Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood by Gary Paulson

  • Sale
  • $17.99
  • Regular price $18.99
Shipping calculated at checkout.

A middle grade memoir from a living literary legend, giving readers a new perspective on the origins of Gary Paulsen's famed survival stories.


His name is synonymous with high-stakes wilderness survival stories. Now, beloved author Gary Paulsen portrays a series of life-altering moments from 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. And 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, Gone to the Woods is perfect for newcomers to the voice and lifelong fans alike, from the acclaimed author at his rawest and realest.


"A rich, compelling read that is emotive and expressive without forcing empathy from the reader. Both brightly funny and darkly tragic, it is fresh in its honest portrayal of difficult themes. . .Readers will fall into this narrative of succeeding against overwhelming odds amid deep trauma." --Kirkus, starred review


"A riveting, hopeful survival story about personal resilience amid trauma." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review


"Beautifully written, Paulsen's memoir demonstrates that good can triumph over bad beginnings. . .Everybody will want to get their hands on his latest." -- Booklist


"Cadence shifts from poesy that lingers in nature encounters to racing sentence fragments of urban endurance, as this master of survival stories draws his audience deep into his experience, whiplashing from comfort and growth into abject neglect and on to a fulfilling adult life. This survival story, up close and personal, is one Paulsen fans will not want to miss." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Gary Paulsen is the winner of the ALA Margaret Edwards Award for his contribution to young adult literature, and is a three-time Newbery Honor winner, for Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room. He lives in New Mexico.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

hardcover Pub Date: January 12, 2021

1.3" H x 8.3" L x 5.4" W

Square Fish 

paperback Pub Date: January 10, 2023

1.0" H x 7.62" L x 5.12" W

368 pages