Destinee Sutton's Reviews > Woods Runner

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen
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's review
Dec 14, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: war, historical-fiction, tween, audio, survival, guy-reads, teen
Read from November 29 to December 14, 2010

I started and stopped this several time, and probably wouldn't have finished it at all if it hadn't been picked for our Mock Newbery. I finally ended up listening to the audio book, which was good.

Gary Paulsen is obviously a talented writer and he's done a great job here, but Woods Runner didn't stand out for me. Maybe it was too brief for me to really get into it and invest in the characters and the story. Maybe the characters, though well depicted, felt sort of stock. Gary Paulsen's most famous character is a boy who has an almost unbelievable ability to survive, and Samuel can be described that way too. Competent, serious, determined. You get the picture. The plot moves forward at a good pace, but the ending seemed kind of predetermined to me. At no point was I really worried about the main characters' survival, which is weird because they were totally in danger all the time. So, for me, the story lacked the suspense I thought it should have had.

I would certainly recommend this to middle schoolers (especially boys) who want historical fiction or survival stories. It's a good book, but not my pick for the 2011 Newbery.

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