ISBN: 0440407125
ISBN 13: 9780440407126
By: Gary Paulsen

Check Price Now


Adventure Biography Currently Reading Memoir Non Fiction Nonfiction Survival To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

Here are the real events that inspired Gary Paulsen to write Brian Robesons story in Hatchet, The river, Brians winter and Brians Return: a stint as a volunteer emergency worker; the death that became the pilots death in Hatchet; plane crashes hes seen; and his own near misses. He takes readers on his first hunting trips, showing the wonder and solace of nature along with his hilarious mishaps and mistakes. He shares special memories, such as the night he attracted every mosquito in the county, and how he met the moose who made it personal. Theres a handy chapter titled Eating Eyeballs and Guts or Starving: The Fine Art of Wilderness Nutrition recipes included.

Reader's Thoughts


Billed as “the true stories behind 'Hatchet' and the Brian books”, this breezy book by Gary Paulsen is guaranteed to freak and gross you out. You’ll think twice about venturing unprepared out in the wilderness – just in case you have that in mind – when he recounts many of the following: beating beaten by a moose, the death of a young child at the hands (hooves?) of a fawn (yes, I know that sounds unbelievable), being near-on eaten alive by a swarm of mosquitoes (and here I thought wasps or bees were bad), and even eating the rotten insides of an partially-developed baby-duckling egg. Before puking and having a pet dog eat that same puke up. (Are you feeling queezy yet?) You’ll also come away, as I did, with a new-found appreciation of the ordinary chickadee -- who, in Paulsen’s estimation, is the wolf of the bird world come the harshest of winters. (Hearty little buggers, aren’t they?) By book’s end, you’ll come to admit that fact is indeed stranger than fiction.

Ethan Lambert

I picked this book because I am a fan of Gary Paulsen's books and wanted to know more about how his life related to that of Brian his main characterThe title of the book relates to Paulsen's adventures in the Canadian wilderness, and how they weave into his booksThe purpose of this book is to inform readers of Paulsen's life and how it intertwines with his booksThe target audience of this book was most likely fans of Paulsen's books3 facts from the book were 1) Paulsen has been attacked by a moose 2) skunks dig up turtle eggs and eat them 3) Paulsen has run the Iditirod twiceThe theme of the book was that having survival skills is important, because you never know when a situation may arise3 reading strategies I used were: 1)Use prior knowledge: I could relate events in Paulsen's life to those events in his books I had previously read 2)Monitor: every chapter I would go back and review the main topic of that chapter 3)Make inferences: At the beginning of each chapter I was able to infer what the main topic would be (ie. the chapter titled: eating eyeballs and guts or starving, I infered that I would be reading about some disgusting mealsI thought this book was great! Although I strongly recommend reading some of Paulsen's other work first


a) Non-fictionb) 160 pagesc) Guts by Gary Paulsen are about the experiences of Gary Paulsen that influenced him to right his books. In the book he said that Brian’s experience with a pilot’s heart attack is one of the scariest experiences Brian has ever had. Gary Paulsen has had that experience; he has been in a plane when the pilot has had a heart attack. Also in the book Hatchet, Brian had to hunt and make a fire out of nothing but nature. Gary Paulsen had to do just that. Gary Paulsen also got stampeded by a moose just like Brian in Hatchet. This book is all about Gary Paulsen’s exciting experiences with nature that influenced him to right his books.d) This is a very good book. Gary Paulsen did a very good job at describing his experiences with a lot of detail. His life seems like a lot of fun in his book. He goes hunting and fishing. There are also some not so fun things like getting run over by a moose and the Iditarod. I really like how he describes the situation and his thoughts that are going through his mind. There are also some interesting survival techniques and facts in this book. Overall this is a very good book for nature lovers.

Junie K.

Guts: The True Stories behind Hatchet and the Brian Books by: Gary PaulsenNon-Fiction144 pagesGuts is an extremely adventurous story about where the ideas in his books came from. An example of an event that Gary Paulsen actually experienced himself and later wrote in the book Hatchet is when the pilot has a heart attack. Gary Paulsen didn't have a heart attack but when he was volunteering as an ambulance type thing when he got a call from a lady saying that her husband was having chest pains. It took him 15 minutes to get there and when he went in to check out what was going on and help try to help him the guy suddenly went stiff and drop to the floor and stared right into Gary Paulsen’s eyes then died. For some reason Gary Paulsen said the he had experienced many people who had died of heart attacks but he still clearly remembers this one. This is the reason why he put the part where the pilot suddenly has a jolt and goes stiff and dies on the plane in the book Hatchet. Gary Paulsen also raced the Iditarod in Alaska like in the book Dog song. He stated that moose where really scary and how he got attacked by them while in the race. Gary Paulsen had a very adventous life as well as a dangerous one. He was a writer but he also had many other accomplishments like racing the Iditarod, hunting, and eating and getting attacked by the weirdest things.I gave this book a three because unlike other nonfiction books this one was actually pretty good! I was really surprised because usually it takes me FOREVER to finish a nonfiction book. But this one it took me a day and I think the reason this book was actually good compared to most nonfiction books is that it was action packed. It didn't have a single moment in this book that wasn't filled with action. What I find really fascinating about Gary Paulsen's books is that they are all or most of them are things that Gary Paulsen has experienced. I think this makes the books more fun and real when he describes the parts. Overall I recommend this book to anybody who has read a Gary Paulsen book and has liked or a person who doesn't like nonfiction (like me) and needs a quick read that is still good.


‘Guts’ by Gary Paulsen was a considerable novel. I really liked the overall story line as well as the action packed, real life situations Gary Paulsen experienced. The book was based of a similar, well know, novel ‘Hatchet’, which Gary Paulsen wrote 15 years before publishing ‘Guts’. During the book, Paulsen describes his near-death experiences in the wilderness chapter-to-chapter making the reader feel as if they where standing right their, with him. Each chapter is based of real life events which where published in his bestseller ‘Hatchet’, but from the perspective of the main character Brain Robeson, a 13 year-old boy. One reason I really liked this book, was because of the action. Normally when you see a biography it doesn’t seem very interesting, but Gary Paulsen did an outstanding job. The book starts with a chapter called, “Heart Attacks, Plane Crashes, and Flying”. It starts by describing Gary Paulsen’s life before he was fortunate enough to become a successful writer. He lived with his wife in a small prairie town in the middle of farm country, and with so much down time, Paulsen volunteered as a medic with only a small ambulance, which was donated by the city. Gary Paulsen, being the only service available for thousands of square miles, had to witness many deaths mostly form heart attacks. And sadly, Paulsen was the only hope except for the city helicopter, which sometimes took hours to arrive. This book was a great read, and I recommend it for someone who’s looking for an easy quick-read. If theirs one thing I learned from Gary Paulsen’s life, it was that well….it took guts.

Zach Costello

"Guts" is an autobiography by Gary Paulsen. He talks about experieces he had in his childhood through his adult years. When he was young he made his own bow and went out hunting for days just like Brian did in "Hatchet." He then took those experiences and wrote "Hatchet" and the Brian series. This book is for anyone who wants to learn more about Gary Paulsen and the story behind the Hatchet series.

Cassa M.

GutsBy: Gary PaulsenNon-fiction 148 page Guts by Gary Paulsen is about how Gary Paulsen got his ideas for writing hatchet and the Brian books. Most of his ideas came from his own experiences through out his life. The different chapters talk about Gary Paulsen's fishing, hunting, different animal encounters he's had, and plane crashes he's been in. He's shares his memories and thoughts behind the Brian books. And how he got the ideas for the plane crash and moose attack in hatchet. I thinks it's amazing how many different things Gary Paulsen has done and all of the different things he's encountered. Some of the things he has done is really cool. I would recommend this book to people who have read hatchet or any of the Brian books and if they like to read about how authors are inspired to write their books. Guts was a very good book but at the end when it talked about how to cook to deer and birds it got boring because I didn't read the book to learn how to cook animals. But the rest of the book was good. I think it was cool how Gary Paulsen got the ideas for his books from real things that have happened to him thought out his life. Guts was a very good book.


I have a teacher who Gary Paulsen reminds me of. He'll talk about how he was always out side as a child and hunting, fishing, and being well like Gary Paulsen


I enjoyed “Guts” because it is more than just a book. The author, Gary Paulsen, really shows the reader how he writes his books. He explains his life and how he based his books off of his real life encounters with nature. He explains how in his other books “Hatchet” and the Brian Books he actually tied the stories to his real life. I like that the book is split up into chapters that are based on things that you have to do to survive in the great outdoors. Some of the topics are pretty interesting.The main character is the author, Gary Paulsen. He fits the part because it is his life story that he is telling through all of the books that he writes. As he is telling the stories behind the other books that he has written, he is telling the back story on it. At the same time he is explaining how he connects his own life to his books. The book is fairly well written in the aspect that it can't really take place anywhere else. If the book took place in the city, instead of in the woods outside a small town, it would be totally different. It would kind of change the whole story. Since it takes place in the outdoors, it makes the story sound more real. I also like it because the author is descriptive in the sense that if he shoots at something he describes what it sounds like and what he sees and hears around him. I would recommend the book “Guts” to anybody who likes the outdoors and likes to hunt and fish. It is also a survival book. It explains some of the things that a person would encounter or have to eat.


I taught seventh grade middle school for 35 years and during part of that time the sixth grade read Hatchet. Naturally when they came to me the following year some were hooked on Gary Paulsen books. From time-to-time I find myself reading teen books out of habit and desire, I have a list of authors I still enjoy and Gary Paulsen is one. His books have always made me feel I was sitting listening to him tell me the story.If you have read or you know someone who has read the "Brian" books I would recommend this book by Paulsen. In it Mr. Paulsen explains how some of the situations Brain finds himself in are based on his own life experiences. Although I purchased the book from a school book club I would also suggest it is good reading for any of the hunters in your life. It is fascinating to read how Mr. Paulsen made his own bow and arrows, as well as, teaching himself to hunt with this homemade equipment through trial and error. Finally it is a quick read for those reluctant readers. 150 pages and not full pages of reading. Enjoy something different.

Tyler Courtney

After reading hatchet I was looking around for similar books and came across guts by Gary paulsen, I know there is a Brian's winter and plan on reading that in my up comming books. I will be sure to do a review on it. This is a book about his life growing up and some of the experiences he went through some funny some a bit more intense, it didn't really matter because I wanted to keep reading I think mostly because it was about mostly hunting, and fishing witch I can relate to.This book has alot of action in it. Gray Paulsen gets attacked by a moose when he was on a dog sleid and eating by mosquitos. Not only did he get hit by a moose, but all different kinds of animals. It also talks about how he would sometimes have to hunt and kill animals out of season to be able to just survive because he didn't have much money growing up, and the game wardens just looked the other was I guess because they felt sorry for him. I think I would look the other way if I was a game warden as well because I would rather he kill like a rabbit to eat then someone just killing it for fun and leaving it, in other words he is basically in need of the animal and is actually going to use it.


GARY PAULSEN & NONFICTION/ INFORMATIONALGuts is a book that explains the background and authorial content that led to and was involved in the writing of Gary Paulsen's Hatchet. This book goes through Paulsen's adventures throughout his life while hunting. As a child, his parents were poor so Paulsen would hunt small game to sell for school supplies. He loved to hunt and be one with nature. Paulsen began to learn how to use a bow instead of a gun to make hunting a less obtrusive on nature. He also shared a few key experiences that greatly influenced specific scenes in Hatchet. Most of Brian's experiences in Hatchet were based off Paulsen's personal experiences, so he knows that everything Brian did could actually be done. Personally, I did not love the narrative of this book, but I loved the personal and specific experiences he shared. Through this, I could tell that Paulsen really knows how to pull a reader into a story. They were the gems in the novel for me. I would recommend this novel for boys who have read Hatchet or are really interested in hunting.

Dan Prillwitz

“Guts” is a book written about the events that led up to Gary Paulsen writing about Brian Robeson’s story in the books: Hatchet, The River, Brian’s Winter, and Brian’s Return. The first chapter is about the experiences Gary has had with airplanes which is how Brian ends up in the wilderness alone in “Hatchet.” The whole book is basically about all the times Gary has had encounters in the wilderness and how he had to cope with the problems he had. The main character in “Guts” is Gary Paulsen. There are other characters but they are not as important. The story is not really written in a set place. Gary talks about all the times he is in the wilderness so you could kind of say it is taken place in the wilderness but it is never really said. It is written from the time he was a young teen to a middle age adult. The main theme in this book is determination. Gary is saying how he has had so many tough times in the wilderness and he had to be determined to make it out alive. Another theme could be creativeness because Gary has to come up with ways to cook things, and make things while he is out in the wilderness. Overall, I thought that this book was very good. I always was putting myself in Gary’s shoes asking myself what I would do. I would recommend it to people who like to read books that are written about the wild and like adventure.

Aleksandr V

I picked this book because I had read Hatchet. I wanted to know where these experiences were from.The title of the book relates to the book in whats included in the book. The book talks about how to cook guts of animals, so it was a very good choice to call it that.The author wrote this book because he wanted to explain where Brain's experiences came from.The audience who would read this book would probably be anyone who read Hatchet.Facts: 1. Gary ate turtle eggs for research. I found it interesting because I would never do anything like that.2. Gary was part of a group of volunteers that answered emergency ambulance calls. That was interesting because I never knew something like that ever existed.3. Gary ran dog sled races. That was interesting because I remember seeing a movie about that. Iron Will for all those curious.The theme of this book is survival in dire conditions.My 3 reading strategies: 1. Using prior knowledge, I know how dog sled races work.2. Visualizing, I could visualize him eating the turtle eggs.3. Inferring, I could infer him getting into sticky situations during the race.I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to find out exactly how Hatchet became to be.


GutsBy Gary Paulsen148 pagesNonfiction/Autobiography Gary Paulsen wrote a nice book about his life and what he did that relates him to Brian, the character in Hatchet. He actually had a very adventurous life, and in this book, he explained every detail about what happened to his life that led him to writing the book Hatchet. In Guts, he had to go through lots of scary, near-death moments while living in the forest and Alaska. They were very interesting too. He also shared a lot about hunting and food from forests and the wild. This book was a classic book about Gary Paulsen. I thought this book shared a lot about his other book, Hatchet. He seemed to have many similarities to the main character. It was quite surprising. Not only that, I never expected him to live an adventurous life as a writer. There were lots of ups and downs about his life in this book. In the end, it seems that Gary Paulsen wrote this book to answer his fan’s questions, and nothing else really. That is why I gave this book a 2/5.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *