How Angel Peterson Got His Name

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How Angel Peterson Got His Name
Paulsen - How Angel Peterson Got His Name Coverart.png
How Angel Peterson Got His Name first edition cover.
Author Gary Paulsen
Cover artist Hank Nick Cocotos
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young-adult biography
Publisher Wendy Lamb Books
Publication date
January 14, 2003
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 128 pp (first edition)
ISBN 0-385-72949-9
OCLC 49921982
813/.54 B 21
LC Class PS3566.A834 Z467 2003

How Angel Peterson Got His Name is a nonfiction, young adult memoir written by Gary Paulsen, outlining the hilarious, and often dangerous stunts Paulsen and his friends pull in order to entertain themselves and impress the young ladies. All of the tales in this book are about the true adventures of Paulsen and his friends during the mid-1950s.

Chapter 1: How Angel Peterson got his name[edit]

In this opening chapter, Gary Paulsen's friend, Carl Peterson, wants to break the speed record for snow skiing; the big problem is that the Minnesota landscape is as flat as a parking lot. In this adventure, in which Carl Peterson is renamed to Angel Peterson, the boys involve Archie - the local James Dean wannabe - Archie's car, all the financial resources the boys face,and a great adventure. They use the car to pull them and they go over 80 mph.

Chapter 2: The Miracle[edit]

In chapter two, Emil accidentally discovers hang gliding. After he buys a small target kite, he decides he has to fly it. So Emil and the boys create a plan to get the kite into the air. They had all flown kites before, so they would follow the same principle. Of course, this plan goes awry and chaos ensues.

Chapter 3: Orvis Orvison and the Crash and Bash[edit]

Two young whippersnapper’s, Orvis and Paulsen, curiosity gets them into trouble when they listen in on the Revival meeting and decide to bring the “footsteps of God” to the congregation. Their other adventures involve daredevil stunts masterfully achieved on bicycles while avoiding near death from a neighborhood dog.

Chapter 4: Girls, and the Circle of Death[edit]

Orvis is one of Paulsen's friends, and he has a problem: talking to girls. He freezes up and doesn't know what to say to them. Instead of talking, he does other things to try to impress girls. There is a traveling carnival in town, and Orvis decides to wrestle a bear to get the girls' attention. He has only to stay in the ring for one minute. The first time he's thrown out by the bear, and the girls laugh at him. After his initial humiliation, he is even more determined and goes into the cage again to win. . . ,

Chapter 5: And Finally, Skateboards, Bungee Jumping and Other Failures[edit]

In the final chapter of Paulsen’s memoir, Paulsen and his friends experiment with skateboarding, bungee jumping, and other daredevil tricks. The first vignette in the chapter shows Paulsen and his friends killing some time by nailing roller skate wheels to pieces of two-by-six board, creating skateboards; and as readers might guess, the goal of skating becomes to out-do one’s friends with one’s skating bravado. Ultimately, Wayne wins the skating bravado contest by hitching a ride—unbeknownst to the drivers—hanging on to the back of car bumpers. Wayne hitches all the way to Hutchinson, a town seven miles away, and back. The proof of Wayne’s bravery is featured in a local paper under the headline “Wild Kids Catch Wild Rides,” with a picture of Wayne hanging off the bumper of a chicken truck in Hutchinson.

Another vignette involves Paulsen and his cousin, Harris. Here, Harris uses old tractor tire tubes to bungee jump out of a barn’s hayloft, bouncing into a wasps’ nest, wasps relentlessly following him—up and down, up and down.

The final four pages of the last chapter include multiple vignettes: Wayne crawling into an old refrigerator with M-80s, Orvis jumping through a hoop of fire, Angel experimenting with multiple uses for a full-sized parachute, and Wayne creating a diving bell to explore the Mud River.

External links[edit]