrated by John Schoenherr

Miyax is an Alaskan native who lives in a sleepy town. Julie is the name she is known by in the outside world. Julie flees her dangerous Alaskan home and becomes lost in the wilderness. Her only means of survival is to form an alliance with an entire pack of wolves. In the end, Julie doesn’t know who she is or how she fits into society anymore. It’s safe to say that kids who liked Hatchet will enjoy this book as well.

Born Scared by Kevin Brooks

Born Scared by Kevin Brooks

When it comes to YA survival stories, nothing beats Born Scared. If you’re a fan of Hatchet but are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, grab this one. Everything terrifies Elliot. He sets out on his own in the snow, stranded at home in a blizzard without his medication. There are plenty of monsters—both real and imagined—in this suspenseful survival thriller.

I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall

It’s a tense YA novel about survival and revenge in the Canadian wilderness. With no one to turn to for help, Jess is forced to hunt for food and shelter while hatching a plan for vengeance against the person who murdered her father.

Bad Call by Stephen Wallenfels

When four high school students decide to skip class and go hiking in Yosemite for the weekend, they have no idea what dangers lie ahead. The teenagers find themselves hopelessly lost and in need of help after a series of bad decisions, pointing fingers, and boiling tempers. This is a YA survival thriller that older Hatchet fans will enjoy, full of secrets and suspense.

Deadfall by Stephen Wallenfels

Two teenage twins, drug dealers, an injured girl and a secret hideout are all featured in this novel that is a cross between Breaking Bad and Hatchet. This story of betrayal, trust, and survival is told in alternating timelines, engrossing readers from beginning to end. Putting this one down will be impossible!

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