Sunday, February 28, 2010

WOODS RUNNER by Gary Paulsen

In WOODS RUNNER Gary Paulsen takes readers inside the American Revolution.  It is not the history book version, but instead, the story of one young boy's fight to survive and save his parents. 

Thirteen year old Samuel loves the woods.  He spends his time exploring the forest and hunting for game to feed his family.  One day while in the woods, Samuel sees black smoke in the distance.  The longer he watches the smoke, the more uncomfortable he feels.  He heads for home, but when he arrives, he discovers his house and all the other buildings in his small settlement, burned to the ground.  As he searches for survivors, he finds casualties, but his parents are not among them.  He stays long enough to bury those who were killed, and then he heads off in search of his parents.

Samuel travels cautiously.  He keeps to the brush and ducks for cover whenever he hears a noise.  As he follows the trail of the Redcoats, he hears news about how they are traveling toward New York where most prisoners are being held.  His goal to get there, too, and rescue his mother and father.

Along the way, Samuel witnesses horrible scenes of death and destruction.  He is badly injured in one attack, but thanks to the help of strangers, he recovers enough to continue his journey.  Other strangers also step in and lend a helping hand as Samuel heads east.

Gary Paulsen not only tells Samuel's adventurous tale, but he also inserts factual information telling about the British, the Colonists, and others involved in this tumultuous time in history.  WOODS RUNNER is definitely not your typical, boring historical recap.  There is action, suspense, and touching moments about what it was like to live and die during the American Revolution.


Jan von Harz said...

This sounds very exciting and I know Paulsen does a great job when it comes to research. Thanks for the review

jlarkin said...

Unfortunately, my students did NOT like this book at all! :( Their review will be up shortly!