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, moving silently, determined to find a way to rescue them. Each day he confronts the enemy, and the tragedy and horror of this war. But he also discovers allies, men and women working secretly for the patriot cause. And he learns that he must go deep into enemy territory to find his parents: all the way to the British headquarters, New York City. From the Hardcover edition.
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Woods Runner is a young adult novel by Gary Paulsen that takes place during the Revolutionary War. Samuel, a 13-year-old boy, finds his home burnt to the ground by British soldiers and Iroquois, but his parents are not among the bodies that he finds in the remains. Samuel is forced to survive on his own as he searches for his parents. Samuel's experience is similar to that of the author, Paulsen, who ran away from home at the age of fourteen and was forced to make it on his own as well.
When Samuel takes his mother into the forest, how can the reader tell that she is scared?
If you need help with any of the words in the text, just select the word that you are having trouble with by clicking on it (or pressing on it, if you are using a mobile device). Then, choose Define to read the definition.
Why did Samuel often shoot deer?
Notice the locations of the original 13 Colonies in 1776. Almost all of them were on the coastline; this allowed colonists to travel by ship from one colony to another. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Samuel's father doubtful about the information contained in the letter? Include details from the text to support your response.
It is difficult to overly exaggerate how much stronger Britain's military was when compared to America's forces. Actually, America did not even have an army. Each colony had its own part-time militia. This reality helps explain Ben Overton's hesitation when he states that they should do nothing and "see how the wind blows." What he says here is an example of an idiom. An idiom is a phrase which is not meant to be taken literally. Other examples of idioms are "it's raining cats and dogs" and "hold your horses."
Which literary device is the author using in the highlighted text? Use the link provided below for help if you need to define any of the literary devices in the answer choices: http://literary-devices.com/
Paulsen uses rhetorical questions and brief sentences to express Samuel's growing angst. He also uses figurative language to convey an anxious tone. Please watch the video below to see how authors effectively use tone and mood. (This annotation contains a video)
According to the text, which British weapon was especially effective?
Paulsen's use of single words as fragmented sentences, such as, "Blood," "Death," and "No," are called stylistic fragments. Good storytelling uses this device to convey pace, tone, and intensity. Paulsen chooses the narrator's words to set the tone and build intensity in the character's situation (Samuel's horror as he approaches the settlement). Paulsen is giving the reader exactly what he wants to give and nothing more by using one word at a time.
In the highlighted passage, Paulsen uses the word "praying" multiple times. He does this to illustrate Samuel's helplessness and to show that Samuel believes his parents' salvation is now completely in God's hands.
When the author states that someone Samuel's age was "thirteen going on thirty," what does he mean?
This book is a historical fiction narrative, but Paulsen includes nonfiction (historical) inserts in each of the chapters that are pertinent to the setting and plot throughout the story.
When the author writes, "...he turned out to be wrong," which type of literary device is he using?
The British soldiers would actually line up in rows during battle. The first row would fire at the enemy while the second row prepared their muskets behind them. The American militiamen were successful against the British infantry because they did not fight this way. If they had, they would have been easily defeated. Instead, the militiamen used guerilla warfare tactics where they would hide and fire from cover while the British soldiers stood in line out in the open. (This annotation contains an image)
Paulsen uses ellipses to help characterize the old man. The reader can infer that he is not all mentally there because he does not complete his thoughts. Ellipses are a series of dots that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word or sentence. In this context, the ellipses indicate unfinished thoughts.
Why does Samuel think that the Indians spared the old man's life?
First Woods Runner Quiz
The author uses figurative language to help depict Samuel's anger when he compares the thought of his mother being jerked along to a hot knife in his brain. Watch the video below to see how to distinguish between similes and metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
The highlighted sentence is textual evidence of which theme?
According to the text, what was the most common treatment for gangrene?
In the highlighted text, Paulsen shows the reader how much pain Samuel is experiencing by describing how the light from the fire seemed to shove a lance into his forehead. This use of personification gives the light a human quality - the ability to wield a lance. Please watch the video below for a more detailed explanation of this type of figurative language. (This annotation contains a video)
When Coop says that Paul gave up his light, what does he mean?
The exchange between Coop and Samuel is almost humorous. Samuel is very concerned that he has been laid up for six days, whereas Coop is very nonchalant and matter-of-fact about Samuel's near death experience.
What advantage did the American soldiers have over the British?
Paulsen opens this chapter describing a very masculine scene. Samuel is still trying to get his bearings. See the image below that identifies the parts of Samuel's gun that he refers to in the text. (This annotation contains an image)
When Samual thanks Coop for saving him, how does Coop react to this gratitude?
It seems evident that one of the main themes in this novel is coming of age. The highlighted textual evidence shows Samuel's understanding of the world is transforming from that of a child to that of a man.
From Samuel's point-of-view, why would it be all right to "confiscate" a chicken? Include textual evidence in your answer.
It's interesting to read Samuel's thoughts as he mentally justifies stealing somebody else's property. The reader must wonder if this moral justification is driven more by hunger or spite for his enemy.
When Samuel hands his rifle over to Caleb Clark, what can the reader infer about Samuel?
The author shows that Annie is empathetic through her actions in the highlighted sentence. Watch the video below to see other ways that authors use indirect characterization to describe their characters. (This annotation contains a video)
Why will Samuel relive his decision to follow the Hessians for many sleepless nights?
Paulsen depicts the British soldiers as civil, especially as compared to the Hessians. The Hessians were German men paid by the British government for military service.
Explain why Samuel is having such a difficult time. Support your answer with textual evidence.
In the highlighted exchange between Annie and Samuel, Paulsen uses juxtaposition to compare the two characters' views on people. Annie assumes that some of the people that they come across must be good while Samuel assumes they will all be bad.
Second Woods Runner Quiz
Annie probably uses the word "our" to refer to Samuel's parents because she is not ready to deal with the death of her own parents.
How does Paulsen use indirect characterization to predominantly show that Abner McDougal is a slob?
Samuel is internally conflicted. He does not want to trust anybody, but Abner lied for them, so part of him wants to trust him. Please see the video below for a more detailed explanation of internal and external conflict. (This annotation contains a video)
Explain why more American soldiers died in prison than in actual combat. Support your answer with textual evidence.
Abner uses sarcasm and a rhetorical question to point out that Samuel's plan to save his parents is not realistic.
How is the portrayal of Hessian soldiers in the video different from how they are described by Paulsen in his novel?
Watch the video below to see a reenactment of Hessian drills. (This annotation contains a video)
It makes sense that Abner would hate the redcoats when you consider that he named his dogs William and Wallace after the Scottish landowner who helped lead the fight against Britain in the Scottish Wars of Independence. (This annotation contains an image)
How did Britain and American effectively hide communications from each other?
When Samuel wonders if Annie is thinking about her home and parents when they see the farm, he is showing empathy for his friend.
When the man hesitates after McDougal offers to sharpen his tools, this is an illustration of which type of conflict?
Paulsen once again vilifies the Hessians by comparing them to mad dogs.
Why does Mitch think that it is stupid for the British soldiers to take a man who is working the field and put him in prison?
Below is an image of New York when it was occupied by the British in 1776. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Samuel hide his emotions from Annie?
It appears that this story is reaching its climax or the highest point of suspense. Will Samuel find his parents? Are they still alive? These questions will likely be answered soon. (This annotation contains an image)
What motivates Abner to yell at Samuel and tell mother and son to back away from each other?
The image below depicts a British prison ship. (This annotation contains an image)
By starting the chapter with the word darkness, the author is setting the mood, and the darkness could symbolize________.http://literarydevices.net/symbolism/
Darkness can also symbolize the unknown. This could apply to the family's escape.
Use the Define feature to derive the meaning of the word interminable. Which of the words below is an antonym of that word?
Samuel's father feels conflicted about enjoying his food since there are so many Americans starving in the prisons. This shows his empathy for others.
Describe the rations that were provided to soldiers during the American Revolutionary War. Include details from the text.
Samuel's reaction to Abner telling him that they need to part ways is more evidence that Samuel has grown from a boy to a man.
The dialogue between Samuel and his family seems to indicate _______ is in charge.
Once again, Samuel is taking on the role of the parent or adult by sacrificing his own hunger and giving his parents food.
Based on the outcome of the war, did the "fire and sword" strategy work?
Samuel's feeling that they are being followed could be another example of foreshadowing wherein the author is hinting at the fact that they are being followed, and there will be some type of confrontation. Please view the video below for a more detailed explanation of foreshadowing. (This annotation contains a video)
Explain how Paulsen uses short sentences for emphasis when he describes the battle between the Rebels and British soldiers.
Paulsen has Samuel kill the Indian and the British solider under very similar circumstances. He basically had no choice either time; this preserves the moral integrity of Samuel's character.
Last Woods Runner Quiz