BOOK NOOK: Gary & The Great Outdoors

Winter’s retreating. Temperatures are climbing. Here in the Pacific Northwest, hikers, campers, and outdoor lovers are coming out of hibernation after a long, cold, winter.

While we’re readying our hiking gear, checking our camelbaks and planning our next outdoor adventure, now’s a good time to get in a little outdoor reading, too. And when it comes to books about The Great Outdoors, Gary Paulsen titles top my list. Every time.

Kimber the Magnificent!

Paulsen’s a three-time Newberry Award-wining author. More importantly, he’s is a super duper dog lover. Anyone in that category gets bonus points.

Paulsen’s writing style is sparse and economical to the point of terse. No excess fat. Brisk as an autumn breeze. Quick as a greyhound.

Reading any of the Paulsen books below would be a great way to celebrate Great Outdoors Month. Or anytime.

Some favorites:

Hatchet –Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson’s small plane goes down in the Canadian wilderness. He’s alone, except for a tattered windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present. It will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive. Newberry winner.

The River – Book two of the Brian saga. The government sends Brian back to the Canadian wilderness.

Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod –  Paulsen and his team of dogs endured snowstorms, frostbite, dogfights, moose attacks, sleeplessness, and hallucinations in the relentless push to go on.

Wood Song – Paulsen has survived a dogsled crash and fall down a frozen waterfall, a bear attack, and running the grueling Iditarod. In this vivid, vibrant book, the author recounts several of the remarkable experiences that shaped his life and inspired his award-winning writing.

My Life in Dog Years – Don’t make me explain this.

Who’s your favorite outdoor author?


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