Last Sam's Cage
young adult novel by David A Poulsen
“April 19, evening: Last night I escaped. The weird thing is that I escaped to a place where all the residents are locked up. Oh, they’re treated real good and everything, but they just can’t leave. I know what that’s like.”
Last Sam’s Cage is the remarkable story of fifteen-year-old Eddie Slater. Already labeled a young offender, Eddie runs away from an abusive step-father and takes up residence at the Calgary Zoo. There he meets Jack, a middle-aged man who has been coming to the zoo’s playground every day for thirty-two years to watch the children. Convinced that Jack is either a pervert or just plain weird, Eddie follows him home one day, and eventually breaks into his house to see what he can find. He discovers more than he bargained for—and that discovery changes both Eddie and Jack for good.
“Brilliant! I couldn’t put it down.”—Sharon E. McKay, best-selling author of Charlie Wilcox
Last Sam's Cage ... nominated for:
The 2005 Snow Willow Reader's Choice Award (SK) and The MYRCA Reader's Choice Award (MB)
... published by Key Porter Books, Toronto
David A Poulsen - BIOGRAPHY
David A. Poulsen has been a broadcaster, teacher, football coach, rodeo competitor, stage and film actor and—most of all—writer. His writing career began in earnest when his story The Welcomin’ won the 1984 Alberta Culture Short Story Competition. Now the author of more than 20 books, David recently completed his Masters degree in Creative Writing at UBC. He divides his time between his small ranch in the Alberta foothills southwest of Calgary and a second home in Maricopa, Arizona.
In 2011 David’s young adult novel Numbers was selected for the Sakura Medal (awarded by English speaking high school students in Japan to their favourite novel of the year). As a result David toured International Schools in Japan and Korea in the fall of 2011. Numbers has since been added to the new English curriculum for Grade 10 in Saskatchewan. David served as the Writer in Residence at the Saskatoon Public Library in 2012/13. His newest novel, Old Man, a YA/Adult crossover novel was launched in January 2013 to excellent reviews from CanLit, CCBC, Quill and Quire and the National Post, among others…and has just been received a nomination for the White Pine Award, part of the OLA’s Forest of Reading program.
David’s one-hour presentations with students are high energy, informative, infused with his passion for reading and writing and, most of all, they’re fun. He begins by sharing his journey to becoming a writer; it is sometimes hilarious (“The world’s worst rejection letter” and “The scariest moment of my life” are two examples), sometimes poignant (his first successful story was inspired by the tragedy of the Battle of Dieppe), sometimes inspiring (“if I can get my picture on the back cover of a book, so can you”) and always entertaining. Next, David’s reading will focus on a recent book written for the age group to whom he is presenting and as a former actor, he admits to ‘performing’ his readings. And finally, there is David’s favourite part of the presentation—the Q and A as audience members pepper him with questions that ‘never fail to amaze and delight.’ It is an hour that student and adult audiences alike have called everything from “inspirational” to “totally a blast.”
Award winning author David A. Poulsen’s writing workshops will give students useful, easy-to-understand strategies they can use in creating their own stories. The one and 1/2 to two hour workshop focuses on helping young writers create real, believable stories that include all of the elements of good story writing including (and focusing particularly on) character and setting. The workshop content is David’s response to seeing too many students’ stories that focus only on plot, as kids—surrounded by superhero films and video games--try to create an action movie on paper. The best part of the workshop is that the students not only have fun but take hold of the hints and tips David gives them and “head off in directions I hadn’t even thought of.”
"Mr.. Poulsen gave a very animated talk to students revealing both the work and ultimate joy of being a writer. He kept students engaged from start to finish and shared with students a very important reality: that life is enriched by reading. He's welcome back anytime!
Joanne Melo, Principal, St Bonaventure Catholic School
"David Poulsen is a natural born speaker when it comes to interacting with kids and getting them 'hooked' on reading and writing. He frames his life's journey with a down-to-earth, comedic presentation style that focuses on the writing process and what being an author entails. The students were inspired by his message, motivated to read more, and sad to see him leave. He leaves an indelible mark on his audiences."
... Joyce Lister, Librarian, Centennial Public School in Brampton
David can work with virtually any size of group in almost any setting for his author talks but requests that all audience members be able to see and hear him. It is a good idea to group the students as much as possible according to age/grade for the individual sessions. Smaller groups are best for the writing workshops. (20 students is optimum; 25 is the maximum).
Call or email for further details.
See further information about David's books