Zero to Sixty: The Motorcycle Journey of a Lifetime

Front Cover
Harcourt Brace & Company, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 179 pages
12 Reviews
Nearing sixty, diagnosed with heart disease and feeling his mortality, Gary Paulsen buys his first Harley-Davidson and rides from his home in New Mexico to Alaska-and from the present into his past, through the landmarks of a singular life. Paulsen's journey is peopled with familiar faces, from the tough cop who saved him from juvenile delinquency to the prostitute whose career advice stopped him from quitting the army. And the work he does while on his bike-the work of mapping his life to find meaning-is of a piece with the pure sweat and muscle of youthful days spent on farms in Minnesota, or at the bottom of septic tank pits in Colorado, or wrangling dogsleds through the Alaskan wilderness. Amid the silence and beauty of running the road on his Harley, Paulsen celebrates the comforts of hard work, the thrill of challenge met bravely, and the peculiar joys of life lived to its fullest.

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Review: Zero to Sixty: The Motorcycle Journey of a Lifetime

User Review  - Jim - Goodreads

(note to elementary school librarians - don't put this next to the tucker novels.) "There is something very liberating about heart disease. You get a solid, rich copper smell of your own mortality and ... Read full review

Review: Zero to Sixty: The Motorcycle Journey of a Lifetime

User Review  - Loree - Goodreads

Gary Paulson is the savior of reluctant readers in my classroom. I love that man, and I love his sparse poetic style, especially in the hatchet series. This book was good, but it's not his best. I'll be careful about recommending it to students without parent approval. Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Gary Paulsen was born on May 17, 1939 in Minnesota. During the first few years of his life, his father was stationed in Europe during World War II and his mother worked in a factory. Paulsen was raised by his grandmother and aunts. He lived overseas after the war in the Phillippines between 1946-49. Ever since he was fifteen, he worked many jobs to support himself. He attended Bemidji College, in Minnesota, paying his tuition by being a trapper. He also spent some time in the army. He decided one day to try writing and tried to become a magazine editor. He spent nearly a year as an associate magazine editor on a magazine for men in Hollywood, California. He published his first book, "Special War," in 1966 and had published nearly forty books and several articles and short stories during his early years. He went back to school in 1972, attending the University of Colorado, but his career was interrupted by a lawsuit in 1977 over "Winterkill." In 1990, he suffered a mild heart attack, which did not hinder his writing at all. Some of Paulsen's most well-known books are the Hatchet series, although he has published many other popular novels including Dogsong, Harris and Me, and The Winter Room, which won the Newbery Honor. Woodsong and Winterdance are among the most popular books about the Iditarod. Paulsen was the recipient of the 1997 Margaret A. Edwards Award for his lifetime achievement in writing for young adults.

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