Hands down, Gary Paulsen is one of my all-time favorite writers. I love getting lost in the wilderness with his characters, and his coming-of-age stories have always hit home with me. It’s no surprise he’s a favorite with booksellers, educators, parents and readers of all ages.
Hatchet is a perennial favorite, following the terrifying fate of Brian, who finds himself abandoned in the woods with only the windbreaker on his back and a hatchet he received as a gift. Lost in the wilderness, he faces hunger, wild animals, and inclement weather – and with no one but himself for company, Brian is forced to consider the reality of his parents’ divorce . This is an amazing adventure that boys and girls alike can’t put down. If you haven’t read Hatchet yet, come in and grab a copy – it’s a must-read!
One of his lesser-known novels, The Island appears to be a more serene take on teen life. But don’t let the premise fool you – though the story revolves around 15-year-old Wil and the small island he’s discovered at a local lake, this introspective character has a lot on his plate including a recent move. When Wil decides to stay on the island for “a little while,” it doesn’t take long for the media to invade his peaceful, new Thorou-ian lifestyle. This perspective on the teenage experience is refreshingly different, exciting, and uplifting. The Island can’t be missed.
To celebrate Gary Paulsen’s birthday – today, May 17 – we’ve got his books on their own display in BookKids. Come check them out!