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My Life in Dog Years Paperback – June 8, 1999


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1150L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (June 8, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440414717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440414711
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up?Paulsen reveals bits and pieces of his own life story through his experiences with eight of his dogs. After a heartfelt dedication to Cookie, the sled dog who saved his life, the author introduces readers first to Snowball, the puppy he acquired when he was seven years old and living in the Philippines, and then follows chronologically with profiles of other canine companions. He concludes with tales about Josh, the border collie with whom he currently shares a home. Paulsen is a master storyteller with a dry wit. His description of his dog Fred, whom he claimed was actually "nuclear in his capacity for destruction," and his account of his Great Dane Caesar, who was so petrified of trick-or-treaters that he would hide in the bedroom closet every Halloween with a housecoat over his eyes, are sure to elicit smiles. Paulsen can also make readers sigh when he relates how Snowball saved him from being bitten by a poisonous snake and how Cookie pulled him out of the water when he fell through the ice while trapping beaver. The statement, "Josh...is a person. I do not think in my heart that he is a dog," gives youngsters a real sense of how the man looks at these animals. An attractive pen-and-ink sketch of the profiled animal opens each chapter. This well-written, readable reminiscence serves as a tribute to the dogs in one person's life, written by someone who considers them his best friends.?Carol Kolb Phillips, The Library, East Brunswick, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 5^-10. Paulsen's style has been smoother, but this honest, unpretentious celebration of dogs further entrenches his reputation as an author who is as successful at writing nonfiction as he is at writing novels. In roughly chronological chapters, he introduces eight memorable canines he has known and loved over the years. Some were pets, others he knew as trusted partners or protectors--from Snowball, the first, to Josh, who "if possible . . . is always with me." Although the chapters are linked by small details and references (often easy to recognize from his previous books), each can stand alone, with several, including a wildly funny one devoted to an adopted Great Dane named Caesar, promising good read-aloud material. Paulsen differentiates his canine friends beautifully, as only a keen observer and lover of dogs can. At the same time, he presents an intimate glimpse of himself, a lonely child of alcoholic parents, who drew strength and solace from his four-legged companions and a love of the great outdoors. Poignant but never saccharine, honest, and open, these engaging canine character studies are guaranteed to charm animal lovers and Paulsen's fans, especially those who know Woodsong (1990) or Father Water, Mother Woods (1994). There's something to please at every turn of the page. Stephanie Zvirin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Gary Paulsen is one of the most honored writers of contemporary literature for young readers. He has written more than one hundred book for adults and young readers, and is the author of three Newberry Honor titles: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He divides his time among Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, and the Pacific.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#62 in Books > Teens
#62 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

You'll laugh, cry, smile, and feel great as you read this book.
M Duncan
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves dogs, or is just looking for a good read.
T-roy
Each chapter is a story about an unforgettable dog Gary Paulsen has had in his life.
Debbie Josway

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Meddie B. Finnegan on May 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
Oh! This is a book worth reading. Basically Gary Paulson devotes each chapter to one of several dogs that played an important role in his life. An animal lover to the hilt, Paulsen will introduce you to dogs that protected him, hunted with him, played with him and just hung out with him on his ranch.
Each story is tender and gives the reader glimpses into Paulsen's childhood (riddled with alcoholism and neglect)as well as his adulthood (filled with dogs, horses and a person or two!)
Written at a sixth grade reading level, this book would be a great read-aloud at bedtime for kids six and up. Both kids and adults will want to get up and hug the family dog goodnight once they finish a single chapter in this gem of a book. What a find!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
My Life in Dog Years

By: Gary Paulsen

I choose to read My Life in Dog Years, because I really love animals and onthe cover was a picture of a dog which is a book that sounded like something I would be very interested in. (The dog was also really cute!) I read the back and it sounded pretty interesting . I was about each dog that he had owned in his life, how each of them impacted him in their own special way. It was really interesting how he had totally different relationships with each of his dogs, some were his friends some

were the boss, some were equal no better or worse than any other person on this planet.

Gary describes his life with the dogs that most impacted his life. He describes the joy and pain that they individually brought to him through out his life. His parents never seemed to be out partying or drinking everyday. They just ignored him as if he were part of the furniture in their house. Gary grew up alone but with the company of his dogs.

The dogs in his book had many different impacts on him. Some were hisfriends and others were his equals, some saved his life and some needed to be saved and Gary was always there to help. Once Gary was walking in a field when his next step would be on a rattle snake, Gary knew he couldn't get out of the way fast enough when Snowball came charging threw and attacked the snake saving Gary's life. Gary knew he could never repay Snowball for what he did, risking his life for his owner.

Gary had many different dogs growing up and you would think that one out of ten dogs wasn't what Gary was looking for. But no Gary always found something special about each individual dog. There was "the first dog (Pg8).", "A good friend (Pg.19).", and "The wild dog of the Alaskan North (Pg.101).
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mary J on February 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Until I read this book, I never thought about how profoundly a pet can influence one's life. There's something miraculous and amazing about our relationships with animals, even though we tend to take them for granted. Gary Paulsen has distilled that magic into eight vignettes, stories of eight dogs who have been a part of his life. I read this aloud with my son and we laughed and sighed and sniffed back a few tears, then hugged our pets a little more tightly. A few of the stories end sadly but there's a good mix, many of the dogs live to a happy old age.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is my daughter's book. I didn't plan on reading it. The first story hooked me. This book is a dog lover's must read. It's quick, yet stoic, full of respect and a certain wisdom. If you've ever owned and loved a dog, you'll love this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I chose this book, bcause it really looked interesting. This book is about the author, Gary Paulsen, and some of his dogs he has owned. My favorite dog was Josh, because he was the smartest and he always watched over his owner and friends. My favorite part was when another dog of his, Quincy, had jumped out of Paulsen's car into Dairy Queen. Over all, this book was too good to put down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T-roy on May 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Gary Paulsen has owned many great dogs over the years, and each dog has its own special characteristics and abilities, in their own special way. Throughout the book, different dogs help, protect, and make Paulsen laugh during his bad times. Among some of the dogs were Cookie, the sled dog who saved his life; Snowball his favorite friend that he owned as a little boy in the Philippines; Ike, his mysterious hunting dog, who would never follow Paulsen home. Instead he would wait until the next day when Paulsen went to hunt, and he would be right by his side. One of my favorite parts of the book was the little twist about where Ike was always going, and why he didn't follow Paulsen home. Dirk was Paulsens K-9 bodyguard. Although he was small, don't let him fool you, he would take on any challenge that would lye in his path. Josh is a brilliant Border collie that Paulsen still owns to this day. Josh was more human than dog. When Paulsen would talk to him, he would not only listen, but in a way he would talk back. Josh has great talent, and is always watching out for everyone. My Life in Dog Years is definitely a five-star book. Paulsen used great imagery that you can relate to in your own life experiences. It was the perfect length book, that was not to long, not too short. It was a very detailed book that made you want to keep reading until you were finished. This book will make you laugh and make you cry. My favorite dog was probably Josh because of how smart he is, and how fast that learns things. All of the dogs were great companions, and had a close relationship with Paulsen. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves dogs, or is just looking for a good read.
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