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Hatchet | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Early summer

    Brian flies to spend the summer with his father after his parents' divorce.

    Chapter 1
  • A few hours later

    The pilot dies of a heart attack.

    Chapter 1
  • A few hours later

    Brian crashes the plane into a lake.

    Chapter 3
  • Two days after the crash

    Brian finds and builds shelter.

    Chapter 6
  • At the same time

    Brian begins to learn to find food.

    Chapter 6
  • Soon after

    Brian learns to make fire.

    Chapter 9
  • Five days after the crash

    A plane flies overhead but doesn't see Brian.

    Chapter 12
  • Soon after

    Brian tries to kill himself but realizes that he has become a new person and wants to live.

    Chapter 14
  • 47 days after the crash

    A moose attacks Brian.

    Chapter 16
  • That night

    A tornado destroys Brian's shelter, but it exposes part of the plane.

    Chapter 16
  • A few days later

    Brian dives into the lake and recovers the survival kit from the plane.

    Chapter 18
  • 54 days after the crash

    Brian is rescued.

    Chapter 19
  • Years later

    His survival experience has lasting effects on Brian.

    Epilogue

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 When the novel opens, 13-year-old Brian Robeson is in a Cessna 406, a small plane, flying from New York to Canada to see... Read More
Chapter 2 Brian considers giving the pilot CPR but doesn't know how and suspects the pilot is dead. When the plane begins to swerv... Read More
Chapter 3 Despite his fear of dying, Brian takes the controls and tries to guide the plane down. After a while, he sees an L-shape... Read More
Chapter 4 While unconscious on the edge of the lake, Brian dreams in detail of the moment when he found out about what he calls th... Read More
Chapter 5 Brian wakes up suddenly. He's sunburned and incredibly thirsty, but he isn't sure if it is safe to drink the lake water,... Read More
Chapter 6 Brian remembers a time when he and his friend Terry played in the park two years earlier. They found a thickly wooded pl... Read More
Chapter 7 Brian wakes up screaming for his mother. He's in incredible pain: he's never felt anything this intense. He throws up an... Read More
Chapter 8 Awakened by the wind, Brian smells something rotten and hears an animal slithering. He kicks out at something that moves... Read More
Chapter 9 It is easy to make sparks with the hatchet, but Brian finds he can't get them to catch fire. He digs through his pockets... Read More
Chapter 10 At first Brian can't stand to leave his fire. He sits beside it most of the day. Eventually he realizes he needs more wo... Read More
Chapter 11 Feeling depressed because there is no sign of rescuers, Brian cleans up his camp to get some control over his situation.... Read More
Chapter 12 Brian makes a spear but finds the fish move too quickly for him to use it. He tries different ways of throwing it before... Read More
Chapter 13 Weeks later Brian stands at the end of the lake watching the fish. He wants to catch a bird, but some internal signal ke... Read More
Chapter 14 Brian thinks about how important mistakes are. He considers the difference between living in the city and living in the ... Read More
Chapter 15 Time runs together for Brian. One day is like the next, and only the marks he makes on his shelter wall record the passi... Read More
Chapter 16 Brian stands at the long end of the lake and thinks about how much he has changed and how he'll never be the same. He ke... Read More
Chapter 17 Brian rebuilds his shelter after retrieving its scattered pieces. He gathers wood for a fire and softer branches for a b... Read More
Chapter 18 Brian circles the plane twice more, but he still can't find any way in. Slamming his hand against its frame in frustrati... Read More
Chapter 19 When Brian wakes up the next morning, he digs through the survival pack and finds "unbelievable riches." It contains mat... Read More
Epilogue Readers learn the bush plane's pilot had come to map the region for future fur trading with trappers. Brian has now been... Read More
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