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Woods Runner Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Paulsen, Gary

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ISBN: 037585908X     ISBN-13: 9780375859083
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: January 2011

Annotation: Samuel, 13, spends his days in the forest, hunting for food for his family. He has grown up on the frontier of a British colony, America. Far from any town, or news of the war against the King that American patriots have begun near Boston.

But the war comes to them. British soldiers and Iroquois attack. Samuel’s parents are taken away, prisoners. Samuel follows, hiding, moving silently, determined to find a way to rescue them. Each day he confronts the enemy, and the tragedy and horror of this war. But he also discovers allies, men and women working secretly for the patriot cause. And he learns that he must go deep into enemy territory to find his parents: all the way to the British headquarters, New York City.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Kidnapping; Fiction.
Frontier and pioneer life; Pennsylvania; Fiction.
Soldiers; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2009027397
Lexile Measure: 870
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.50" W x 0.50" (0.35 lbs) 164 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 134843
Reading Level: 5.5   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 5.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q48548
Reading Level: 5.6   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 10.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Gary Paulsen is the distinguished author of many critically acclaimed books for young people. His most recent books are Lawn Boy, The Amazing Life of Birds, and Mudshark.

From the Hardcover edition.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall)
Samuel, thirteen, finds the survival skills he's learned in the deep forest put to new use when the Revolution reaches his family's western Pennsylvania homestead. The setting is far removed from those more frequently used for historical fiction about 1776, and Paulsen gets to deploy his talent for wilderness adventure. The narrative is interspersed with brief nonfiction sections that straightforwardly inform the story. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2010 #2)
Samuel, thirteen, finds the tracking, hunting, and survival skills he's learned in the deep forest put to new use when the events of the once-distant Revolution reach his family's western Pennsylvania homestead. By using a setting far removed from those more frequently used for historical fiction about 1776 (Boston, Philadelphia, etc.), Paulsen gets to deploy his considerable talent for wilderness adventure, here yoked -- via the British-ordered massacre of Samuel's neighbors and capture of his parents -- to the larger events of the era. The narrative is interspersed with brief nonfiction sections ("Weapons," "The Hessians," etc.) that inform the narrative in a straightforward way, including details that are helpful and interesting, and accenting rather than slowing the momentum. Hatchet (rev. 3/88) fans will appreciate the way Samuel's woodcraft allows him to find food and elude capture while tracking his parents even into the city of New York, and they will relate to the open and genuinely boyish emotion he displays for them and a little girl he rescues en route to the satisfying conclusion. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2009 December #3)

Set during the American Revolution, Paulsen's (Hatchet) slim novel candidly and credibly exposes the underbelly of that war. Sam is a skilled hunter with an instinctive knowledge of the western Pennsylvania forest—a "woods runner." When word of fighting between the British and the colonists reaches his family, the 13-year-old realizes that his life will change ("The loud outside world his parents had escaped by moving to the frontier had found them"). It is a brutal change: Sam returns from a hunting expedition to find houses in their settlement burned to the ground and the scalped bodies of neighbors. His harrowing quest to locate and rescue his parents—taken prisoner by the culprits, British soldiers aided by Iroquois—involves a nearly fatal run-in with a tomahawk-wielding native; a narrow escape from marauding Hessian mercenaries; and a fortuitous encounter with a Scottish tinker who's a spy for the patriots. Paulsen fortifies this illuminating and gripping story with interspersed historical sections that offer details about frontier life and the war (such as technology, alliances, and other period information), helping place Sam's struggles in context. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)

[Page 61]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2010 February)

Gr 6–9—Samuel, 13, lives in the British colony of Pennsylvania. He spends his days exploring and hunting in the woods far from civilization. His father wants to live a quiet life learning to use tools and build a house, while his mother tries to get the garden to grow. There are rumors that American patriots have begun a bloody war against the English but news takes weeks to arrive and the fighting seems far away from the peaceful frontier. Suddenly, the war comes to Samuel. While he is hunting, British soldiers and Iroquois attack, taking Samuel's parents prisoner and killing many in the settlement. He follows their trail determined to rescue them. Paulsen takes readers inside the reality of this war, revealing the horrific conditions of the civilians who were taken prisoner. Between each chapter Paulsen includes information on various aspects of the war such as weapons, civilian deaths, orphans, and communication. Through Samuel's story, readers discover the brutality and cost of war. In the afterword, the author informs readers that he is not attempting to write the history of the Revolutionary War but instead to clarify some aspects of it. His story will leave readers with a new sense of admiration for those who lost their lives in the creation of the nation. This fast-paced novel will appeal to Paulsen fans and is a good choice for reluctant readers.—Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD

[Page 121]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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