Woods Runner

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Woods Runner

Title: Woods RunnerAuthor: Gary Paulsen# of pages: 164 with epilogueGenre: Historical Fiction

Woods Runner


Major CharactersSamuel SmithSamuel is a 13 year old boy who lives on the frontier. He lives with his mother and father who moved to the frontier hoping to live a better life. Apart from his parents, he is very intelligent and skillful when it comes to being in the woods. In the book, Gary Paulsen writes," And yet Samuel loved the forest now. He knew the sounds and smells and images like he knew his own mind, his own yard." (Paulsen 5) Everyday, he hunts to provide food for his family and his colony. Samuel in the book, does actions that surpass his age that make him a great character to follow. Samuel is not only important because he is the protagonist in the story, but because he is the one who had the courage to rescue his parents from the British. He had encountered many hardships, but fought through them throughout the book.Abner McdougalAbner is a Scottish Tinker, who is a messenger for the Patriots/Rebels. He is an old man who is very intelligent and has many connections with many different people. Abner is very important in the story because he helps Samuel find his parents. He becomes friends with Samuel and joins him on his quest. Also, Abner is the main person who looks out for Samuel and Annie ("sister") and helps them get to New York. Abner influences Samuel a lot and showed him many ways to fight against the British. Gary Paulsen writes, "Abner has a whole network, Samuel thought, to work against the British. People on farms, pigeons, and now the man with this boat. Abner was the most amazing man Samuel had ever met." (Paulsen 125)

Summary/GenreSamuel lives on the frontier in a small settlement with his parents, Olin and Abigail. Samuel is a intelligent 13 year old boy who knows all about the forest. One Day, while he was out deep in the woods hunting bear, the British had attacked and destroyed his colony. He had come back to death and destruction, but had seen no sign of his parents. Realizing that his parents were captured, he finds the tracks of the soldiers' and the prisoners' and began to follow them. While on his journey to rescue his parents, he encounters many challenges, but meets many interesting people along the way. At the end, with the help of his friend Abner, he reunites with his parents and leads them to safety in the city of Philadelphia.GenreThe genre of the book is Historical Fiction. Although, the events ocurring around the actually story are non-fiction. The story it-self is fiction. The story reflects actual events that occured during the Revolutionary War.

Theme The overall theme of the book is, "family over everything." I think this because the way Samuel perservered to rescue his parents was very courageous and brave. Samuel was not hesistant to save his parents and nothing was getting in his way to stop him. In this quote, " He had no idea what to do except to follow his parents' tracks--he saw their footprints now and then. He had to follow and rescue them." ( Paulsen 41) Shows his strong mindset not to give up. And in spite of the war, Gary Paulsen shows that many children became orphans because of the amount of civilian casualties. In addition, he shows many wounded and the horror of the war throughout the book. By telling the story of Samuel, he showed that a family bond could never be broken and will always find a way to eachother.

Connection with TextOne personal connection I can make with this book is that family is very important to me. I wouldn't know what to do if I didnt have them. And if there were ever taken away from me, I wouldn't stop until I got them back like Samuel. Also, the way Samuel liked to be in his own little world and be free is a personal connection I have with him. I like to explore and find new things to do, like how Samuel ventures the Forest further everyday in the book. The book showed me not to take family for granted and a family bond could never be broken. Also, the book showed me, that if you don't give up then you will succeed.

If you like reading a suspenseful novel with a lot of action and history, this is the book you should read. The book also shows great values towards family and courage. I really like this book because Samuel shows exceptional bravery and intelligence throughout the story. Also, the book shows great examples of actual events in US History, that occured during the Revolutionary War. I would recommend this book to my peers because it is worth the time and is an easy-read. This book shows an incredible storyline and has many interesting characters throughout the story, that make this novel worth while.



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