Paintings from the Cave: Three Novellas

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Overview

Gary Paulsen was one of the kids who slipped through the cracks, until art and dogs saved him.

So are Jake, Jojo, and Jamie, all twelve-year-olds who, like Gary Paulsen, had to grow up too fast.

?You stop moving, you?re done.? ?Jake

?Dogs know how to love better than people.? ?Jojo

?I?m surprised my pencil can take my hand where my mind would never go.? ?Jamie

Gary Paulsen?s ...

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Paintings from the Cave: Three Novellas

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Overview

Gary Paulsen was one of the kids who slipped through the cracks, until art and dogs saved him.

So are Jake, Jojo, and Jamie, all twelve-year-olds who, like Gary Paulsen, had to grow up too fast.

“You stop moving, you’re done.” —Jake

“Dogs know how to love better than people.” —Jojo

“I’m surprised my pencil can take my hand where my mind would never go.” —Jamie

Gary Paulsen’s three poignant novellas add up to an unforgettable book.

Praise for NOTES FROM THE DOG
"Paulsen writes another touching story about human kindness and humanity.... This emotional coming-of-age journey about taking responsibility for one's own happiness and making personal connections will not disappoint." -Publishers Weekly

"This candid and tender tale, told with [Paulsen's] signature humor, is a salute to the bravest of the brave." -School Library Journal

Praise for WOODS RUNNER
"Paulsen's talent for scene-setting...is paired here with a vivid story of the American Revolution." -The New York Times Book Review

*"A vivid and graphic tale of one boy caught up in a harsh war, a side of the American Revolution not often told." -Kirkus Reviews, Starred

*"Illuminating and gripping." -Publishers Weekly, Starred

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cathi I. White
Jake, Jo, and Jamie are three twelve-year-olds that do not know each other, but have something in common. They all lived with abusive or non-caring parents and have to fend for themselves. Their stories are told through three novellas. Jake's world is surrounded by drugs and bullies. He and his friend, Layla, hide from the local bully, Blade, who has a way of making people do what he wants. While in his safe-place in a rat infested basement, Jake discovers Bill, who lives across the alley where the world is good and safe. He is befriended by the sculptor, who teaches Jake how to pour his penned up emotions into the art of sculpting. Things are great until one of Blade's henchmen finds Layla. Jo's story is similar, but different. Being alone, she has no friends until she helps three homeless dogs named Mike, Carter, and Betty. She spends all her time getting to know her dogs, loving and playing with them while escaping her abusive parents. One day she meets another lonely girl named Rose. Their common love for dogs builds a friendship. However, a terrible disease threatens the relationship and security the girls share. Jamie has a loving older brother, Erik, who takes care of him. Both boys are constantly moving because they have no permanent place to live. Jamie draws very well and meets Greg, who wants to buy his art. This new friendship opens opportunities for Jamie and Erik that help their homeless situation. The author has done a fantastic work developing these three novellas making the characters so realistic that they become heart-felt and gut-wrenching as the reader learns about their circumstances, cheering for their situations to be better. This eye-opening book could be used in classrooms to help teach diversity. Reviewer: Cathi I. White
School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 5–8—Gary Paulsen opens these three novellas (Wendy Lamb Books, 2011) with a short piece about his own difficult childhood and how dogs, art, and reading helped him survive. "Man of the Iron Heads" tells the tragic story of Jake, who knows that unless he always keeps moving, he'll be caught by the local drug dealer or his violent, uncaring aunt. He does his best to care for a pregnant friend who is only 14, but finds that in his reality, there's no place for hope, only revenge. "Jojo the Dog-Faced Girl" has a horrible home life made bearable only by adopting a number of stray dogs that lead to her first real friendship. In the third novella, Jamie and his big brother ran away from a drunken mother and her boyfriend who, it is inferred, abused the boy. A volunteer at a dog shelter recognizes Jamie's artistic talent and eventually provides the boys with affordable housing and a great deal of hope. These stories are linked by the artistic endeavors of their main characters and the fact that they all don't feel self pity. Like Paulsen, they do their best under terrible circumstances, become survivors, and eventually thrive. Sarah Grace, Nick Podehl, and Jim Bond are superb narrators, lifting the excellent writing to even greater heights. A must-have.—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Public Library, Santa Barbara, CA
School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—Inspired by the author's own troubled childhood, these novellas portray an unflinching look at children who have endured neglectful and abusive homes and are surviving on their own. The atmospheric first tale, "Man of the Iron Heads," is narrated by Jake, a boy of about 11, who hides from the local gang until he finds the courage to outsmart its violent leader. "Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Girl" presents a lonely girl with three adopted dogs who finds acceptance in befriending a girl with leukemia. Finally, "Erik's Rules" celebrates the power of art and is told by Jamie, the younger of two homeless brothers, whose unstable existence changes after a chance encounter with a friendly volunteer at the animal shelter. By incorporating the solace found in dogs, art, libraries, and new friends into these tales of heartache and redemption, Paulsen provides his readers with hope of a better life.—Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455808298
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Three-time Newbery-winning author Gary Paulsen, hailed as "one of the best-loved writers alive" by the New York Times, divides his time between his ranch in New Mexico, a sailboat on the Pacific Ocean, and his dog-kennel in Alaska. He's written over 200 books for young people, stories that have been embraced by readers of all ages.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderfully emotional and stunning work

    Paulsen has spoken about his own upbringing as being extremely difficult - until his art and his dogs saved his life and brought him into a wonderful future. He meets and talks with children all the time across the country, and recently he was speaking about his books when one child stood up and asked Paulsen what exactly could be done when life got to be that bad. The subject of fear and unstable environments - to say the least - certainly came up. And the knowledge that there are so many out there who are hoping that one day they will find their art and their dogs in order to save their lives before it's too late, was enough to break anyone's heart. What Paulsen went on to do was create this incredible book. A book of three separate stories that look at 'real life,' and what too many kids truly have to go through on a daily basis. Each one is a masterpiece in its own right. The first focuses on a young man named Jake. Jake is a good kid who lives in a horrific neighborhood. He knows that if he stops moving, they'll get him. Simply put, the gangs are there; they watch and wait until they can get Jake into their group. So Jake stays on the move; he hides in the basement of his building at times while the bad guys are out in front on the stoop, and he spends time with his best friend, Layla. Layla has a life just as bad as Jake's. And on top of that, the poor girl is fifteen and is going to have a baby. Jake sees a sculptor living in an apartment building across the street - the street that is going through the urban renewal process. The sculptor befriends Jake, offers him food and a peaceful place to stay, but Jake has to live his life on the move - trying his best not to get caught. Readers will be blown away by how this story ends. The second tale wraps around Jo-Jo and the issues of drinking, molestation, and the reality of having to live in a nightmare. Jo-Jo has one family she relies on and that is her dog family; these are the creatures she can trust with her very life. One day she meets a young girl named Rose. Rose has her own issues, but the friendship that is formed and the wealth of emotions that appear on paper make this a truly unforgettable tale. The third and final story speaks of two young men who are basically on their own. Erik is Jamie's older brother - and his hero. After all, Erik was the one who saved them both from certain death. Finding their place in the world is amazing to watch. This is, as are the other two before it, a tale of pure emotion, respect, honor, love, and strength; tales of finding the ability to survive in a world of chaos, pain and fear. There is nothing to say, here. Readers already know Gary Paulsen is an amazing author; now they know he is one of the most amazingly inspirational human beings on the planet. Quill Says: This is a book that should be up for any, every, and all awards that the literary world can possibly give!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2013

    6 out of 10 FIVE Star reviews as of 8/6/13 are nook/texters that

    6 out of 10 FIVE Star reviews as of 8/6/13 are nook/texters that have nothing to do with the book. What do you want? Do you want to ruin the entire system for all the readers in the world just because you want to text through your nook?? Give us a break and call each other on your phone or text on your phone. Leave the book review process to readers of books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    Sarah

    "Yes."

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    is this a god book? I havent read it yet. Im thinking of buying it. Recommond it to Abby Stead.:)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    ROAR

    An enormous panther leaps to the ground... she is immortal and telekinetic.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    Rick

    He lookes at Sarah. "Do you have something to ride back?" He asked, the skeletion dragon walking around in circles.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    The cloaked girl

    Leapt of the ground, transforming into a dark green dragon with blood red eyes. She flew. The only reason she was a dragon was because her lover bit her.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Ninja and his army

    Fire with guns at monsters killling the.m

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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