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Gary Paulsen Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota May 17, 1939 By: Patty Medeiros and Corey Hendrickson.

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Presentation on theme: "Gary Paulsen Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota May 17, 1939 By: Patty Medeiros and Corey Hendrickson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gary Paulsen Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota May 17, 1939 By: Patty Medeiros and Corey Hendrickson

2 Much of Paulsen’s writing is a reflection of his own traumatic childhood: “the stories come from my life- if not my own experiences, then about topics and subjects that interest me.” - Gary Paulsen

3 “I was a really poor student and I had a rough childhood”  Paulsen grew up in poverty  Paulsen did not meet his father until the age of 7, at which time he referred to his son as “the boy”  Paulsen grew up living with his Grandmother, Aunts, and various other relatives  Both Paulsen’s mother and father battled alcoholism  Paulsen would sleep in the basement with his books to avoid the abuse of his parents  Paulsen witnessed his mother’s numerous affairs

4 Paulsen’s own experiences are what makes his writing so vivid  He refers to his personal research as “personal inspection at zero altitude.”  As a child Paulsen witnessed a plane crash and the passengers killed by sharks  At 14 Paulsen ran away and joined the carnival

5 Gary Paulsen is a Natural Outdoorsman:  At the age of 12 Paulsen bought his own rifle, which he used to hunt for food.  He eventually gave up the rifle and manufactured his own bow and arrows which he used for hunting deer.  Paulsen is a hunter/trapper, breeds and trains sled dogs and has participated in several sled races.

6 “Stories are like a river that flows- you dip a bucket in it”  Paulsen’s love of the outdoors is eminent in his stories of wilderness adventure for young adults

7 “I was a poor reader until a public librarian turned me on to reading. That saved my life.”  Paulsen, seeking warmth, wandered into a library for the first time at the age of 13.

8 Paulsen became an avid reader after the librarian handed him a library card with his named typed on it. “I looked at it and somehow that made me somebody.”

9 Paulsen struggled as a writer for decades  In 1985 Paulsen experienced his first success with the publication of his first award winning book “Dogsong,” which won a Newbery Honor Award

10 Despite Paulsen’s success, he chooses to live in relative poverty and away from other people  “I don’t have anything against individuals, but the species is a mess.”

11 “I pick up my laptop and a bunch of notebooks and pencils and I go from one place to the other.”  Paulsen has a dog kennel on a 4o acre spread in Alaska where he breeds and trains dogs for the Iditarod. “There’s no towns, no roads, no people all the way up to Siberia.”  Paulsen also spends time on his 200 acre Ranch in New Mexico in the Jicarilla Mountains, 40 miles from the grocery store.  And when not in Alaska or New Mexico, Paulsen can be found sailing his houseboat on the Pacific Ocean.

12 “I just work. I don’t drink, I don’t fool around, I’m just this way…The end result is there’s a lot of books out there.”  After an attack of angina forced Paulsen to quit dog racing he put all of his effort and energy into his writing.  Paulsen will work hour days.  He has written more than 200 books and some 200 articles and short stories for children and adults.

13 “In the time I’ve got left, I intend to write artistic books- for kids- because they’re still open to new ideas.”  Paulsen stopped writing for adults 15 years ago because, “it’s artistically fruitless. Adults are locked into car payments and divorces and work. They haven’t got time to think fresh.”  It is Paulsen’s overwhelming belief in young people that drives him to write.

14 LIFE OF GARY PAULSEN  Paulsen’s wife Ruth Wright Paulsen, an artist, illustrated 4 of his picture books and one prose poem.

15 Gary Paulsen in his own words: “I sail, run dogs, ride horses, play professional poker and tell stories about the stuff I’ve been through.”

16 HATCHET- About the Book  A tale about the “coming of age” of Brian Robeson  Troubled by his mothers affair. Brian leaves to visit his father in the oil fields of Canada  Following a crash-landing, Brian must survive the Canadian wilderness with only the clothes on his back, and a hatchet.  Follow Brian on this adventure of self-discovery and perseverance.

17 HATCHET- Newbery Honor Award  Hatchet was originally published in 1987  First novel in the Hatchet series, followed by four sequels.  1985: First Newbery Honor award given for Dogsong.  Newbery Honor awarded in 1988 for his novel, Hatchet.

18 About the Newbery Award Newbery Medal Award named after 18 th century bookseller John Newbery. Awarded annually Author must be a US citizen Awarded to the author with the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature from the preceding year.

19 Selections of Gary Paulsen


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