Skip to main content

Book Review: Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen


Thirteen year old Samuel lives with his parents in a settlement on the American frontier in the 1700s. He has grown up in the woods and learned how to track and hunt animals. His parents aren't as comfortable in the woods, so Samuel provides food for his family and their neighbors. But while out on a hunt one day, his entire settlement is burned to the ground, most of the people are slaughtered and left for Samuel to find. But his parents are not there. He finds tracks that make him believe his parents have been captured, so he sets off on a journey to find them.

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen is an intense middle grade novel that gets into some gritty details about the Revolutionary War. Paulsen ends each chapter of this novel with a page of nonfiction notes about the war. Most of these notes relate in some way to the story that preceded them. I found the combination of Samuel's story and these nonfiction notes to be a great way to give a lot of detail about the war without boring young readers. I will say, though, that my son who read this said he didn't really read all of the nonfiction notes. I think he was too interested in getting back to the story.

This was on my son's Battle of the Books list, so he read it at 9 years old. I honestly would recommend it for older kids. He didn't seem bothered by it, but there's a lot of violence, including descriptions of people who have been scalped and slaughtered, other people are killed in Samuel's presence, and he resorts to shooting someone in one instance. I think it's a great depiction of the horror of war, but perhaps would be better for actual middle schoolers, rather than those who are still in elementary school.

Overall, Woods Runner was an excellent book that introduces the Revolutionary War in the form of an adventure story, so I'm sure it would appeal to young readers.

My Rating: 5/5

Watch the book trailer:

Comments

  1. Sounds like a good one! My sons (and my husband and I, too) loved listening to Paulsen's books on audio, especially the Hatchet series. My boys just loved the combination of outdoor wilderness survival and adventure and suspense. This sounds like a new take on that concept! Thanks for the review -

    Sue

    Book By Book

    Book by Book is now on Facebook!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Mundie Moms are hosting the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop in honor of Independence Day in the United States, and I've decided to participate. To stick with the theme of Independence Day, I'm doing what I did last year for this hop: I'm giving away a book of your choice that is written by an author from the United States. It can be any genre as long as the author is from the United States. You choose the book (up to $15), and I'll order it and have it mailed to you from Book Depository . The contest ends on Thursday, July 5th at midnight Eastern Time. The winner will be notified by e-mail. If they do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. Happy 4th of July! I hope you have a safe and fun holiday! Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway Now check out all of the other giveaways you can enter at the links below!

Freedom Giveaway Hop

Simply Stacie and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer are hosting the Freedom Giveaway Hop in honor of Independence Day in the United States, and I've decided to participate. To stick with the theme of Independence Day: I'm giving away a book of your choice that is written by an author from the United States. It can be any genre as long as the author is from the United States. You choose the book (up to $15), and I'll order it and have it mailed to you from the vendor of my choice. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me your favorite U.S. author (this doesn't have to be the author of the book you choose if you're the winner). Include your email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses only. I've decided to open this up to international entries as long as Book Depository ships to your address. For extra entries: Leave a separate comment if you follow My Book Retre

Leap into Books Giveaway Hop!

This week, I'm participating in the Leap into Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I'm a Reader, Not a Writer . I'm giving away a book of your choice  up to $10 from Book Depository. It's that simple. Just visit  Book Depository and choose any book that is selling for $10 or less. This giveaway is open to international entries as long as Book Depository ships to your address ( click here to check ). The contest ends on Monday, March 5, 2012, at midnight Eastern Time. The winner will be picked using Random.org and notified by e-mail. If they do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. To enter, just leave a comment telling me what book you want to win. Check out all the other participants in the giveaway hop!