How Angel Peterson Got His Name
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How Angel Peterson Got His Name

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  791 ratings  ·  163 reviews
WHEN YOU GROW up in a small town in the north woods, you have to make your own excitement. High spirits, idiocy, and showing off for the girls inspire Gary Paulsen and his friends to attempt:

• Shooting waterfalls in a barrel

• The first skateboarding

• Breaking the world record for speed on skis by being towed behind a souped-up car, and then . . . hitting gravel

• Jumping th...more
ebook, 128 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Yearling (first published January 14th 2003)
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Emma W.
This week I started and finished the book How Angle Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulson. This book is about the childhood of Gary and his friends that end up doing some crazy things like fighting a bear, a real bear, for a minute just to impress a girl they all like bungee jumping through a wasps nest and so many other crazy things. I have never done anything like this in my life, as you could probably imagine. Although I would bet that my dad and uncle would have done things like this when th...more
Elizabeth L.


I am currently reading the book How Angel Peterson Got His Name By: Gary Paulsen. The book is about a 13 year old boy named Carl and he did a lot of crazy things. One of the crazy things he did was to try to break the speed record on skis; he had to go seventy-four miles an hour to break the record. But there was one problem there were no hills near by so he couldn't get any speed, but Carl said "I don't need any hills all I need is a car." They went to go buy all of the gear so he would...more
Sean K.
Why do you think Angel Peterson? Well you can find out in the book. Angel's actual name was Carl but at the age of 13 he was never called by Carl Peterson again well because he did some pretty crazy stuff like Schoening off a waterfall and Barrel, Breaking the world speed record on skis, Hang gliding with army surplus target Kite, Inventing the skateboard, wrestling With a bear And other outrageous tale about extreme sports.Gary the Author made this book really cool because it actually related t...more
Luke F
I recently read the book How Angel Peterson Got His Name by: Gary Paulsen. I loved this book because it's so hilarious. It was hilarious because in one part of the book one of Gary Paulsen's friends rides a parachute into a pig pen and gets caked with mud. Throughout most of the book Gary Paulsen and his friends are doing daring things like riding a parachute through the air and doing stunts on their bikes with ramps. I think Gary Paulsen did a great job writing this book because he described th...more
Angel Peterson, Gary Paulsen, and their friends tried a number of daredevil stunts in their thirteenth year, and they are chronicled in hilarious detail in this book. Have you ever wondered what could happen if you tried to ski while tied to the bumper of a car? What about shooting a waterfall in a barrel, or wrestling a bear? Gary Paulsen's stories of his youth describe a time when the Army/Navy store had target kites that could be used for hang gliding and circuses had tents where you could pa...more
Nov 27, 2008 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: anyone except young boys
Recommended to Jennifer by: Becky Taylor
A mother of three boys recommended this book to me. Such a funny book about boys and their seriously shocking ability to make it to adulthood. My husband (who had his share of dangerous adventures growing up) read it and loved it too. Laugh out loud funny. This book will stay safely shelved until my son is thirty - I don't want him getting any ideas. The girls can read it all they want.
Stacy Mcelgunn
Hilarious! Gary Paulsen uses the most vivid language. I get a great picture in my head from his stories!
From peeing on electric fences to setting records for speed and distance, these boys are lucky they made it into adulthood without any other serious mishaps. Angel Peterson wanted to set the new speed record for skiing, so he and his buddies outfit him at the local Army Surplus Store and then, since there are no hills in their small Minnesotan town, they decide to get the local cool teenage guy to get their skier up to speed by pulling him along behind the car. They get up to 80 miles an hour be...more
I recently read an article where the author talked of the best biographies and autobiographies of all time. Number one on his list was "How Angel Peterson Got His Name" by Gary Paulsen. I had seen this book on the shelf in our library many times but had never picked it up. I am so glad that I did! This short masterpiece has been one of my favorite reads of the summer! It is a treasure to be sure.

I read it in one sitting (actually one standing on the treadmill at the gym) and immediately ordered...more
Aspects of the work that appeal, or do not appeal to teens:
This is simply hilarious. I found this book picturing X-games style extreme sports, and instead found short stories about all of the incredibly stupid things that pre-teen boys can do. I laughed out loud and read pieces to my friends, and I think that teens would do the same. The stories were so incredibly ridiculous that they pretty much have to be believed. This book doesn’t really include any of the 40 Developmental Assets for Adolesc...more
Becca Hay
I gladly call this book a biography of Gary Paulsen as well as for every male alive. Gary Paulsen, while writing of his life experiences particularly, captures the essence of every boy: an abundance of ideas and lack of prefrontal brain development. The biography begins with the title's story and describes how one movie preview + Carl Peterson's idea= Carl "Angel" Peterson. The book goes on from there to describe all the crazy things boys do from riding bikes through flaming hoops to wrestling a...more
Joel Richardson
How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen Non-fiction, boy
activities, dare-
devil stunts,
rural America

This non-fiction book is simply one of the funniest narratives I have read on 8 to 17 year old boys doing hilarious, dare-devil activities like breaking the speed record on skis, bungy-jumping from a hay loft, hang gliding with an old WWII parachute, and fighting a bear at the fair. The book is chalk-full of "boys being boys" as they try to out-do the other, usually finding as a conseq...more
Gretchen S.
Gary Paulsen
Nonfiction Autobiography
128 pages

Gary Paulsen and his friends go out to watch a news strip. In the news strip, it says that a man had just broken the world record for the fastest person to go on skis. Carl, Gary’s best friend, was speechless after the strip. He said I can do it! They all looked at him. He said I can break the world record on skis. So they end up doing it and after things looked pretty bad for Carl. After this story other friends did oth...more
Not only do I feel as if this book describes in great detail the life of Gary Paulsen and his friends, but also many other guys out there! They are reckless, curious, and into every form of trouble possible! In this story you will see and learn about several different real life adventures that this crazy group of boys went on throughout their wild childhood in Minnesota. Carl Peterson aka "Angel" and Gary Paulsen found themselves constantly getting into mischief and disaster! Peeing on fences, r...more
Definitely, the adult in me was laughing at Angel Peterson. I was chuckling out loud while reading this book. My favorite story was when the boys went to the tent revival meeting and threw crab apples on the roof to mimic the “footsteps of God” just as the preacher was saying those words. When Orvis is caught, he inexplicably gives Archie’s name and that makes for even more trouble. As is his custom, Orvis devises his own punishment, which is much worse than what Archie had in store for him! Orv...more
This is a hysterical book about the antics of a group of 13 year old boys in post-WW II Minnesota. It tells of their antics to amuse themselves in the flat, cold wilderness that they lived in and compares them to extreme sports of today. This is a sports book that would appeal to teens that are not necessarily into sports because it is as much about the adventure and ridiculous danger of the antics as it is about extreme sports. It is also a humorous, quick read. The characters are believable be...more
The book How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen is about how the main character Carl Peterson got his nickname Angel Peterson. The book is intended for teens and preteens.

Carl and his friends got to the theater to watch a movie about giant ants. After the movie the group are all talking about how they would handle the ants. In the middle of all this Carl brings up that he could break the world record for the fastest speed on a pair of skis. At first his friends are questioning his stat...more
This book is a collection of stories from Gary Paulsen’s teenage years. They are a collection of daredevil stunts that he and his friends did. Before extreme sports, quality protective gear, and television Paulsen and his friends have a lot of fun. They do wild things like try to beat a record for how fast you can ski0- 74mp- being pulled by a truck. Another is flying a giant parachute like a kite, and ending up hang gliding. Paulsen’s story of his own first date is hilarious-...more
This is a non-fiction autobiographical account of Gary Paulsen when he was 13 years old. The book contains five short stories that Paulsen wrote about his 13th year where he tried extreme things with his friends in Minnesota. They are all hilarious and show keen insight into young boys. One of them, the funniest story, is what the title of the book is named after. It recounts Paulsen and his friends' attempt to ski behind an 80 mile per hour car. This book will relate to almost any make YA reade...more
Treyton DeVore

I really liked this book and I would consider this book a partial autobiography of Gary Paulsen. Angel Peterson wanted to break the record for speed on skis. He got an older friend that had a car to pull him behind it while he held a rope and was riding on the skis. His friends went to an army surplus store and got Angel old pilot gear to prep him for his feat. When he was ready to go, they slowly increased the speed of the car and he kept his thumb up, which meant faster, until they got to 80...more
Emily M.
How Angle Peterson Got His Name
111 pages

This dare devil book is an adventurous story told by Gary Paulsen himself. It is all about Paulsen’s childhood experiences. The story is named this because the main part is when Paulsen’s childhood friend, Carl, Decides he wants to “break the speed record on skis.” Carl thinks, “It cant miss- what can go wrong?” But boy, could he of been farther from the truth. First, waxing his skis wasn’t the brightest idea or even trying the stunt in the first...more
Everett Glass
I like the dangerous stunts that those knuckleheads did. It was super super super super super funny. But one thing that confused me was that the book was on how Angel Peterson got his name, but it only explained that in the first chapter, it was basically on funny stunts. I had a great time reading it and it was hilarious. The book was pretty unique overall though.
David and I really enjoyed reading this book. It is a 6.0 on the AR reading list. It's about boys (probably David's age) and the stupid things they do trying to break records and experimenting with wind, flight, and generally dangerous things. It is very humorously written. I laughed out loud several times. The only reason to use caution in reading it, is it makes mention of one older boy having a picture of a half-naked woman on his steering also mentions one boy searching for "purel...more
Gary Paulsen cracks me up! I loved the short story format and how each story went along with the others. Paulsen has written others in this format that I will probably pick up for lighthearted reading. This book works great for boys struggling to enjoy reading. The stories are funny and rambunctious, like the way middle school boys live life. While no one will categorize it as great literature, it makes a great kick-starter for those reluctant to pick up a book.
Dedicated to all 13-year-old boys (“The miracle is that we live through it”), Paulsen’s latest collection of possibly autobiographical anecdotes, his most hilarious yet, celebrates that innate impulse to try really stupid stunts, just to see what happens. What sort of bad ideas can a group of young teens in a small Minnesota town come up with? “Angel” Peterson ties himself, on skis, to a fast car, earning his nickname after claiming to hear angels singing “Your Cheatin’ Heart” when the attempt g...more
Jenna Sommerkamp
How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen is a collection of stories from Gary's teenage years. The stories are humorous and daring events that he and his friends faced as young 13 year old teens. They do wild and crazy things for fun such as trying to break the world record on skis, fighting a bear at a fair, or even going on a first date.

This book would be excellent for upper fifth grade readers especially for boys. The humor and daringness throughout the story will have boys wanting to...more
Kelly R
Really funny :D

What I got out of it:
I feel so sad for the boys I nanny and for many other kids who aren't able to really be kids these days. I grew up building forts and jumping off the roof of my house into piles of leaves with my siblings as a kid.
So many kids I know now are unable to adventure and explore and get into trouble and try stupid things. I constantly have to tell the boys I nanny not to do things that might hurt them. It's my job to keep them safe. But when are they going to learn...more
There are times in my life as a fledgling 8th grade teacher where I have to read books like How Angel Peterson Got His Name. I mean, it is written by Gary Paulsen of Hatchet fame, which is pretty much a staple in the middle school reading curriculum canon.

There were parts of this book where I laughed out loud at the idiocy and antics of young gentlemen in this nonfiction account. I can't say that I would have finished it, were it not a requirement for my coaching the Battle of the Books team. I...more
Gary Paulsen doesn't disappoint in this hilarious memoir about his younger years. I had to double check to make sure that these stories were real because many of his adventures are so outrageous. In a way, reading about his friend getting pulled behind a car on skis, another friend accidentally hang-gliding, his experience with girls, yet another friend wrestling a bear, and a variety of other extreme sports, has helped me understand the male population so m...more
Alex Church
This book was a very funny and good read. It's a nonfiction account on the stunts that Paulsen and his friends did while they were teenagers. The stunts range from latching onto car bumpers and riding homemade skateboards, to wrestling a bear to impress girls. It was a really good book and I would recommend it as a goofy read to guys. I thought it was just hilarious at all the stunts that a successful author would do as a boy. It made me wish that I had done some of the stunts, and it also got m...more
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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
More about Gary Paulsen...
Hatchet (Brian's Saga, #1) Brian's Winter (Brian's Saga, #3) The River (Brian's Saga, #2) Brian's Return (Brian's Saga, #4) Brian's Hunt (Brian's Saga, #5)

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