How Angel Peterson Got His Name; and Other Outrageous Tales About Extreme Sports

Paulsen, Gary. How Angel Peterson Got His Name; and Other Outrageous Tales About Extreme Sports. 2003. 111pp. Lexile 1180.

If you're looking for a nonfiction book with a high lexile level that is highly entertaining, try this memoir.  Gary Paulsen’s fiction and nonfiction are  surprisingly complex as measured by reading formulas yet the subject matter is almost always appealing to teens.  The episodic chapters, which are short with relatively large print, will have readers laughing and shaking their heads right from the start.  In a conversational tone, Paulsen recounts the “extreme sports” he and his friends tried back when, as he puts it, “We were quite a bit dumber.”  A typical crazy stunt was skiing behind a car—like water skiing but on a road in winter.  He describes homemade skateboards and homemade bungee jumping, both dangerous.  As he says early on, “None of what we did should be done by anybody except heavily insured, highly trained professionals under adult supervision on closed courses with ambulances, doctors, and MedEvac choppers standing by.”  Good for reading aloud and independent reading.

Fiction Tie-In/Reading Std #9 for grades 6-8: Compare/contrast texts on similar themes or topics.   Paulsen tackles similar topics with similar slapstick humor in his novel, Harris and Me: A Summer Remembered.  Readers who like one book will probably like the other and enjoy comparing and contrasting them.