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Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen
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Woods Runner (edition 2010)

by Gary Paulsen

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7903311,626 (3.89)9
Member:writestuff
Title:Woods Runner
Authors:Gary Paulsen
Info:Wendy Lamb Books (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 176 pages
Collections:Your library, To read, Autographed
Rating:
Tags:Young Adult, Historical Fiction

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Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

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He only other Gary Paulsen book I have read was Hatchet. This was on the EBOB 2016-2017 list so I decided to read it. This book was excellent. It takes place during the Revolutionary war and set from the eyes of the frontiersmen. Paulsen doesn't gloss over the horror of this war at all. So many died in combat, but so many more died of filth, starvation and untreated wounds. Worse wounds that were cleaned with dirty sponges fished out if a pail of bloody creek water.

"Woods Runner" also contains brief historical notes which are alternated between the narrative passages and which provide factual information about life in wartime in eighteenth-century America


"Woods Runner" is the story of Samuel Smith, a thirteen-year-old boy living on the western frontier of Pennsylvania in 1776. Samuel lives with his parents, Olin and Abigail, in a settlement of small cabins surrounded by thick woods. Samuel's parents are newcomers to the frontier, having been raised and educated in eastern cities. Samuel, however, has grown up on the frontier and is most at home walking and hunting in the deep forest. His skills have far outpaced those of his parents and he has become the provider for his family.

While on hunting excursion several miles from home, Samuel sights smoke rising from his cabin. He rushes back to find the cabins has been burned to the ground and several settlers brutally killed. Unable to find any evidence of his parents bodies, he believes that have been taken prisoner.

As Samuel follows the trail of his parents' captors, he rescues an eight-year-old girl named Annie Clark whose parents are killed by Hessian mercenaries fighting for the British.she vows to never leave Samuels side as they search for "their" parents. On the road to the city, they are helped by a Scottish tinker named Abner McDougal who turns out to be actively engaged in spying against the British.

With Abner's help, Samuel makes his way to British-controlled New York City, locates his parents, and rescues them in a daring escape across the Hudson River to New Jersey. Led by Samuel, the family, which now includes Annie as an adopted daughter, makes its way cross country toward Philadelphia, which is held by colonial forces. Samuel narrowly escapes death when he stumbles onto a British detachment in the woods, but is saved by rebel soldiers who fire on the unit and escort his family to safety. Samuel later returns to the fighting in support of a group of riflemen.
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  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (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”).
 
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With appreciation, for Shelby
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He was not sure exactly when he became a child of the forest.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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

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