His name is synonymous with high-stakes wilderness survival stories. Now, Gary Paulsen portrays a series of life-altering moments in his turbulent childhood as his own original survival story. If not for his summer escape from a shockingly neglectful Chicago upbringing to a North Woods homestead at age five, there never would have been a Hatchet. Without the encouragement of the librarian who handed him his first book at age thirteen, he may never have become a reader. Without his desperate teenage enlistment in the Army, he would not have discovered his true calling as a storyteller. A moving and enthralling story of grit and growing up for newcomers and lifelong fans alike, this is the acclaimed author at his rawest and realest.