Mary Ann's Reviews > Woods Runner

Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen
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's review
Feb 05, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: audio, 5th, 6th, historical-fiction, revolutionary-war
Read from February 05 to March 02, 2010

Paulsen’s writing carries emotional weight, as you connect with Samuel and feel his isolation, his pain, his anger. But Paulsen intersperses each chapter with a short nonfiction section explaining such things as weapons, war orphans, Hessians and other issues related to the story line. These nonfiction sections are short, usually one or two paragraphs, and without illustrations. While some readers might skip them, I found them interesting on audio, a short break from the intense story, and always related to the story. I was hoping Paulsen would provide sources for further reading, but am hooked enough on the story to want to seek out more information on my own.

This was a great story to listen to as an audiobook. Danny Campbell creates a deep, rough voice that feels like he's telling Samuel’s story sitting around a campfire. As Audiofile says, “Campbell skillfully employs pace and projection to build suspense and convey Paulsen's page-turning action. Campbell uses a deeper, flatter tone to differentiate brief paragraphs of background information appended to each chapter.” Because of the violence and emotional impact of this story, I would not recommend it for younger readers. It is appropriate perhaps for 5th graders, or more likely for 6th grade and above.

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