Monday, July 2, 2012

Grim War: Woods Runner

I bought Gary Paulsen's Woods Runner from a Scholastic book form sometime this year; I vaguely recall that it was one of their loss leaders. I like Paulsen's wilderness books, so I figured with a title like this I'd probably like this one, but somehow it got shelved in the bookcase instead of read.
BarockSchloss CC License
As it turns out, I was right. Paulsen's book is set during the American Revolution, although his protagonist can't really be described as either Whig or Tory. He and his family first hear about the revolution on a few weeks before British soldiers appear to burn down their cabin and change their lives forever. Paulsen keeps to his trademark style of showing emotions through actions and employing lucid prose that disappears into the story.

My then-fifth grader's class read a different novel about the war, in which a foolish boy makes mistakes  and learns to his horror that war is grim and terrible. I suspect my son would much prefer this book, where a wiser boy displays competence while dealing with war's horrors.

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