June is Great Outdoors Month. I love this month because… well… um… I love June because Mom loves June. And I love everything Mom loves. (Except broccoli. Gag me with roughage!)
Back to June. Check it out: Hiking! Frisbee tossing! Swimming! Canoeing! Frisbee chasing! Kayaking! Fishing! Frisbee-ing! Picnicking! Biking! Frisbees! The beach, the mountains, the desert, the plains!
Did I mention Frisbees?
Anyway, when it comes to books about The Great Outdoors, Gary Paulsen titles top our list. Every time.
Mom says Paulsen’s a three-time Newberry Award-wining author. I have no idea what that means. Can you eat it?
More importantly, Paulsen is a super duper dog lover. Told you he’s brilliant.
Paulsen’s writing style is spare and lean to the point of terse. No excess fat. Brisk as an autumn breeze. Quick as a greyhound. Or me.
Reading any of the Paulsen books below would be a great way to celebrate Great Outdoors Month. You still have time to knock out a couple or more this month.
Some of our favorites:
- Hatchet –Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson’s small plane goes down in the Canadian wilderness. He’s alone, except for a tattered windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present. It will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive. Newberry winner.
2. The River – Book two of the Brian saga. The government sends Brian back to the Canadian wilderness.
3. Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod – Paulsen writes about his experience running his team of dogs in this famous race. Snowstorms, frostbite, dogfights, moose attacks, sleeplessness, and hallucinations in the relentless push to go on.
4. Wood Song – Paulsen has survived a dogsled crash and a fall down a frozen waterfall, a bear attack, and running the grueling Iditarod. In this vivid, vibrant book, the author recounts the experiences that shaped his life and inspired his award-winning writing.
5 . My Life in Dog Years – Don’t make me explain this.
Oh yeah. Not a smidge of roughage anywhere. And nothing about broccoli. I like this Gary guy more and more.
6. Dogsong (pretty obvious, huh?). Oogruk the shaman owns the last team of dogs in the village. He alone understands Russel’s longing for the old ways and the songs that celebrated them. Driven by a strange and powerful dream and by a burning desire to find his own song, Russel takes Oogruk’s dogs on an epic journey of self-discovery that will change his life forever.
- Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster – John Krakauer.
- Sunrise to Paradise: The Story of Mount Rainier National Park – Ruth Kirk.
- A Year in Paradise – Floyd Schmoe.
What are your favorite outdoor books and authors?
This is an updated version of a post from 2018.