In the spring of 1776, young Samuel is very much at home in the wild, untamed Pennsylvania wilderness. Despite his youth, he is the most experienced woodsman of the surrounding settlements. However, the events that are to come will push Samuel to the limits of his survival skills. One day while he is out hunting, a band of British soldiers and Iroquois natives sweep into the settlements, destroying everything and brutally murdering all of his neighbors. Using his tracking skills, Samuel determines that his parents have been spared and taken prisoner by the redcoats. With the help of many people along the way, he finds himself on the outskirts of British-occupied New York City, where his parents may possibly be imprisoned. If they are, Samuel has to act fast. For a colonist, being locked up in a British prison is virtually a death sentence.
In Woods Runner, author Gary Paulsen shows us the cruelty inflicted upon the civilian population during the American Revolution. Through Samuel’s eyes, we also see the resilience of the human spirit when confronted with tragedy.