The First and Last Chance
by David Seed
As a boy, Jack London sold newspapers and frequented the Oakland waterfront. After eighth grade, he worked in a cannery for 10 cents an hour with shifts of 10 to 20 hours. He hated the job and quit. At 15 he made good money as an oyster pirate. Barely 17, he sailed before the mast on a schooner hunting seals on the north coast of Japan. He got back in seven months and started high school.