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Born May 17 1939 Gary Paulsen is one of Americas 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 Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival Paulsen gained a taste for adventure A youthful summer of tough chores on a farm too many jobs to count and two rounds of the 1180-mile Alaskan dog sled race the Iditarod have provided abundant material from which he creates his powerful stories Paulsens realization that he would become a writer came suddenly when he was working as a satellite technician for an aerospace company in California One night he walked off the job never to return He spent the next year in Hollywood as a magazine proofreader working on his own writing every night Then he left California and drove to northern Minnesota where he rented a cabin on a lake by the end of the winter he had completed his first novel Living in the remote Minnesota woods Paulsen soon turned to the sport of dog racing and entered the 1983 Iditarod This led to his later novels Woodsong and Dogsong Paulsens overwhelming belief in young people that drives him to write His intense desire to tap deeply into the human spirit and to encourage readers to observe and care about the world around them has brought him both enormous popularity with young people and critical honor from the childrens book community Paulsen is a master storyteller who has written more than 175 books and some 200 articles and short stories for children and adults He is one of the most important writers of young adult literature todayMy personal insights
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