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3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  2,269 Ratings  ·  371 Reviews
Gary Paulsen, Newbery Honor author of "Hatchet" and "Dogsong," is no stranger to adventure. He has flown off the back of a dogsled and down a frozen waterfall to near disaster, and waited for a giant bear to seal his fate with one slap of a claw. He has led a team of sled dogs toward the Alaskan Mountain Range in an Iditarod -- a 1,180-mile dogsled race -- hallucinating fr ...more
Paperback, 132 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published 1990)
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Bowen the problem is him learning how to take care of the dogs and him prepareing fore the ididorad
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Community Reviews

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Dec 29, 2015 Josiah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the height of his acclaim in the mid-1980s and into the '90s, three-time Newbery Honoree Gary Paulsen was compared to some of the finest names in the history of American children's literature. Not only that, but the comparisons were to a diverse array of accomplished writers, indicating a versatility perhaps unequalled among his contemporaries. There was likeness drawn to the legendary Jack London, whose prolific output and sensitivity to the natural world's underlying wisdom was on a simila ...more
Mar 29, 2013 Autumn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is very good, but in some ways, a challenging read for what appears to be a children's book. The first half of the book is a series of short essays Paulsen wrote about training his sled dogs. He writes about odd things that happened to him while on runs and in the woods, the brutality of nature and what his dogs taught him. Some of the essays, actually, most of them, have one thing or another that was difficult to read. He really doesn't shy away from the ugly side of the natural world. Tha ...more
Jul 05, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to it on audiobook read by the author and it was great. Absolutely loved it. Paulsen was one of my favorite authors as a child and I am glad to see that my trust in him as an author was well-deserved. The descriptions of the cold were so chilling and unsettling that I had to turn this off a couple of times, but the honest tone about the brutal world of dogsledding made it all worthwhile.

I also deeply appreciated the mantra that Paulsen hammers home in this story -- the "I didn't know h
Nick Kuechle
I just finished this book and I thought it was ok. The reason why I only gave this book three stars was because it was good, but it could have been better. I think part of the reason that it wasn't my favorite book was because the main person didn't believe in the same things I do.
The main character used to be a big time trapper until he realized the true beauty of nature. That is when he started understanding the way animals think compared to humans. That is when he got big into running sled
Nov 18, 2008 Devin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Devin by: teacher
people really do get thriugh hard times
Jan 28, 2009 Brice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a good book but some of it is very descriptive for littler kids.
May 16, 2017 Ronny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personal Response
I gave this book a five out of five. I really enjoyed reading this book. The book was very entertaining with all the stories he told and all the wildlife he talked about. All the stories were very interesting.
The plot is Gary Paulsen telling stories about sledding dogs and what lessons nature has taught him about life. When he first started with the sledding dogs he did not know much about them or nature. They taught him a lot of lessons of life and how things are different
Payton Magdanz
Nov 17, 2015 Payton Magdanz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jackson Melton
Apr 19, 2013 Jackson Melton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Woodsong, by Gary Paulson, the story of Gary Paulson’s life as a dogsled runner is told. The story focuses mainly on the dogs that he would run with, their personalities, stories about running them, and what they taught him about the wilderness. When the book begins he is a man living with a wife, and a son in a small house in northern Minnesota. They are very poor because his writing career hasn’t taken off yet and he has to take other jobs to be able to live. Then when the state is having p ...more
Apr 19, 2013 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-read-this
Woodsong Review
In the book Woodsong by Gary Paulsen, he is the main character and a dog sled leader in the Iditarod race. He loves his dogs so much and is very close with them. They fight through the cold and arctic wilderness and go through tough challenges together. The dogs teach Gary so much throughout the book. They tell him to keep going and to not let things overcome him even if it’s hard to do so. Nothing will stop Gary and his dogs from giving it their all and not giving up.
The leader
Oct 09, 2014 Michael2134 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a great book it catches the eye of all types of readers. It has very good detail in the plot and the setting along with the entire story line of the book. It also shows the bond between man, nature, and animals of all kinds, whether it be wildlife of dogs. The book starts off talking about a guy who knew nothing about the woods until it was too late . He had spent almost his entire life either in the woods or on the sea. At this point and time he doesn't understand why he is killing ...more
Lorelei Ponto
Personal response- I think this book was very cool to show that the man knew nothing about wildlife when he thought he had. I did not expect to read about so many of the hallucinations that he encountered. I figured that some of the things he had seen were real but turned out not to be. I do not like animal cruelty and was happy to see Paulsen changed his views in the first part of this book due to his beloved sled dogs. He realized that he could not kill unless it was a necessity.

Plot- Paulsen
Chris F
Apr 19, 2013 Chris F rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Woodsong, the main character named Gary connects with his dogs and trains them for a race called the Iditarod. He is always in the woods riding with his dogs training them for the big race. Gary is always telling wise stories and talking about the mistakes he has made in the past. The book is very action packed and always keeps you on your toes wanting to read on. Gary has many struggles in the book but always ends up overcoming them with the help of his dogs who are always present in the boo ...more
In the book Woodsong, the author Gary Paulson is writing about his adventure during the Iditarod with his sled dogs. The story focuses mainly on the hardships he faces during the race. The other main point was what he learned from his dogs. He learned that he shouldn’t trap or hunt living animals anymore because they deserve to live and since his dogs never hurt humans, so why would he want to kill the animals? He wanted to get to know the wilderness better so he decides to run the Iditarod.
Mar 04, 2012 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Snapshot: Thirsty for adventure but with no idea how to quench it? Woodsong will only intensify your itch for exploration. Known for his award-winning adventure-filled novels, Gary Paulsen's memoir detailing his dog-sledding history may be more exciting than his fiction. The book is divided in half, the first section filled with stories of experiencing the wild through various animal encounters. The second half is a day-by-day account of his first attempt at the famous Iditarod dog-sled race acr ...more
Woodsong Review
In the book Woodsong, by Gary Paulson, Gary is a competitive musher and competes in races. In the first half of the book, Gary tells many exciting stories about him and his dogs along with the intense training they go through together. An example is when Gary and his team are training for the Iditarod and when they cut a corner, the sled slipped and Gary went flying off into a gully separating his knee cap.
Gary’s lead dog Storm is always working harder than the other dogs, has a
Sheriden Haase
Personal- I thought Woodsong was a great book. I enjoyed the plot of this book. Gary Paulsen talks about his life. He shows grief and happiness. I loved the book overall because the whole time I pictured myself on the sled.

Plot- The story takes place in northern Minnesota. Gary traps and hunts game. He uses a dog team to get around in the back country. He sometimes stays out all night running his trap line. He get's into some predicaments, like falling off a tall ledge and tumbling over a waterf
Justin Meyer
The book "Woodsong" was about Gary going dogsled racing. In the first half of the book Gary tells about some experiences he had out practicing for the Iditarod. In one of them he said that when they were going his dogs stopped to look at something. To his surprise he got off to look to and what he saw was a deer standing up frozen solid. In another one he was going by a lake when all of a sudden a deer jumped over his dogs and chasing it onto the ice were a pack of coyotes. The deer fell through ...more
Apr 12, 2013 Zamp25 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The memoir "Woodsong" by Gary Paulsen is mainly about his experiences while working with animals in nature such as dogs, cats, chicken, sheep and so forth. Throughout his encounters with nature, he realizes human beings are animals too, and are no different than any other creature. His relationships with his dog teams especially changed his life, and taught him spectacular things about friendship, unity, trust, respect and honor. At the end of the book, Gary Paulsen journals his first person acc ...more
Mar 28, 2013 Gale rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: survival
“In Tune with the Team and the Arctic”

Paulsen’s choice of the word SONG—see WOODSONG and DOGSONG—goes beyond the expected audible and musical implications, as it embodies man and animals’ in-touch-ness with both static and living aspects of the natural world. Less a cohesive story with a clearly defined plot and anticipated character development book proves reveals the author’s reflective observations of his own maturation—as a musher and as a human being. With gritty honesty Paulsen chronicles
Matt Peitso
Woodsong by Gary Paulson, type of book is biography, the subject about this book is how he lives, how he lives out in the wilderness out in the snow. only him and his dog team.

What i think Gary was trying to make you do is feel the emotions and make you feel that you were there in snow telling the dog to mush. To make you feel that your on the sled controling the dogs listening to every action they make and every breath they take. This book fits into a biography because 1 this story is true. 2
Apr 09, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: engl-420
Unlike many other of Gary Paulsen’s novels, Woodsong is not a fictional story; it contains instead several thematically related experiences from Paulsen’s own life. He tells of his experiences learning about dogs, how to travel by dogsled and grow close to these animals, how to live in the woods, and finally he concludes with the story of his first time racing the Iditarod. The subject matter of this novel was, frankly, unappealing to me, and as a resul
The book Woodsong is similar to that of a diary. Gary Paulsen recaps several events that happened throughout a certain time in his life and explains how they affected him. In this particular book, Paulsen is a dog runner in central Alaska who lives with his wife and some 50 plus animals. As usual, he uses extreme detail, which helps the reader to imagine everything from the smell of the dogs breath to the taste of 50 degrees below freezing Celsius. All through the book, it seems that the dogs ar ...more
Jun 28, 2011 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read lots of Gary Paulsen's books when I was younger. I ordered a classroom set of "Woodsong" this year as an example of autobiography, nonfiction, and personal narrative. We did not get to them before school ended, so I picked it up and read it on my own. Loved it! Paulsen has such an ability to relate human experiences with nature. Anyone interested in sled dogs, northern winters, the Iditarod, or just coming to terms with the "wildness" of nature will find this a quick and fun read.
May 03, 2016 Jinwoo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andy Ng
May 03, 2016 Andy Ng rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is very interesting because it is about a real life of a people, I also learn from this book the animals are just like us they have feeling, they have families and they care about they family, they work as a team and they live as a team, there are no different between the animals and us. And my favorite part in the book is when the race begins.
Feb 01, 2009 J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exhilarating NF about wilderness, endurance and…dogs. Bittersweet with some gross-out humor. Fascinating. Paulsen has won awards for his teen fiction. With Woodsong he tries his hand at NF. The book is filled with lovely (and sometimes terrifying) glimpses into his life living on the edge of wilderness in Minnesota running his dogs. It finishes with an accounting of his first Iditerod.
May 03, 2016 Tommy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book, it talk about animals also have their own thinking. They also want to protect their owner protect their friends. The book tells us animals can be family member. The animals are as same as a human. Animals was kind to their friends, but angry to everyone or everything that try to hurt it's friend or family.
Mar 06, 2011 Abbi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing! It tells about the relationships of most people and pets, especially dogs. This also tells about how author Gary paulsen has competed in the iditarod and all the things he went through about his dogs and his experience with iditarod, amazing! A must read for everyone of all ages!
Sep 04, 2011 Anjali rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE.
Recommended to Anjali by: PSMS
I HATE THIS BOOK. It was almost as bad as "Red Scarf Girl" (Jiang Ji Li). They assigned this book at school two years ago and it was the second-worst book I've ever read. There is no plot. Nothing happens. Nobody wants to read about a man who owns dogs.
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The Iditarod race 1 1 Mar 18, 2015 12:16PM  
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve
More about Gary Paulsen...

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“The book is that is the good one is Woodsong and we are trying to finish it.” 6 likes
“I began to understand that they are not wrong or right—they just are. Wolves don't know they are wolves. That's a name we have put on them, something we have done. I do not know how wolves think of themselves, nor does anybody, but I did know and still know that it was wrong to think they should be the way I wanted them to be.” 1 likes
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