Gary Paulsen is a fabulous storyteller. Many of his books, including the Newbery Winner Hatchet, are on almost every school reading list. Now Paulsen’s latest work, This Side of Wild: Mutts, Mares, and Laughing Dinosaurs (illustrated by Tim Jessell), has already quietly made the longlist in Young People’s Literature for the 2015 National Book Awards, as well as is a nominee for a 2015 Cybils award in the Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction category.
In a series of essays, Paulsen reveals some unusual encounters he has had with animals, particularly dogs, but birds, horses, and honey bees as well. His thesis is that animals may have more going for them in the way of intelligence, and even compassion for other animals, than we may have previously thought. Some of the essays contain material more appropriate for mature readers.
This Side of Wild is chock full of compelling and powerful stories that are sure to stay with the reader long after the book is finished. It would make an excellent gift for anyone interested in nature, animals, and adventure, plus those who are already fans of Gary Paulsen. Be sure to pick up a copy for yourself as well!
See the full review at Wrapped in Foil blog.