The Beet Fields by Gary Paulsen
Memories of a Sixteenth Summer

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For a 16-year-old boy out in the world alone for the first time, every day’s an education in the hard work and boredom of migrant labor; every day teaches him something more about friendship, or hunger, or profanity, or lust—always lust. He learns how a poker game, or hitching a ride, can turn deadly. He discovers the secret sadness and generosity to be found on a lonely farm in the middle of nowhere. Then he joins up with a carnival and becomes a grunt, running a ride and shilling for the geek show. He’s living the hard carny life and beginning to see the world through carny eyes. He’s tough. Cynical. By the end of the summer he’s pretty sure he knows it all. Until he meets Ruby.

From the Paperback edition.

About Gary Paulsen

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Gary Paulsen is the author of more than 100 books and the winner of numerous awards, including three Newbery Honors and the Golden Spur Award for Best Young Adult Western.
Published February 18, 2009 by Laurel Leaf. 178 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Young Adult, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

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It is punishingly harsh stuff: 16 years old in 1955, ""the boy,"" as he is called throughout, wakes up to find his drunk mother in his bed and realizes that tonight ""something [is] different, wrong, about her need for him."" He runs away and lands a backbreaking job on a beet farm in North Dakot...

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