If you liked the Hatchet novels by Gary Paulsen,
you might like these novels, too!



Budbill, David. Snowshoe Trek to Otter River.
Twelve-year-old Daniel and his friend Seth survive a winter camping trip in the woods.


Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. (AR 12.3)
Robinson, shipwrecked, spends twenty-four years surviving on an isolated island.

George, Jean Craighead. Julie of the Wolves. (AR 5.8)
Thirteen-year-old Julie runs away from home and becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska where she is befriended by a wolf pack.

George, Jean Craighead. My Side of the Mountain. (AR 5.2)
Sam runs away from New York City to the Catskill Mountain wilderness of the eastern U.S. where he survives for a year.

George, Jean Craighead. Tree Castle Island. (AR 4.0)
Fourteen-year-old Jack paddles his homemade canoe into Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp. He expects to have an adventure. He doesn’t expect what he does find: a brother he never knew existed!

Hill, Kirkpatrick.  Winter Camp. (AR 5.0)
Eleven-year-old Toughboy and his younger sister must survive the harsh Alaskan winter at a friend’s winter trapping camp after their parents die.

Hobbs, Will. Far North. (AR 5.3)
Sixteen-year-old Gabe and his friend Raymond survive a winter in the wilderness of the Northwest Territories after their floatplane is destroyed.

Hobbs, Will. Wild Man Island. (AR 5.1)
Andy has to survive when his kayak overturns and he’s washed up on Admiralty Island in southeast Alaska where he encounters grizzly bears, wolves and a long-haired unfriendly hermit.

Korman, Gordon. Shipwreck. (AR 4.6)
Six kids on a boat journey on the Pacific Ocean have to work together to survive after a storm leaves them shipwrecked.

Laird, Elizabeth. Hiding Out.
Peter is accidentally left behind in France when his family returns to England and has to find a way to get home on his own.

Lawrence, Iain. The Skeleton Tree. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2016.
Twelve-year-old Chris and fifteen-year-old Frank, each recently bereaved, struggle to survive in the wilderness after their sailboat capsizes off the coast of Alaska. They also struggle to get along with each other. This 278-page novel full of descriptive details – and a bit of the supernatural – will appeal to competent readers 11 to 15 years old who enjoy realistic stories. An afterward provides background information about the author’s experiences in the Pacific Northwest. [Alaska; Fathers and sons; Survival; Ravens; Wilderness areas]

Jones, David. Baboon. (AR 6.1)
Fourteen-year-old Gerry is flying back to his parents’ research camp in Africa when his plane crashes and he has to survive by living with a troop of baboons.

Mikaelsen, Ben. Touching Spirit Bear. (AR 5.3)
Cole avoids prison by going to a remote Alaskan Island where he encounters a huge Spirit Bear that changes his life.

Touching Spirit Bear is a phenomenal book by Ben Mathews (Harper Trophy, 2001) about a young boy who has a troubled life at home, with his alcoholic parents, and at school where he has a reputation for being an extremely physical bully. At age fifteen, Cole Mathews has done his worst crime yet; he has beat up an innocent kid and now has to make a choice: jail or Circle Justice for one year in total isolation. Cole chooses Circle Justice where he destroys his shelter and attempts an attack on a massive crystal white Spirit Bear; in a flash he is lying on the floor, unconscious for two days. Learning that being ‘invisible’ is the only way to see his enemy again, Cole becomes calmer and tries to help the boy who he nearly killed. Can Cole help this helpless boy? Will anyone ever forgive him? Read this touching book to find out! (Jordyn in grade eight)

O’Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins. (AR 5.4)
Karana and her brother are left behind and have to survive by themselves on an island off the coast of California.

Rundell, Katherine. The Explorer. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017.
Fred, Con, Lila and Max were supposed to be flying from Brazil to England. But their plane has crashed into the Amazon rainforest. They’re all alone. Except for the snakes and the monkeys and the caimans. Except for an explorer hiding in a ruined city deep within the jungle.  More fast-paced than Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson and more fantastical than Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, this wildly adventurous tale will appeal to readers 10 to 14 years old looking for a new survival story. 

Smelcer, John. The Trap. (AR 6.2)
Seventeen-year-old Johnny Least-Weasel worries about his missing grandfather who is caught in a steel trap in the middle of an Alaskan winter.


Tullson, Diane. Red Sea. (AR 5.1)
Fourteen-year-old Libby has to survive and find help after her stepfather is killed and her mother injured while on a sailboat in the Red Sea.


Wyss, Johann David. The Swiss Family Robinson. (AR 9.7)
A Swiss couple and their four sons are shipwrecked on an isolated island where they survive by learning new ways to grow food and raise animals.


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