With the outbreak of war between the Union and the Confederacy in 1861, the Union army recruited soldiers throughout most of America,...

(The entire section is 647 words.)

Literary Qualities

"This is partly a work of fiction. Charley Goddard really existed," Paulsen says at the end. What Paulsen does is build a work of fiction out...

(The entire section is 489 words.)

Social Sensitivity

The social problems caused by post-traumatic stress disorder have been well publicized in America since the end of the Vietnam War. Acts of...

(The entire section is 618 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Jones, J. Sydney. “Paulsen, Gary.” In Something About the Author, edited by Alan Hedblad. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2000.

Moore, John Noell. “Archetypes: The Monomyth in Dogsong.” In Interpreting Young Adult Literature. Portsmouth, N.H.: Boynton/Cook, 1997.

Paulsen, Gary. Father Water, Mother Woods: Essays on Fishing and Hunting in the North Woods. New York: Delacorte Press, 1994.

Paulsen, Gary. Guts: The True Stories Behind “Hatchet” and the Brian Books. New York: Delacorte Press, 2001.

Salvner, Gary. Presenting...

(The entire section is 96 words.)

Topics for Discussion

1. Charley is terrified by his first experience of combat. Why does he go back out onto the same meadow to face the same enemy when he is...

(The entire section is 272 words.)

Ideas for Reports and Papers

1. Who were the First Minnesota Volunteers? Write a history of their service during the Civil War.

2. What was the First Battle...

(The entire section is 260 words.)

Related Titles / Adaptations

Paulsen says that he wanted to write a biography of Sally Hemings, a slave who may have been Thomas Jefferson's mistress. He could not find...

(The entire section is 124 words.)

For Further Reference

Review of Soldier's Heart. Booklist (January 1,1999): 782.

Buchholz, Rachel. "My Life's Work: Author." Boys'...

(The entire section is 399 words.)