Most of us know Gary Paulsen from his classics Dogsong and Hatchet, or perhaps his newer titles Lawn Boy and Notes from the Dog. From reading briefly about him, I know that he was, and is, a real rough-and-tumble, outdoorsy kind of guy, who has lived firsthand many of his character's adventures. (Think a G-rated version of Hemingway). As a kid who was raised on camping and fishing, I felt a real kinship.
But when I read a recent interview with Gary about his new novel Woods Runner, I was totally won over. His perspective on how the American Revolution is trivialized echoes everything I've ever said in my numerous posts about the American Revolution at my Teach with Picture Books site. Paulsen feels that the common soldiers of the Revolution are rarely given their due respect; like me, he also marvels that they were able to survive the arduous years of that conflict.
Read more about the book, read an excerpt, download an author study guide, check out his upcoming multi-city tour, and print out a poster. I think the more you investigate, the more you'll discover that an author like Paulsen is a great way to get your students (especially your boys) into good books.