Woods Runner


By : Gary Paulson

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Woods Runner has won awards including the 2011 ALA best fiction for young adults, the IRA teachers' choice, and is considered a book for advanced readers. Gary Paulsen has has won the Regina Medal, John Newbery Medal, and the Margeret Edwards Award along with 3 others for best book for young adults.
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"Samuel smelled it before he saw anything, not just from the smoke of the fires. But the thick, heavy smell. Blood. Death." This quote represents horrors of the war and how significant it was to Samuel's life and how the author represented it in the book.

" As he embraced the forest, his skill at hunting grew. Actually, the forest embraced him, took him in, made him, as the french said , a courier du bios, a woods runner." Samuel matures and embraces his love for the woods in this book, which in fact keeps him alive which is why these details of his and the woods' connections are so important.

"For the first time in his life, Samuel wanted to kill a man" This new instinct was only given to him by the cruelty of the British to his parents and it stays with him the whole book, again showing what war can do to you not only physically but mentally.

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The Meat of the Book

The main conflict in "Woods Runner", is when Samuel's parents get taken in an attack on his home in Pennsylvania by the British and Iroquois. The most important part in the book, isn't when he was going to save his parents, it was when Samuel nearly escapes death when he stumbles upon a British detachment in the woods. But, Samuel is saved y rebel soldiers who lead his family to safety. The resolution of course, was when Samuel goes through all the pain and struggles of war, to rescue his parents and escape using the Hudson River.

Details of Woods Runner

One detail that made the book interesting was when Samuel meets Annie Clark whose parents were killed in the war. This is cool because both and young kids who are having o survive on their own in a blood-thirsty, nasty war. Another detail is when Samuel meets Abner McDougal because this man is British, but helping and spying for the Americans in the war. Which, in fact, is something the Americans really used during the Revolutionary War, spies. The last detail that is very interesting is why were Samuel's parents spared? This detail interest me the most because wouldn't you just kill his parents like you did everyone else? This we will never find out.

Historical References

One Historical fact is that the book gives common weapons used during the Revolutionary War time and its importance. The second historical reference was when "Woods Runner", told us how communication was used and exploited during this time. Disease, infection, and war caused tens of thousands of young people to lose their lives. Which is overused in the novel and is good because war wasn't easy, so Gary Paulsen makes sure he got that point across to his readers.

Should you read this?

I give the novel, "Woods Runner", a great review! This books shows the harsh truths that come with all war past and present, while giving the story of a young man on a quest to rescue his family and his freedom from the British at the same time! Gary Paulsen has great details and facts that are fictional and nonfictional to pull you right in. If I had to give this book a rating, it would get 5 out of 5 stars!