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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Paintings from the Cave: Three Novellas Hardcover – September 13, 2011

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

GARY PAULSEN is the distinguished author of many critically acclaimed books for young people. His most recent books are Flat Broke, Liar, Liar, Lawn Boy Returns, Woods Runner, Notes from the Dog, Mudshark, Lawn Boy, Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day, The Time Hackers, and The Amazing Life of Birds (The Twenty Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech). Visit him at

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 880L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385746849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385746847
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,738,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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#61 in Books > Teens
#61 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Donovan on November 16, 2011
Format: Audio CD

This isn't just three novellas. The fourth story is Gary Paulsen's, who in the intro talks about his own upbringing in a "bad home" and how he was saved by art and dogs.

Then he invites us into the fictional world -- that is now given a lot of credibility -- of Jake, Jojo, and Jamie and Erik.

This is worth the price for Jake's story alone, told "In the Man with Iron Heads." Jake "J" is always on the run, staying out of sight of the drug-dealing thug Blade who will either recruit him, blackmail him, or hurt or kill him. One day he is looking out of his run-down apartment's building into one across the sidewalk and sees a man who seems to be working on some heads, and Jake is fascinated by the progress. J and Bill's paths end up intersecting, and I'll say no more about it, except that this is and extremely powerful story.

In the third story "Erik's Rules," Jamie and his brother also cross paths with someone who takes an interest in them. Greg and Jamie meet at the dog run, where Greg admires Jamie's sketches.

"Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Girl" doesn't have any caring adults in her life, but she does have her dogs, and she and her dogs are able to help someone else in need.

I've purposefully left the details sparse, since good stories such as these are most appreciated if you just let them unfold.

The publisher rates this book as 10 and up, but I think that 12 is more in line, unless of course these 10-year-olds are like Jake, Jojo, and Jamie, in which case the realities presented here won't seem shocking or innocence-shattering as they would if my own suburban daughter had read them in 5th grade. Teen pregnancy, rape (sort of implied), drug-addiction, murder, homelessness, child-abuse are some of the mature topics broached.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on February 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In "Man of the Iron Heads," Jake, whom everyone calls J, lives in a sketchy neighborhood filled with drugs and violence and little chance of escape. He gets most of his clothes and food from the dumpsters and spends his time avoiding a drug lord named Blade and his thugs. One day, while sitting in the basement looking into the windows of the expensive lofts on the other side of the alley, J sees "the man with the iron heads." Through the man, J discovers the beauty of creating through art and unearths his own talent. But can he escape his dark world and shape a new life for himself?

In "Jo-Jo the Dog Faced Girl," Jo lives in a run-down trailer and is unloved and unnoticed by her drunken and abusive parents. At school, children sneer and stare at her, and teachers look at her with pity. Everything changes, though, when Jo turns 12. She finds her first dog, then her second and third. After they come into her life, she is loved and her dreams are good. Jo spends her time talking to them in the woods. They are her only friends until she meets Rose. Through the dogs, Jo and Rose feel safe and unafraid, and learn never to give up.

To avoid being put in foster care, Jamie has to follow "Erik's Rules." When Jamie was 10 and his brother, Erik, was 15, they ran away from home and from beatings by drunken men who were staying with their mother. Until then, the only person who kept them safe was their grandpa, who got sick and was put in a nursing home.

One of the worst drawbacks about not having a place to live is that Jamie can't have a dog. He has a talent for drawing, and his best work is when he draws dogs. One day, while doing sketches, he meets Greg, a volunteer at a local shelter, who recognizes Jamie's talent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kayla on April 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
I started this book thinking that the three novellas it contained would end up being so short that I wouldn't be able to get much out of them. Never having read anything by this author before, I definitely underestimated him. Gary Paulsen carefully crafts three different worlds, all the realities of three children. These kids have known more hurt and heartache than most people have in a lifetime and shouldn't have had to go through. But Paulsen doesn't present them in a way that calls for immediate answers and absolute solutions, instead choosing to point out how little outsiders can understand what these people are going through. And unless we take the time to understand people who might not have all of the advantages we do, there's no possible way for us to help them.

I was quickly immersed in all three stories, as Jake, Jojo, and Jamie all find different, unique ways of escape. It's this little ray of hope in their lives, contrasted with the darkness that threatens to overshadow everything, that really drives the overall message home.

I hope that more people give this book a chance. It's a very quick read, interesting and beautiful, that deserves to be at least considered by everyone. I say give it a chance, because you might be surprised (and enjoy) what you will find.
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By pickle man on January 9, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gary does it again; weaves words into art. As a child I hated to read. I was one of those kids who fell through the cracks. Although my life experiences were not as bad as Jacob, Jo, or Jamie, I felt like we have a common connection. As an adult, Gary's writing helped me become a card carrying member of the literacy club! Like Gary, "books saved my life!" It is now my job to put the right book in the right child's hand to help them find the joy of reading. This book will be one that I recommend to students, especially those with difficult childhoods.
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