Gary Paulsen Biography

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Yates 1

Brandon Yates

Mrs. Kozak

English III

02 December 2011

Final Paper:

The 1990's was a time known as the “Digital Decade”. A time when the Stock Market rocketed

and the internet took off. Along with technology becoming popular, Gary Paulsen was writing one of

his two hundred novels, The River. It showed how the U.S. Government wanted young Brian to go

back in the wilderness and reenact his survival skills he used a few years back, after he was involved in

a plane crash.

Gary Paulsen is a great novel and short story writer for people of all ages. He is one of

America's most popular writers for young people, including adults and children (About). His life was

full of interesting things. Many of the things he did, including working on a farm over the summer in

his youthful years, and jobs such as being an engineer, construction worker, sailor, truck driver, and

ranch hand gave him lots of material to work with from which he created his great stories (About).

Throughout his life, since he started writing, he has written over 100 books and short stories and many

have became very popular.

Gary Paulsen was born May 17, 1939 in Minneapolis, Minnesota (About). His parents were

Oscar and Eunice Paulsen (Gary). In his youth he was never a “dedicated” student in school but he had

a passion for reading ever since he was very young (About). On a cold, wintery day, he walked into a

library to warm up with nothing to do. On the way out he had himself his own library card and a book

to read. From then on he was hooked to reading and writing (Gary). He spent many hours alone in the

basement of his apartment building, reading book after book after book. Soon after he acquired a taste

for adventure when he ran away from his home to travel with the carnival at the age of 14 (About). Yates 2

In 1959, he attended Bemidji College in Minnesota, and he worked as a trapper to pay off

tuition fees. He quit college two years after and joined the Army, working for the missiles

department (Biography). In 1966, Paulsen began to write and has completed well over 100 books and

short stories. He has written fiction, nonfiction, and drama for adults and children. He still continues to

write to this day. Many of his nonfiction books relate to his jobs and interests. He has written books

about farming, hiking, football, tennis, skiing, and canoeing (Gary). Gary Paulsen says its his

overwhelming belief in young people that drives him to write (About). A few of his best sellers are:

Lawn Boy, The River, Brian's Winter, Brian's Hunt, The Rifle, Soldier's Heart, Tracker, The Crossing,

Sentries, and Brain's Return (Biography). Three of his novels- Hatchet, Dogsong, and the Winter Room

were Newberry Honor Books. They often appear along with his other books on the best books list of

the American Library Association (About).

One thing Gary loves to do most was dog-sled racing. He took part in the famous 1,180 mile

long dog-sled race known as the Iditarod twice, once in 1983 and again in 1985. His third attempt was

shattered when he was diagnosed with a serious heart disease called angina (Gary). After he was forced

to give up dog-sled racing, he started to focus more on writing with the same energy and effort that he

used on his dogs while training them for the race. He worked 18-20 hour days every day staying

committed to writing the way he would with his dogs. He said all he does is work, he doesn't have time

to drink or fool around. He has always been that way and the end result is a lot of books being

published out to the world (About).

His wife, Ruth Wright Paulsen is an artist. In fact she has illustrated several books of his. They

divide their time up writing and drawing between a home in La Luz, New Mexico and a boat out in the

Pacific Ocean (About).

Gary Paulsen has written many...
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