By Elizabeth Paterra, M. Elizabeth Paterra
A biography of an writer whose diversified reports supplied heritage for lots of of his event tales, historic novels, activities books, and nature tales.
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Extra resources for Gary Paulsen
He sa w that the bathroom w as the only room with a door. Coming back into the living room, he looked carefully at the w alls. They were made of mesh, like a net, with a screen. Then his glance went to the ceiling that w as lined with e xposed w ood beams—as well as other things. The seven-year-old yanked on his mother’s slacks and pointed up. “Look at the ceiling, ” he said. “It’ s got lizards . . ” Gary remembers his mother yelling, then she grabbed a broom and sw atted at the creatures. Some dropped on the floor, and some landed in her hair.
A seed was planted in Gary’s mind, and he dreamed that one day, he’d have a real motorbike of his own. q 3/27/02 10:16 AM Page 54 Gary found a job setting pins at a bowling alley in 1954. , and discovered books thanks to a friendly librarian. q 3/27/02 10:16 AM Page 55 5 Turning Point SEPTEMBER CAME AND fifteen-year-old Gary w as back in Minneapolis and on the streets. Ev en though Gary still lived with his parents, he did not see them often. To get spending money, he got a job setting pins at a bo wling alley and sold ne wspapers in bars.
Uncle Ernest treated Gary as his own son and e ven bequeathed eighty acres of wheat farm to him, showing Gary the will. Gary ho wever was not sure he wanted to be a farmer and earn his living from the land. So one afternoon shortly after he had seen the will, Gary ran away to make his own way. Having heard that a beet farm just outside of Jefferson, North Dak ota w as hiring w orkers for $12 an acre, he walked to the highw ay near his uncle’ s f arm and hitchhiked. The first leg of his trip w as in the back of a truck carrying hogs—and he never forgot the smells and feel of hog w aste.