Woodsong

( 61 )

Overview

A LIFE AS EXCITING AS FICTION

Gary Paulsen, three-time Newbery Honor author, is no stranger to adventure. He has flown off the back of a dogsled and down a frozen waterfall to near disaster, and waited for a giant bear to seal his fate with one slap of a claw. He has led a team of sled dogs toward the Alaskan Mountain Range in an Iditarod — the grueling, 1,180-mile dogsled race — hallucinating from lack of sleep, but he determined to finish.

...

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Woodsong

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Overview

A LIFE AS EXCITING AS FICTION

Gary Paulsen, three-time Newbery Honor author, is no stranger to adventure. He has flown off the back of a dogsled and down a frozen waterfall to near disaster, and waited for a giant bear to seal his fate with one slap of a claw. He has led a team of sled dogs toward the Alaskan Mountain Range in an Iditarod — the grueling, 1,180-mile dogsled race — hallucinating from lack of sleep, but he determined to finish.

Here, in vivid detail, Paulsen recounts several of the remarkable experiences that shaped his life and inspired his award-winning writing.

A School Library Journal Best Book

A Booklist Editors' Choice

For a rugged outdoor man and his family, life in northern Minnesota is a wild experience involving wolves, deer, and the sled dogs that make their way of life possible. Includes an account of the author's first Iditarod, a dogsled race across Alaska.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Every March I live vicariously as I watch parts of the Iditarod on TV but I never really appreciated the demands of this 1,180 mile dog-sled race across the barrens of Alaska until I read this book. Paulsen has personally met this race's challenge and describes graphically the effects of the bone-chilling cold, the physical exhaustion on both runner and dogs, and the spirit of competitiveness of 'man vs. nature' that dominates the event. 1991 (orig.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Mr. Paulsen's paean to his beloved sled dogs is one of the most moving books I've ever read. His eloquence borders on ardor as he vivifies individual dogs and the team that pulled him for 17 days in Alaska's 1,180 mile Iditarod. 1991 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 UpNatural phenomena, chilling experiences, and exhilarating adventure are all part of Paulsen's personal recollections of his induction into sled-dog training and racing. Fluent, spare memoirs of one man's initiation, education, and unabashed awe of the wilderness and its inhabitants. Oct. 1990
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416939399
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 60,397
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Paulsen is one of the most honored writers of contemporary literature for young readers. He has written more than one hundred book for adults and young readers, and is the author of three Newbery Honor titles: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He divides his time among Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, and the Pacific.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 61 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(40)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 61 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 10, 2011

    OMG,BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!

    Woodsong by Gary Paulsen is a compelling nonfiction novel about the life of Gary Paulsen. The book mainly takes place in Minnesota in Gary's hometown. In the book Gary talks about the high points of his life, in no order at all, so you don't know what's going to happen next. Each chapter is full of new surprises and new lessons that Gary had to learn the hard way.

    I would recommend this book to any reader ages 12 and up. I was barley able to put this book down because of the unsuspecting true stories about Gary's life. Paulsen's immediacy combined with the outdoors man plot is outstanding. Readers should be aware of many hunting and death scenes, but they are not very graphic. I would rate this book a 9.5 out of 10 for the outdoors man plot and the amazing skill of the writing.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2007

    I hate reading but love this book!!

    I read a very informational non-fiction book titled WoodSong by Gary Paulson. It was about Alaskan sled dogs and a musher¿s Journey. When the book was described to me, they made it out to be not really an interesting book. But I was still curious about it because I have a Alaskan Malamute. When I started it, it was not really a page-turner but after a couple pages I really got into it. It¿s a great informational book that has many characters but there is the main character who is Gary Paulsen, the author. Some of the other characters are his wife, dogs, and the setting starts out on a small farm in Minnesota, which had many different animals on it. The author starts the book by saying, I understood almost nothing about the woods until it was nearly to late. That is the first sentence of the book, and that by itself made me want to read more. From that sentence I could tell it was about his troubles and hard times. If you like a descriptive author who makes you feel like your right there with him, making you apart of the story you¿ll love this book, and other books by the author. I give this book a TEN out of TEN. The author is indescribable on how he words things, his whole way of writing. This a great book I recommend for all ages above ten just because it has some really descriptive injuries that include blood but its not gross he¿s just saying how it really was. And I personally like that. I want the real thing not some made up thing like ¿ Ohh it didn¿t hurt when I ripped my knee-cap open¿. But he is my favorite author now. Previously, I hated reading, but I loved this book. And you will to.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2008

    woodsong

    This book I read in school in fourth grade it is a really good book I recommend it.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2007

    A great book with a lot of details!

    This is a great book! It is based on a true story! My friend read it as well, and we agree that it is a very detailed story! I read it for 2 hours straight! I wrote down the words I didn't know and looked them up in the dictionary. This is a good book for people who love dogs and snow!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2010

    Woodsong (a good book)

    Many people like to read books that are exciting and interesting. If a book is dull and boring, people will not want to read it. Woodsong is a very exciting book. There is always something happening. Woodsong is a fiction book about a man who has many dangerous adventures while training his sled dogs for the Iditarod. He encounters bears, moose, and even death. Although he has many hardships and troubles, he sticks to his hard work and dedication to his dogs. He also learns many valuable traits from his dogs and grows a great bond with them. If you enjoy reading adventure books you will love Woodsong. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to get interested in a good book.

    The appropriate age for this book is around 10-14, but I think anyone would enjoy it. The book uses words and examples that a teen would understand, but is also full of details that would be too complicated for a younger child. Gary Paulsen uses very vivid details when writing his books. It is full of great adventures and experiences. It is also full of lessons about life. The first sentence in the book says, "I understood almost nothing about the woods until it was nearly too late." He bases the whole book on that statement. Although it is for a teenager, I think adults would love this book as well.

    The way that Gary Paulsen speaks in this book is full of emotion. You know when there is sadness, excitement, pain, or fear. Paulsen uses very vivid detail such as when he says, "Raw, irritated, frustrated, ripping anger." You can feel the anger when you read that part of the book. You can feel the grief and sadness when he says, "When I came back the next day I went to the kennel and there was silence until I came close and then the dogs went into the death song.and I knew then Storm was gone." When you're reading this book, it feels like you're actually there. It feels like all of that stuff is happening to you. It is full of very good descriptive details.

    The content in this book is full of amazing experiences. Gary Paulsen tells the story of all of his adventures while training his sled dogs for the Iditarod. He tells of the hard times and the good times. He learns valuable lessons of love and many other traits from his dogs. In the book, Paulsen says, "It is always possible to learn from dogs and in fact the longer I'm with them the more I understand how little I know." He also tells of the long, hard Iditarod race. Through the hunger, hallucinations, and being lost in the Alaskan wilderness, he still keeps going. Paulsen's books contain so much more adventure than other books.

    Woodsong is a very good book. I think that if you read it, you will like it. It is one of the best books I have ever read. I highly recommend it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2009

    Best Book Yet!

    A life as exiting as fiction! Gary Paulsen delights his fans with a new work of art, Woodsong. In Woodsong Paulsen sets out on a string of new adventures! From falling off a twenty-foot, frozen, waterfall, to running a 1,180 grueling Iditarod, he certainly has had an amazing life! Even hallucinating from lack of sleep does he manage to make it through the Iditarod. He learns from his trusty team of sled dogs the importance of trust and death. From the loss of his trusty dog Storm, he learned how even the best friends will leave. But, keeping memories he manages to make it through.


    Through his sled dogs, Paulsen learned much. One discovery Paulsen made was how dogs could be so much like humans. By that I mean their attitude. Paulsen had a dog named Storm and, before he died, he was a prankster. Once when Gary took off his hat to bend down and harness a new pup, he got up to find no hat. Later when he was in his sled again, Apart of his sled, acting as a hook, dug at least five inches into the snow, coming up with Gary's hat! Paulsen never suspected a thing! He examined closer in the area to try to find out what dog it was buried near. He found the hat, next to Storm! The Dog looked at him playfully. Paulsen never suspected a thing! This is one of many parts of Paulsen's life that his many fans love!

    This book was full of adventure, loyalty and suspense! Paulsen can really capture the image of life. The fans love it! His detailed style retells it as if you are in the middle of a grueling race at negative 50 and so on. You feel the pain when he falls off a frozen twenty-foot high waterfall and lands on a newly torn kneecap! The suspense when he encounters a "ghost" that is really just a tree stump that glowed because it sucked up phosphorus. This is a good book, I am a fiction lover and even I accepted it as a phenomenal non-fiction! Keep on writing, Gary Paulsen, and we'll keep reading!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2001

    One of the best books I've ever read!!!!

    Gary truly made me realize the power of mother nature. I don't think that I will ever be able to look at any of God's creatures again with out questioning their ability to 'feel' happiness, saddness, and even boredom.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2002

    Dog-Sledding with Gary Paulsen

    I enjoyed reading about Gary Paulsen's dog-sledding experiences, especially his description of the Iditarod. Like him, many of the characters he writes about are alone in the wilderness. When you read this book, it is easy to see why he writes about characters learning about nature and surviving on their own.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    THIS IS AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This book was written by gary paulsen and he really did encounter all of these adventures. Including the bear in his trash from his dog facing east.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Inside the world of wolves for kids

    A summer reading lost title titlw that caught my eye.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2011

    wood song

    This book was very intresting for me my favorite part was when he was not going to finish the rase but then he heared his wifes voice and he finished the rase at the end it was touching because he huged his wife and his sun then the doges it was a happy ending. This book was the best book i have ever read. I highly recomend u read this book. It will blow your mined.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2010

    Fiction, Not Biography - But Good Action Story

    I bought this book for my 11-year-old for a biography book report for school. It was listed at B&N.com as a biography - it's not. It's fictional.

    That said, my son really enjoyed this book. It is an absorbing story and my 11-yr-old read it easily.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    Woodsong

    Paulsen weaves together fascinating experiences with dogs in this book. No one can fathom the perils faced by the rugged men and working dogs, without the author's vivid details.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    a remarkable dog-sledding journey

    Wood Song, written by Gary Paulsen, is about Paulsen's adventures racing his team of dogs in the Iditarod (the famous dog sled race across Alaska). His goal is to complete the Iditarod, a treacherous, 1,180-mile journey across terrain that modern man can only imagine. The sled team traveled place to place in the freezing cold and battled the weather to try and win the Iditarod. Gary worked as hard as he could to get the dogs in shape. Through teamwork, each dog looked out for each other and their owner. As Paulsen describes when his entire dog team returned to rescue him from a fall, "I thought of the dogs. How they came back to help me, perhaps to save me. I knew that somewhere in the dogs, in their humor and the way they thought, they had great, old knowledge; they had something we had lost." pg. 29

    This book is for young students who like adventures and enjoy the outdoors. There are great details on trips across the deep white snow. I enjoyed this book a lot but the only thing I didn't like was that it told every little adventure they went on. Overall, it was a great suspenseful book that with each page you turned, you couldn't wait to read more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    A Truly Inspiring and Wonderful story

    "A truly inspiring and wonderful story"
    Woodsong is a memoir by Gary Paulsen. This is a collection of stories about Gary's amazing adventures dogsleding and raising dogs to dogsled with. He starts out the book by telling you stories about dogs and his adventures sledding with them. Some of the stories that he talks about are amazing and others are heartbreaking. Then he introduces you about individual dogs and his relationships with them. Towards the end of the book he tells of his adventure on the Iditarod, the dogsled race across the Alaskan wilderness. I really liked this book and highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in dogsledding or an interest with dogs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Frozen Frontier

    Woodsong is a memoir recounting memorable events experienced by Gary Paulsen himself. Every event is true and sincere. The stories teach the readers lessons the author had to learn the hard way. Gary Paulsen is an outdoor enthusiast and commonly writes stories relating to life in the wilderness. Woodsong in particular is a collection of short adventures with settings ranging from Minnesota to Alaska. The novel begins with Gary training his dogs to run the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska. The Iditarod lures Gary, "so many enjoy it, or seem to enjoy it, yet spend most of their time trying to kill parts of it" (Paulsen, 1). This paradox shows the dual attitude most competitors feel about the race. The rigorous competition captures Paulsen's curiosity. During one of his training sessions in Minnesota, his dogs stop running as they approach a ghostly object on the moonlit trail. The dogs just sit and howl at the silent figure. As Gary cautiously advances forward, he realizes that there is no ghost, but instead a rotting log glowing by phosphorescence. The imagery Paulsen uses makes the reader a part of the team trekking through the frozen wilderness. One theme that is evident throughout the book is determination. Gary Paulsen strives to be the best as he prepares himself for Alaska, not allowing injuries, drowsiness, or any hardships to pull him down. During the Iditarod, he even endures the hallucinations induced by lack of sleep because he can't let rest slow him down. It is debatable who has more perseverance, Gary or his dogs. His dogs seem to want to run and run, so he lets them. Another theme is solitude and lack of human interaction. Gary is alone in the eerie silence of winter. He socializes with his dogs like they are his children. He cared for his dogs and placed all of their feelings before his own. Together, the team is unbreakable. Everything they do, they do together. Woodsong is an inspiring collection of true stories for adventurous people eager to understand the real life of a musher.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2007

    Amazing Memoir

    The book Woodsong by Gary Paulson was the book I chose for my senior English memoir reading assignment. I was a little hesitant to choose this book at first because I didn¿t know if I wanted to read a book about an Iditarod. When I actually sat down to read the book I discovered that it was more interesting than I thought it would be. I thought it would be about a guy who raised some dogs to race in the Iditarod and how the win (or loss) changed his life. The book started out with Gary telling about his 40 years of life before working with sled dogs and how he wasn¿t satisfied with the amount of money he had been making in Minnesota. He was a man who hunted animals and became a trapper to gain more money. He used the dogs to help him with his work and soon discovered that he knew very little of the outdoors. In the book he described his knowledge of the forest as fairy-tales and Disney had taught him. He was oblivious to the real circle of life that occurred in the wild. He stated that he believed that ¿Bambi always got out of the fire¿ and he knew that he would soon learn the truth. The chapters leading up to his first Iditarod were all about how he grew to learn things from the animals he faced and most of all from the sled dogs he trained. He learned the realities of prey and predators, unconditional love of animals, and the affects of life and death. The last part of the book is a day by day account of his and his dogs feelings during there first Iditarod. He expressed how he had to deal with many problems such as dealing with the needs of the dogs, getting lost and having many hallucinations within the 17 days. I am not a person that reads for fun in fact you could say if I wasn¿t assigned to read books I would hardly ever do so. But I was happy that I chose to read this book by Gary Paulsen because it really taught me things not just things I did not know about sled dogs (which were a lot) but how people can learn so much if they just open themselves up and be aware of lessons that life throws in our path, like responsibility, fear, reality, life, and death. I also learned that you can write in little quantity but be vivid in describing what you¿re trying to tell a reader which allows them to make a visual as if they were there to feel your exact emotions.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2006

    Woodsong

    I thought that this book wasn't half bad. Although there some things that were somewhat opinionated that I have disagreed with, it was fairly good nonetheless I would rate it between ok and great. One of the things that I disagreed with was that killing animals is bad I disagree with this because God sent animals down here to eat which requires killing an animal. Things that I did like about this book was that it put in a lot of detail but not too much which made it come alive in my mind. One of the things that I thought came alive was the glowing on the log from the phosphorous.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    Woodsong

    I really like this book. I thought it was one of the best books I ever read for many reasons. The first thing I liked about it was all the details. For example I liked the way the dogs never wanted to stop running. Second, the dog Storm in the book was amazing he would always play jokes. I really liked the time when Storm took Gary's hat and buried it in the snow. When Gary found his hat, Storm was looking strait ahead like nothing happened! It showed how human dogs are. That's why I think this is a 5 Star book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2003

    dogs are tough

    the book was so emotional the dog storm almost blead to death but he would not stop running

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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