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Iditarod Race
Gary Paulsen

Iditarod Race
Iditarod Race

Gary Paulsen
Print Gary Paulsen Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.07

     challenging words:    andWinterdance, Dogsong, best, realization, forged, angina, prior, comical, manhood, passion, trapper, acclaim, currently, political, critical, reading
     content words:    Gary Paulsen, Special War, New Mexico, Once Paulsen, Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Blue Northers, Caught By, My Life, Winter Room, Newbery Honor

Gary Paulsen
By Jamie Kee

1     Gary Paulsen, a talented American writer, was born May 17, 1939. He is a man who loves adventures, and this love is apparent in his writing. Paulsen typically writes about the outdoors, with a high respect for nature. His books often have "coming of age" themes, and his characters face survival, which allows them to move to maturity and manhood. He is also often critical of technology. Paulsen has become one of America's most popular writers for young people.
2     Paulsen was born in Minnesota and had a difficult youth because he lived with parents who often drank. He spent much of his time in the woods hunting, trapping, and fishing. He never was a focused student and skipped school often, but he did enjoy reading. He first developed a passion for reading after a librarian gave him a library card and a book to read. He would spend hours reading one book after another.
3     Paulsen ran away when he was fourteen in order to travel with a carnival. It was at this time he discovered his attraction to adventure. At seventeen he forged his father's signature in order to join the army, but he discovered he didn't like it very much. After leaving the army, Paulsen held a variety of jobs such as a construction worker, engineer, ranch hand, sailor, truck driver, and satellite technician. He was also a hunter and trapper. All these jobs, in addition to his experiences, gave him the material for future adventure stories.
4     The realization that he would become a writer came to Paulsen while he was working as a satellite technician in California. He suddenly decided to quit his job, and for the next year he worked as a proofreader for a magazine in Hollywood. At night he would do his own writing. Paulsen finally left California for northern Minnesota. He rented a cabin on a lake and worked on his first novel. He completed the novel by the end of the winter in 1966. The book was titled The Special War.
5     In the mid '60s Paulsen moved to New Mexico, where he met his wife, Ruth. They were married in 1968. Paulsen planned to publish two books a year, but his alcoholism got in the way. He didn't write a book for seven years. Once Paulsen quit drinking in 1973, he had to relearn how to write. He did many types of writing such as advertising copy, westerns, screenplays, and political speeches. He discovered that he most enjoyed writing kids' books.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
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Iditarod Race
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