Some people have all the luck. Others seem to be stuck in one bad situation after another. Life is hard. It is also what you make it to be. Some people work hard to find happiness. Others just accept their fate and try to cope as best they can.
Gary Paulsen was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1939. His childhood was not a happy one. His father, Oscar, was in the army. World War II kept him away from the family. When the war was over, Oscar was sent to the Philippines. His family moved there to join him. They were all together, but they didn't know how to be a family. Both of Gary's parents drank too much alcohol. They often left Gary alone to take care of himself. He spent a lot of time on the streets. He got into a lot of fights. He caused a lot of trouble.
After three years overseas, the family moved back to the United States. They were back home, but they never stayed in one place very long. Gary changed schools a couple of times a year. He had trouble making friends. He wasn't good at sports. He wasn't a very good student. There was nothing good in Gary's life. One day, as a young teenager, that changed. Gary was out wandering in the cold. He went inside a library to get warm. A librarian gave him a book and a library card. It opened a whole new world to him. Through books he had friends. He had fun. He had adventure. He had an escape.