Dan Bittner flawlessly narrates this matchless memoir, which captures writer Gary Paulsen's bittersweet life. (He calls his parents vipers.) Listeners will be shocked when, in 1944, 5-year-old Gary is taken from his mother after she dresses him in a tiny uniform to entertain soldiers in bars. Life improves when rural relatives give him love and attention, and teach him fishing, mushroom picking, cooking, and an appreciation of nature, especially animals. Bittner stirringly captures Gary's grief when his parents reclaim him and he has to use his survival skills when they deplorably neglect him. "Thought pictures" (Paulsen's words), cunning asides, and descriptions of confronting bullies, working for a carnival, and joining the military convey Paulsen's personal history. The sublime narration and satisfying conclusion contribute to a rewarding listening experience. S.G.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 2021]
Trade Ed. Macmillan Audio 2021
CD ISBN 9781250779755 $34.99 Seven CDs
DD ISBN 9781250779748 $19.99
Library Ed. Macmillan Audio 2021
DD ISBN 9781250822536 $69.99
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