Born May 17, 1939, in Minnesota, Gary Paulsen was one of America’s most popular writers for young people. Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read—along with his own library card—he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.
Paulsen acquired a taste for adventure, running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival. A youthful summer of rigorous chores on a farm; jobs as an engineer, construction worker, ranch hand, truck driver, and sailor; and two rounds of the Iditarod, the 1,180-mile Alaskan dogsled race, provided ample material from which he created his powerful stories.
“The most, MOST important thing is to read. Read all the time; read when they tell you not to read, what they tell you not to read, read with a flashlight under the covers, read on the bus, standing on a corner, waiting for a friend, in the dentist’s waiting room. Read every minute you can. READ LIKE A WOLF EATS. Read.” —Gary Paulsen