Longlisted for the National Book Award The Newbery Honor-winning author of Hatchet and Dogsong shares surprising true stories about his relationship with animals, highlighting their compassion, intellect, intuition, and sense of adventure. Gary Paulsen is an adventurer who competed in two Iditarods, survived the Minnesota wilderness, and climbed the Bighorns. None of this would have been possible without his truest companion: his animals. Sled dogs rescued him in Alaska, a sickened poodle guarded his well-being, and a horse led him across a desert. Through his interactions with dogs, horses, birds, and more, Gary has been struck with the belief that animals know more than we may fathom. His understanding and admiration of animals is well known, and in This Side of Wild , which has taken a lifetime to write, he proves the ways in which they have taught him to be a better person.