Monday, March 30, 2015

Nonfiction Monday - Gary Paulson

Today I want to bring your attention to some of Gary Paulson's autobiographies.

Guts: The True Stories behind Hatchet and the Brian Books. New York: Delacorte Press, 2001.
For people who love, love, love Hatchet and its sequels and want more. Using examples of events in his own life, Paulsen traces how he put realistic emotion into his award winning books.

Winterdance, the Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod.  New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1994.
Not everyone knows that Paulson has run the Iditarod many times. (the dogsled race in Alaska that originally was from Seward to Nome.  But with the changes in weather conditions the actual race path varies.) This slice of his life relates the training and strengthening of the dogs - and of the driver himself. The first half of the book gradually became historically funny as he discovers the dogs need heavier and heavier things to pull and he ends up having them pull an old car - which falls apart around him as they race/ crash through the forrest. The second half of this tale suddenly switches to the intensely serious survival adventure of running it.  Not many of those who begin this race actually reach the finish and you discover why.

How Angel Peterson Got his Name: and Other Outrageous Tales About Extreme Sports.  New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2003.
I give this book to every female parent who is just discovering that raising boys is very different from raising girls.  Example - boys and electric fences.  It seems that every boy has to experiment with them. By peeing on them. (I get the feeling that boys feel the urge to test themselves by peeing on everything, but what would I know - I'm female.)  As the boy(s) hobble into the house, the father simply nods.  "It's genetic," he says.  How did Angel Peterson get this nickname?  Well, it involves a sledding experiment - which nearly kills him.  And so on. And so on. Until you wonder how male children manage to survive childhood and teen hood. (betcha can't help laughing, though.)

Here's the official Iditarod website.

I can't find a Gary Paulson website. Maybe he's too busy raising and training sled dogs. But you can find out lots about him at the official Gary Paulson Random House books site.

The Nonfiction Monday roundup seems to be here.

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