Woods Runner

Woods Runner, by Gary Paulsen

Publication Information: New York : Wendy Lamb Books, [2010]

ISBN: 9780385738842

Pages: 164

Age: 10+

Annotation: 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.

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.

Book Trailer:

Subject Headings:

Kidnapping--Juvenile fiction
Frontier and pioneer life--Pennsylvania--Juvenile fiction
Soldiers--Juvenile fiction
Indians of North America--Pennsylvania--Juvenile fiction
Pennsylvania--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Juvenile fiction

Themes: Family, Courage, Survival, Growing Up, War

Discussion Questions:

1. Discuss How Samuel changed over the course of the novel.

2. Discuss the relationship between Samuel and Annie.  When did he officially adopt her as his sister?

3. Does the author display any clear views on combat? Does he argue for or against it?

4. How are the British portrayed?  Were they always bad?

5. At what point does Samuel feel he belongs in the forest?

6. How does Samuel deal with his fear?  Does he show courage?

Related Websites:

History Central: Major Battles and Events of the Civil War - http://www.historycentral.com/Revolt/battles.html



Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes

Sarah Bishop, by Scott O'Dell