Friday, February 26, 2010

Children’s Books: Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

Readers 12 and up who have a taste for history and adventure will enjoy veteran children’s author Gary Paulsen’s Woods Runner (Wendy Lamb Books). Woods Runner is a boy’s eye view of the Revolutionary War.

Thirteen-year-old Samuel returns home from hunting to discover war has come to his valley: his neighbors have been killed and his parents are missing. Samuel takes to the woods to track the soldiers who have taken his family. It’s a journey that at times seems headed for sure disaster.

Paulsen is the three time Newbery award-winning author of 175 novels. “I had a wonderful time writing this book,” Paulsen wrote about the creation of Woods Runner. "So much so that, at times, I'd look up from my computer and be startled to find myself in my office. I was so much a part of the woods in my head that I could smell the pine and feel the breeze on my face and it would come as a jolt to leave Samuel's world and find myself back in my own.”

That clarity of vision comes through on every page of Woods Runner. It is easy to lose yourself in the perfectly realized past that Paulsen has here created for us.

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