Friday, September 17, 2010

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

Woods Runner is a short, yet powerful tale of one boy's race to rescue his parents, who are prisoners of the British during the Revolutionary War. Samuel lives with his parents in the forests of Pennsylvania where they live a peaceful life with several other villagers. Samuel is relied upon by the village to provide meat for them and has become an expert woods runner and hunter. One day while he is out hunting, tragedy strikes; his village is burned down and his parents are taken captive by British soldiers. Hot on their trail, Samuel is determined to save them. Along the way he encounters injury and savagery and unexpectedly becomes the guardian of a little girl named Annie. The tale follows Samuel all the way to New York City, where thousands of prisoners are living in dismal conditions. Interspersed with facts about the Revolutionary War and how people lived during this time period, I found Woods Runner to be fascinating and suspenseful. I would recommend this for fifth grade and up.