Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

Woods Runner (edition 2010)

by Gary Paulsen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7383212,638 (3.89)9
Title:Woods Runner
Authors:Gary Paulsen
Info:Wendy Lamb Books (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 176 pages
Collections:Your library, To read, Autographed
Tags:Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Work details

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Woods Runner is an excellent book to introduce readers to the horrors of war, but not subject them to graphic descriptions. This book is set in rural Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War. Samuel, the main character, is separated from his parents while he goes out to hunt for food. While his family had previously stayed away from participation in the war due to their rural setting, Samuel is forced into it so he can save his parents. Samuel tracks his parent's kidnappers through the woods, befriends an orphaned young girl, and participates in a secret mission to enemy territory to rescue his family. The fast paced plot line will interest readers in upper elementary and middle school. This book would pair nicely with social studies curriculum that covers the American Revolution.
  jstrecker | Apr 9, 2016 |
Heck of a book. Paulsen is a gifted writer and he hits on all cylinders with this book. The pacing is great and the attention to detail in terms of the time period and human behaviors is excellent. (The book is set during the Revolutionary War.) Paulsen explains that he wants to present aspects of that 8 year period in our country's formation which are typically glossed over in books written for YAr: life on the outskirts of major cities, savage Hessian attacks, unexpected kindness, and atypical spy networking.

I found myself using my Kindle highlighting function many times as I read this book. I was focused mostly on the brilliant descriptions. I many others focused on the historical aspects.

I also really loved how Paulsen stopped at the end of each fiction chapter to present a short write-up of some non-fiction item relating to the time. For example, he explains the works of unbored versus bored rifles, British attack methods, and the brutal behaviors of the Hessians and British. He even, correctly, noted that many men who fought against the British did so with next to no training, low morale, and poor equipment. Some resorted to eating their shoes when food was gone.

Excellent book. If you're a teacher and use My Brother Sam is Dead in your classroom, this MUST be used as a companion book in some way of another. Boys will eat is up especially. ( )
  RalphLagana | Jan 23, 2016 |
Wow! I would truly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. The author of this book had me hooked from the very beginning. The introduction of the setting was so descriptive it held the reader in silent suspense waiting to see what was going to disturb the beautiful peace. I also truly enjoyed how dynamic that Samuel is throughout the story. He is a hunter who isn't comfortable killing, even when it comes to getting his parents back, and a woodsman who is genuinely curious about city life. We see his change throughout the story as he learns increasingly more about the war and the people in it. I also really enjoyed the pages at the end of each chapter that give interesting facts about the history of this time period. It really helps the reader to have a full understanding of life for the character. I may not like history but this is one history book I could read many times over that truly teaches the message of perseverance in the face of extreme difficulty. ( )
  ccarpe13 | Oct 15, 2015 |
This book is about a 13 year old boy trying to save his family from the Red Coats during the revolutionary war. On the way he finds a little girl who had her parents killed.

I thought this book was a good book for people who like action and history. I also liked it because it was very detailed and I learned a lot about the revolutionary war. ( )
  tiger.rose | Jan 20, 2014 |
Even though I'm sure I'm well beyond the age of the intended audience for "Woods Runner," the book kept me interested from beginning to end. It is a great story for both history buffs and wilderness lovers, since Samuel's story of survival during the War for Independence combines both. Not being American and therefore not well-versed in the goings-on during this war, I actually enjoyed the fact that Paulsen alternates the story with occasional one-page tidbits of information about the war and the conditions that real people lived through while it was going on. The story does not sugar-coat the realities of war and life in the wilderness--Paulsen does not shy away from mentioning and even describing brutality and bodily fluids, which makes it interesting even for older readers just coming to the book for the first time. One does not get the feeling of reading a watered-down "kids' book."

One aspect of the book that I really enjoyed was the fair treatment of the subject matter. This being an American book about the American Revolution, I was a bit worried that I was getting into a story that would continually glorify the patriots and make them out to be fearless heroes fighting the evil, soulless British. I needn't have been concerned. Paulsen gives credit where credit is due (for example, he acknowledges the patriots for fighting for their independence against enormous odds), but he does not ignore the less admirable, human side of battle (for example, the fact that some volunteer American troops would beat a hasty retreat upon seeing walls of British bayonets). This holds true for both the British and the Americans in the story, and Paulsen even includes several author's notes to explain his treatment of the subject.

The main aspect of "Woods Runner" that I was not crazy about was the fact that some of the characters, even main characters, can seem a little unrealistic and one-dimensional. For me, this even included Samuel himself, who, at thirteen, seemed far too stoic and mature to be believable. I understand, as Paulsen mentions, that young people at that time were forced to grow up a lot more quickly than young people today, but I still would have expected Samuel to be wracked with worry for his parents--at least for a longer period of time than he is in the story--and be afraid for his life, but he mostly just plods along determinedly and does not have much internal dialogue. Conversely, his parents and several other adults seem too young and trusting for their age, and are oddly willing to blindly allow Samuel to lead them into possibly life-threatening situations just because he survives well in the wilderness. This took something away from the otherwise pretty realistic (or, at least, realistic-feeling) story for me.

Overall, "Woods Runner" is an enjoyable book that I would recommend to both people my own age and those for whom it was intended. If you are interested in hearing a (fairly) realistic, down-to-earth account of the blood, gore, bravery, and loss that occurs during a war, and/or enjoy tales of wilderness survival, definitely give it a try. ( )
  athenaharmony | Aug 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
The story is instantly involving; less effective are curious single-page history lessons that break it up (with headings like “Frontier Life” and “War Orphans”).
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
With appreciation, for Shelby
First words
He was not sure exactly when he became a child of the forest.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037585908X, Paperback)

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:34 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

From his 1776 Pennsylvania homestead, thirteen-year-old Samuel, who is a highly-skilled woodsman, sets out toward New York City to rescue his parents from the band of British soldiers and Indians who kidnapped them after slaughtering most of their community. Includes historical notes.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
6 avail.
13 wanted
2 pay7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.89)
2 5
2.5 3
3 21
3.5 12
4 40
4.5 6
5 26


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 110,685,140 books! | Top bar: Always visible