Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy Birthday, Gary Paulsen

Mr. Paulsen is one of today's most popular writers for young readers.  You might have enjoyed Lawn Boy, a recent Texas Bluebonnet nominee or his most recent, Liar, Liar.  I read Hatchet in elementary school and was simultaneously enthralled and repulsed by its thrilling plot. A thirteen year old boy is stranded in the Canadian wilderness after his plane crashes.   Highlights of his fight for survival include learning to build a fire, eating turtle eggs, and creating an array of weaponry.  If you've got a tween boy, he will be in awe of this hero.

Mr. Paulsen himself isn't too shabby, either.  He ran away from home and joined the circus at age fourteen.  He's worked as a ranch hand, a magazine proofreader, and an Alaskan dog sled racer.  And he's consumed a steady diet of books since a librarian gave him a book to read and his own library card.  To Mr. Paulsen, reading is the ultimate adventure: "I owe everything I am, and everything I ever will be to books."

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