is the author of many critically acclaimed books for young people, including three Newbery Honor books, The Winter Room, Hatchet,
He has published fiction and nonfiction for adults as well as a number of picture books illustrated by his wife, the painter Ruth Wright Paulsen.
Gary was a self-confessed poor student and reluctant reader when he was in school. He credits the kindness of a public librarian with, literally, saving his life by taking an active interest in him and urging him to read and discuss the books she gave to him. He claims that every good thing in his life can be attributed to that one woman who opened his eyes and his world to books.
Several years ago, while he was doing research on a planned biography of Sally Hemmings, his studies led him to accounts of the life-threatening struggle that slaves faced in becoming literate. His novel Nightjohn was inspired by and written in honor of those men and women who risked life and limb to teach others how to read and write, putting their lives on the line in order to give others the freedom that literacy promises.
Gary is donating all of his revenue from this book to ProLiteracy Worldwide to help support the work they do on behalf of literacy.
Find out more about ProLiteracy Worldwide at www.proliteracy.org.
Newbery Honor author Gary Paulsen has long been an ardent supporter of books, reading, and literacy programs. To further the cause of ProLiteracy Worldwide, he asked prominent authors to write an original story; the only restriction was that each story was to include mention of a book. The result is this collection, Shelf Life: Stories by the Book.
From Jennifer L. Holm's story of a girl on Mars trying desperately to return to Earth to Gregory Maguire's domestic intrigue; from Kathleen Karr's story of a thief in turn-of-the-century Chicago to M. T. Anderson's mysterious shipboard adventure; from A. LaFaye's tale of magical wonderment to Marion Dane Bauer's story of doing good, this volume provides a full range of reading for every taste. Other authors featured here are Joan Bauer, Ellen Conford, Margaret Peterson Haddix, and Ellen Wittlinger.
Sales of this book benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide, an international network with more than 1,400 programs in the United States and 79 partner programs abroad, whose mission is to change lives through literacy.