Kathleen Houlihan's Reviews > Woods Runner

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen
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's review
Aug 03, 10

liked it
Read from May 25 to July 25, 2010

I read this as a historical fiction candidate for our library's Mock Printz awards, and while I thought it was a very interesting and quick read, I found the brevity of it didn't give me enough time to process what was happening in the story to the characters.

The primary character encounters so much horror in such a short amount of time -- which is believable -- but that this young boy is able to carry on with such luck and success, and without having a breakdown of any sort does stretch the limits of believability. I also didn't feel the fear I expected from a character so young, left alone in the world.

I loved his relationship with the orphaned girl who becomes his companion, and her story was heartbreaking in a completely different way.

I loved the historical passages placed before each chapter... I thought they helped me with historical details I might have missed, but it also meant that you were prepared for upcoming horrors, (like the Hessians) so that softened the blow so it didn't come as such a shock.

Ultimately, I think that younger teens will love this book, especially those reluctant readers. It's very fast paced, and a very quick and rewarding read... with just enough blood to be realistic, but not over the top gory.

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