"Hatchet" Author Gary Paulsen Has Died at 82

The three-time Newbery Honoree was still hard at work, publishing two books this year with one more scheduled for release in January 2022.

Legendary author Gary Paulsen has died at 82. 

Best known for Hatchet, Paulsen was a three-time Newbery Honor winner for Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room. In 1997, he received the  Margaret A. Edwards Award for his contribution to young adult literature. He wrote more than 200 books for children and adults and sold more than 35 million copies. And he was not done.

Just this year, Paulsen added two more middle grade books to his list: a memoir, Gone to the Woods, and How to Train Your Dad, which was released just last week.  What is now his final novel, Northwind, is set to be published in January 2022.

Illustrator Dan Santat, who created the cover for How to Train Your Dad, took to social media after learning of Paulsen's death. "I was honored to have the opportunity to work with him just once," he wrote on Instagram. He tweeted: "I. Am. Heartbroken. Farewell to a legend. Beverly Cleary, Gary Paulsen, Eric Carle, Norton Juster, Ted Lewin.... It's been a tough year.”

[LISTEN: Talking to Gary Paulsen on "The Yarn"]

Recently, Paulsen became the errant target of attacks when parents in several states tried to get Jonathan Evison's Lawn Boy removed from school library shelves. Paulsen wrote a very different book, also titled Lawn Boy. Evison took to social media to ask readers to defend Paulsen

Paulsen was a great proponent of reading voraciously. He credited a librarian with changing his life, not only making him a lifelong book lover, but an author as well. We will let him tell his story in his own words.

In this trailer for Gone to the Woods, he shares the moment that started his writing career.

And here is his conversation from January with the American Writers Museum.

Read Paulsen's full obituary from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, below.


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