Paulsen, Gary. This Side of Wild
September 29th 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
In this memoir, Paulsen serves up a variety of anecdotes about the animals that have come into his life at various times. These include an account of a small rescue poodle, Corky, who is a more vicious guard dog than he expected, a dog named Gretchen who liked to sit at the kitchen table and "talk" to him, and two horses that went with him exploring. Paulsen's experiences are certainly unique and interesting, and a good choice for reluctant readers, since this is only 144 pages. One of our 7th grade language arts teachers does an author study on Paulsen, so I'll definitely have to buy a copy.
Strengths: This would be easy to pair with some of Paulsen's fiction texts, or to use as a class read aloud, since the anecdotes aren't terribly long.
Weaknesses: This felt sort of like Paulsen took a bunch of notes he had assembled for books that didn't quite work and through them into this collection. Not his best work.
What I really think: I was hoping for something more like his Liar, Liar series, but this was okay.