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Woods Runner

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,620 Ratings  ·  846 Reviews
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, mov
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Published January 12th 2010 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published December 9th 2009)
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There is a sixth grade boy in my near future (school starts in six weeks) who will think I am the bomb because I handed him this book to read. I hope that Gary Paulsen is richer than King Midas. He deserves every penny for hooking so many young readers.

In the beginning I was bored with Woods Runner. I'm not really a huge fan of survival fiction but I do like some historical fiction. But, I thought the historical notes were distracting because they occur after each chapter. Then I noticed that they were pretty much geared towards what you just read, so they could actually add to the reading. But I didn't like that so I stopped reading them.

My impression of Woods Runner changed drastically after Sam went out hunting the bear. Oh.My.Word. The des
Gretchen Mueller
Jan 03, 2016 Gretchen Mueller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story takes place during the revolutionary war. Samuel is a thirteen year old boy who has learned to hunt and provide food for his family. He and his family live on the frontier with just a few little homes nearby, but away from all the big cities and towns. One day when Samuel was hunting he saw a big cloud of smoke coming from near his home. He ran home as fast as he could, but it was too late. His home along with the others in the area had been burned down and most of the people had been ...more
Bill Ibarra
Oct 29, 2014 Bill Ibarra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**SPOILER ALERT** Have you ever read a book that has you wondering all day on whats going to happen in the next chapter? If not read Woods Runner. The genre of this book is Historical-fiction. To me this was a great book because I am so interested in the time around the Civil War. With this book make sure not to get too attached to a character or group of characters.

The setting takes place in America when there was only thirteen colonies. Sam wanted to live a happy life with his family but the
A memorable telling of young Samuel's experience with the American Revolution. concerned at the sanitized accounts of the Revolution Paulsen tells the story of Samuel's family. They live in the wilderness- trees 3-5 feet across cleared in manageable homesteads like Samuel's family. His parents did not like town- too noisy, too busy. So they are part of a small community of homesteads. Samuel has taken to the woods and trades his time hunting with other families that do the chores usually perform ...more
Lars Guthrie
A bit of a toss-off for Paulsen, although not in terms of levity. It's the story of a 13-year-old who has learned the ways of the dense forests of colonial western Pennsylvania much better than his immigrant parents. He roams through the wilds for days with his flintlock rifle to keep them in venison.

That means he's away from home when Indian raiders, under the direction of British troops, massacre most of the inhabitants of his little settlement, and kidnap his parents. The American Revolution
Liza Gilbert
Jun 18, 2010 Liza Gilbert rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, bfya2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 04, 2013 Dulci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adventure lovers, rev war buffs, outdoorsmen,...
Wow! Double wow! Triple wow! This was my first Gary Paulsen novel, and I was blown away. I could not put it down, and just finished it in under 3 hours (that's including interruptions from the kiddos)!!

The tension and excitement has given me a bit of a headache, but the ending was very satisfactory so it was worth it! I really like the history notes Mr. Paulsen includes between chapters. That information adds much to the setting and feeling of the story, but the notes are short enough to not fe
Brendan Folk
May 07, 2015 Brendan Folk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While hunting, Samuel realizes that the woods where burning eight miles away. This is exactly where his family and house is. When he sprints all the way home, he comes to a place where his house used to be and where burned bodies are all over the place. Samuel also realizes that his parents are missing from their home. He decides that he must do anything and everything to get his parents back. The only question is, is can he do this without getting caught by the British.?
The main character of
Aug 31, 2015 Grant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: high school students
The book “Woods Runner” is one of the best books I have ever read! The intense parts involving combat kept me interested in the book. Reading is one of my least favorite things to do but this book was hard to put down. I like the book because there was always something happening. Most books will have dull or boring parts but Gary Paulsen never let that happen. Another part that I liked was how it was fairly short. Don’t let this fool you though, because this book is awesome!
My favorite part in
Matthew Tyler
May 15, 2014 Matthew Tyler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen is about a thirteen year old boy named Samuel. Samuel lived with his parents on the border of the Pennsylvania wilderness. Samuel knew a lot about the forest, and you can kinda say he was a part of the forest by how much he was in it. His knowledge of the forest would come in handy for him later. One day when he was out in the forest, he started to see smoke from a fire, and when he located it he saw that his house and the other houses around his had been attacked. S ...more
Dec 14, 2015 Tommy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a dense smell in the woods. It was the smell of pain. The smell of something in the woods that Samuel cannot quite grasp. It was the smell of death. Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen is a great book. I liked this book because it was full of action and was a page turner all the way through.
It is about a boy named Samuel. He loves the woods. He knows how to track down any animal and how to kill it. One day he comes back home and everything is gone, his village, his people, and his life. Wh
Feb 01, 2016 Jludlow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
'Woods Runner' by Gary Paulsen tells a suspenseful plot-driven story of a thirteen year-old boy named Samuel Smith, living in the Revolutionary War era. Samuel has a deep connection with the woods and natural environment, always hunting or exploring on his own. One day when he was out in the forest, he started to see smoke from a fire, and when he located it he saw that his house and the other houses around his had been attacked. Samuel also realized that all of his neighbors and friends had bee ...more
Jul 22, 2011 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Samuel, the woodsy, self-reliant protagonist of Gary Paulsen's Woods Runner, is not unlike Brian Robeson of the famed Hatchet and its sequels. For one thing, Samuel is the exact same age, thirteen, as Brian was when he began his own wilderness epic. Samuel lives off of his wits and supremely fine-tuned wilderness skills deep in the woods of colonial America, away from his parents in much the same way as Brian does when he decides in the later Hatchet books that he would rather not live around p ...more
Jun 18, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-books
This is my first book by Gary Paulson--a very popular book among the middle school boys at my school (author of the Newbery Honor book "Hatchet"). This historical fiction novel takes place during the Revolutionary War in the backwoods of Pennsylvania and eventually up in New York. Samuel is a 13-year-old boy who is more at home in the deep forest than in the small cabin with his family. His family learns that a war is brewing in the country, but they still feel far removed from the crisis. When ...more
Oct 15, 2010 Kory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My book is by Gary Paulsen which is called Woods Runner. My book is about a young boy named Samuel he is around thirteen years old. Samuel goes hunting and shoots animals like bear, deer, and squirrels. Then he provides for his so called tribe with the meat. Then they have a feast on the meat. He could kill up to ten to fifteen deer a day. While hunting for bear one day he came back to his tribe and he saw that some people had come and invaded their territory. He saw people in very brutal ways. ...more
Feb 22, 2012 Brodie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very sad and breathtaking. At the begging of the book this thirteen year old kid Samuel lived in the forest with his parents and neighbors. But little did he know Hassians were going to come and change his life forever. British soldiers came and kidnapped Samuel's parents. After that happened Samuel goes to try to save them but has a little difficulty with Indians and the fear of staying alive through the night in the deep thick forest. Then in the end he saves the whole world!

Apr 20, 2010 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Paulsen has written a riveting account of a 13-year-old's experience of the Revolutionary War.
Samuel and his family moved to the woods of colonial Pennsylvania to escape the hubbub of town life. When they hear about Lexington and Concord, they think it's too far away to concern them. They are so wrong.
Samuel, who is a gifted and intuitive woodsman, and who hunts for the whole settlement of a few families, sees smoke and returns home to find nearly everyone brutally murdered by British sold
Alyssa Calhoun
Jul 02, 2011 Alyssa Calhoun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-choice-2011
Woods Runner is not the type of book I would typically pick up and read. That being said, I read this book in one day. Once I got going, I couldn't stop. The book is fast-paced but not easy to read. Gary Paulsen tells a story about the Revolutionary War through a 13 year old boy named Samuel.

Samuel and his family live in the forest in Pennsylvania. Samuel's parents are not really forest people, but they were trying to avoid the war. Samuel had gone out hunting bear one day, when he noticed smok
Brenna McEvitt
May 01, 2011 Brenna McEvitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-6-books, nonfiction
Gary Paulsen is one of my favorite authors. He has written another wonderful book with Woods Runner. It tells the story of a boy who lives in the woods and comes home from hunting one day to find his home burned to the ground, his neighbors slaughtered, and his parents missing. He tracks them across country and manages to survive the Iroquois and Hessian attacks during his trip. Although this is a fictional story, there is a nonfiction element included. Paulsen writes nonfiction pieces about the ...more
Ryan Palmer
Jan 27, 2012 Ryan Palmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-420
Samuel is a 13 year old boy living on the western edge of the Pennsylvania wilderness in 1776. His mother and father are intellectuals who have moved out west seeking a peaceful, calm existence. Samuel, on the other hand, has taken to the woods. He hunts and gathers meat for nearly everyone in the village. He has quite literally become one with the woods. Then, the Revolutionary War breaks out. The village is burned to the ground while Samuel is out hunting. It appears, though, that
Sam Schoenick
Jan 14, 2014 Sam Schoenick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sam
Woods Runner is a book about a kid named Sam that loves to be in the outdoors. Sam has a very interesting personality that has a lot of effects on others. Sam is full of energy and would rather be in the outdoors than any other place in the world. The book takes place during the revolutionary war when the USA was fighting Britain for there freedom.

Sams mother hates when he is out in the woods because there are British soldiers out there looking to kill Americans. Sam runs in the woods to get foo
Jul 24, 2010 Dawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hopefuls
Historical fiction, revolutionary war period. The story starts slowly but really pulls you in after the families in the wilderness are attacked and captured. Samuel, only 13 years old, is hunting when his family and others are attacked by indians, English and German soldiers, Hessians. Whole families are murdered, but Samuel's is taken captive. Readers are shown the less glamorous side of the war and what happened to the poor individuals who didn't really have a hand in starting the war in the b ...more
Niki .
Dec 30, 2010 Niki . rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mock-newberry
Woods Runner was a very heart touching book, the story of how a boy losses his parents and sets out to find them. He enconters many attacks and meets a lot of people along the way. ONe day when seaerching for food he tryed to steal a chicken fron a home . a girl was waching but she let him continue, however then the girls father caught him. After explaing his situation they let samuel (the main characters name)come inside for dinner. after he is stuffed with food he sets out again.Not evev one m ...more
May 08, 2013 Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-6
The first book I read by Gary Paulsen was Hatchet (and I loved it). So, when I was assigned to reading Woods Runner in one of my master's classes, I was really excited. Paulsen does such a wonderful job creating such a deep, relatable character in each of the books he writes, and this book was no different.

The book is written from Samuel's, the main character, perspective (first person). The story takes place during the Revolutionary War from a child's perspective. I would have to say that my fa
Angel Rosales
Feb 19, 2016 Angel Rosales rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Samuel is a 13 year old boy who loves the woods and understands it better then anyone else. He comes back to see his village gone. Now he is on a mission to find them. I say that people who like outside things and adventurers along ways he doesn't know.
Dylan Belisle
I personally enjoyed this book very much. It was a good adventure and action. Samuel struggles for long to find his parents and i couldn't imagine having to do that. Is it also very thrilling when he finds his parents and just all the stuff he goes through with the soldiers and just running into so many random people. He is lucky in a sense though because of all the people that were kind enough to help him through everything. So if your looking for and action or thrilling book than i would sugge ...more
Jul 26, 2015 Nashalee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want to get their kids into reading!
3 out of 5 stars

This story was kind of out of my comfort-zone since it's kind of realistic- fiction & middle grade but it was fairly enjoyable.

I liked how persistent and considerate the MC is with saving his parents and never giving up!

The fact that they would place facts about the revolutionary war after each chapter was really entertaining

It was an easy read and I read it in a day!

If you want to read something different, this is the book for you!
If you want to get your middle-grade kids in
I didn't think this was a very impressive book, It was enjoyable, but sort of bored me. Samuel, the main character, was interesting, but the value of the story didn't excite me with any good feelings. At some points, it was tense, but the book didn't really make me care. It wasn't a very good book and I wouldn't recommend it.
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve
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