Survival. It’s a battle between humanity and the natural world. Boy vs. nature, as in the case of Hatchet. After a plane crash, Brian, a teen protagonist in Gary Paulson’s story, is forced to survive in the Canadian wilderness. Hatchet has often divided readers, with some embracing Brian’s story and others deeming it a complete waste of time and effort. Hatchet haters may want to skip the rest of this article. Check out the list below if you enjoyed Hatchet and are looking for more in the same vein.
8 Books like Hatchet
I Am Still Alive, by Kate Alice Marshall
Hatchet-style novels frequently put their main characters in life-or-death situations. I Am Still Alive follows a teen Jess who is sent to live with her reclusive father, a man she hasn’t seen since they were kids.
We follow Jess’s struggle against nature as she is forced to live in the middle of nowhere during a frigid winter in two separate timelines.
There are obvious Hatchet-like traits here, but Marshall does an excellent job of humanizing Jess. Do you think you would be able to survive in her situation?
Bad Call, by Stephen Wallenfels
Fear, rage, and deception are all forms of jealousy. Bad Call is filled with all of these feelings and more. Bad Call is one of the YA crossover books like Hatchet that appeals to adults.
Camping trip goes awry in this psychological thriller. Ellie, Grahame and Ellie become entangled in fights, fires, and snowstorms, as well as a bear and an axe.
While this may sound like the beginning of a slasher movie, what sets Bad Call apart is its emphasis on the backstories of the characters.
What is the real story behind Ceo? I don’t know what she did to Colin. I’m not sure why Grahame felt the need to bring an axe. You won’t want to stop reading until you get to the end of these questions.
Ice Dogs, by Terry Lynn Johnson
An Alaskan dog sled racer, fourteen years old, becomes disoriented in the frigid woods and is forced to rely on her wits and the assistance of a strange boy she meets. Ice Dogs follows in the footsteps of Hatchet, which delights in defying readers’ expectations.
Victoria is a young musher who has a close relationship with her dogs. She has complete faith in them. When you learn more about the boy she rescues, her story of survival against the odds becomes even more exciting.
By the end of this story, if you’re not a dog lover, you will be. Suitable for both young adults and adults, this book is ideal for the colder months.
My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George
When I was a teenager, I often fantasised about fleeing my life and becoming a homeless person. There was nothing I wanted more than to be somewhere other than here, where everything seemed so vile and cruel.
On his way out of his New York City house, Sam Gribley strolls down an empty street and keeps going. In the Catskills, he finds a hollowed-out tree and makes it his home.
We follow Sam as he learns to hunt for food, whittle tools from tree bark, and more throughout the story. As long as there is a falcon to keep an eye on things.
A book like Hatchet is often derided for being out of step with modern audiences, but the themes of adolescent disillusionment and a desire for something more than the daily routine are universal. Throughout the pages of this book, which was published in the 1950s, they are evident.
Deadfall, by Stephen Wallenfels
Like Hatchet, Deadfall is another book by Wallenfels that is suitable for both adults and teenagers alike.
Ty and Cory are on the run when they come across a deer that appears to be dying. Tire tracks left by a deer-hunting vehicle lead them to a car that appears to have been completely wrecked.
When they begin to hear noises coming from the trunk, the boys realize they’re in way over their heads and have to flee.
Deadfall is a bleak, harrowing read that contains scenes of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Nonetheless, this is a gripping tale of survival in the face of insurmountable odds that you might want to give a shot.
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
Ponyboy is a self-professed greaser. Ponyboy fights to protect his people from the socials,who he believes have too much money and privileges that the ‘greasers,’ who he considers his own, do not.
Until one night, Ponyboy’s best friend Johnny kills a soc and the murder forces Ponyboy to confront a lot of things he’d previously avoided thinking about.
Ponyboy soon discovers that pain affects everyone, regardless of where they come from or who they are, as his world begins to crumble. Books like Hatchet don’t shy away from delving into the nuanced dynamics between male adolescence.
It’s difficult to read The Outsiders without being confronted by the clumsy, cruel, and all-too-human minds of young men.
Is this book on your TBR list? We’ve compiled a list of books that are similar to The Outsiders.
Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
Is eternal life a good thing or a bad thing?? In order to function, Tuck Everlasting asks the reader to consider this very question.
It is said that the Tuck family drinks from a spring of eternal life. They then spend the rest of their lives trying to avoid drawing attention to themselves.
Winnie Foster, a ten-year-old girl, is the only one who knows about their secret. Winnie begins to wonder if eternal life is all it’s cracked up to be as she learns more about the Tucks.
Books like Hatchet are known for posing existential dilemmas. Tuck Everlasting does an admirable job of provoking young readers to reflect on the value of life.
Is it a waste of time to live forever? Rather than answer for you, this novel wisely chooses not to do so.
Born Scared, by Kevin Brooks
Elliot, the main character in Born Scared, will resonate with anyone dealing with a mental illness like Generalized Anxiety Disorder or Depression.
Everything terrifies Elliot. Only his pills can keep him from spiraling out of control due to his crippling fear of the outside world.
Elliot’s medication runs out on Christmas Eve, so his mother braves a snowstorm to get him a new one. Despite the fact that she should be only 400 metres away, Elliot is forced to confront his fears as he tries to locate his mother.
During Elliot’s journey through the snow, he encounters both real and imagined monsters. As a comedy, Born Scared succeeds in combining Christmas craziness with the real terror of anxiety disorders like OCD.
Imagining what it would be like to live your entire life on the edge is a common theme in some books. In terms of its field, Born Scared is an expert.
There’s a good chance that one of the titles listed above will satisfy your Hatchet-induced thrill-seeking. Dread, creeping fear, heart-pumping frights, and humor all come together in this novel. All of these feelings can be found in the books we’ve discussed so far.