Woods Runner: Book summary and reviews of Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

Woods Runner

By Gary Paulsen

Woods Runner
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2010,
    176 pages.
    Age range: Young Adult


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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Set during the American Revolution, Paulsen's (Hatchet) slim novel candidly and credibly exposes the underbelly of that war." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A superb reflection on the nature of war." - Kirkus Reviews

"This fast-paced novel will appeal to Paulsen fans and is a good choice for reluctant readers." - School Library Journal

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Alexis Marie
Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen
Samuel 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.
My thoughts: In the beginning I was bored with Woods Runner. I'm not really a huge fan of survival fiction but I do like some historical fiction. But, I thought the historical notes were distracting because they occur after each chapter. Then I noticed that they were pretty much geared towards what you just read, so they could actually add to the reading. But I didn't like that so I stopped reading them.
My impression of Woods Runner changed drastically after Sam went out hunting the bear. Oh.My.Word. The description of the raids and Sam following the raiders was amazing. I had to read with one eye closed and I had to keep some tissues nearby. Gary Paulsen's details add an additional dimension to the book that never felt intrusive. I could barely put the book down. Woods Runner gave me a different perspective on the Revolutionary War.

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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.

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