The Beet Fields: Memories of a Sixteenth Summer by Gary Paulsen

I am always interested to hear how authors come about their ideas.  I often wonder, “What happened to this author that they thought to write about X, Y, and Z?”  Gary Paulsen is an author whose books always fly off the shelves without much if any booktalking, so I probably should have read one of his biographies ages ago.  I actually came across this particular when I was “weeding” the Teen Area biographies and decided that I should just go ahead and read it already.  (It probably didn’t hurt that I am eternally immature and a friend told me the book includes the tale of how Paulsen lost his virginity!)  So…  Yeah.  😉

I read the book in no-time-flat and just came to appreciate Gary Paulsen all the more.  Not only is he an amazingly talented author, but he is a man who had to rise above some pretty amazing odds to make something of himself in the first place.  Even if you never knew that this guy grew up to be a super famous author, it’s pretty amazing to read the true story of a 16-year-old runaway who made a living as a migrant laborer and carnival worker.

Happy Reading!


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