A Week in the Woods

by Andrew Clements (Author)

A Week in the Woods
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade
Mark didn't ask to move to New Hampshire. Or to go to a hick school like Hardy Elementary. And he certainly didn't request Mr. Maxwell as his teacher. Mr. Maxwell doesn't like rich kids, or slackers, or know-it-alls. And he's decided that Mark is all of those things. Now the whole school is headed out for a week of camping -- Hardy's famous Week in the Woods. At first it sounds dumb, but then Mark begins to open up to life in the country, and he decides it might be okay to learn something new. It might even be fun. But things go all wrong for Mark. The Week in the Woods is not what anyone planned. Especially not Mr. Maxwell. With his uncanny knack to reach right to the heart of kids, Andrew Clements asks -- and answers -- questions about first impressions, fairness, loyalty, and courage -- and exactly what it takes to spend a Week in the Woods.

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6-Angered by his family's move from Scarsdale, NY, to rural New Hampshire, Mark refuses to make friends or please his teachers. Because of his indifference, one teacher decides that he's dealing with a "slacker" and a "spoiled rich kid." To make matters worse, the fifth grader acts unimpressed with Mr. Maxwell's annual outing to the state park for a week of nature studies. However, the boy becomes increasingly interested in the outdoors and camping and signs up for the trip. On the first day there, the teacher discovers Mark with a camping tool that contains a knife, an item that students were asked not to bring. He decides that someone needs to teach the boy a lesson and decides to send him home. Mark runs away, gets lost, and must use his newly acquired skills to survive a night in the woods. The story explores both Mark's and Mr. Maxwell's point of view, and the final resolution of their conflict is effective. The boy's relationships with his ever-absent parents and his caregivers are interestingly developed. The novel includes a helpful map of the state park. Like many of Clements's titles, this one will be a popular choice, particularly with fans of Gary Paulsen and Jean Craighead George.-Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Miamisburg, OH Copyright 2002 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Mark, the 11-year-old at the center of Clements's (Frindle; The Jacket) brooding and uneven novel, initially has no interest in making friends at his new school in Whitson, N.H., where his constantly traveling parents have just renovated and enlarged a 1798 farmhouse. Knowing that he's headed off to a prestigious boarding school next year, the boy has no incentive for pleasing his teachers and spends much of the day gazing out the classroom window. His science teacher, Mr. Maxwell, passes judgment on Mark before the boy finally decides to give the school a chance ("The only kind of people Mr. Maxwell disliked more than slackers were... buy-the-whole-world rich folks"). A showdown between boy and teacher occurs at the start of the annual environmental program organized by Mr. Maxwell for the fifth graders, who spend a week in a wooded state park. The teacher's discovery of Mark with a tool containing a knife (which actually belongs to another boy) climaxes with a pursuit through the woods. Unfortunately, the suspenseful sequence that follows and the engaging denouement account for only a fraction of the novel. Laborious passages about Mark's family's home and barn and the boy's preparations for the school trip, plus perhaps a bit too much description of Mr. Maxwell's background, bog down the story line and may derail readers drawn to the book's enticing title. Ages 9-13. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

Review quotes

"School Library Journal" This one will be a popular choice, particularly with fans of Gary Paulsen and Jean Craighead George.
Andrew Clements
Andrew Clements (1949-2019) was the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he was nominated for a multitude of state awards, including a Christopher Award and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, and more. He was also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. Find out more at AndrewClements.com.

Adam Stower has a rich imagination and loves fantasy and adventure stories. He studied illustration at the Norwich School of Art and Design and at the University of Brighton, and lives with his daughter in Brighton, England.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780689825965
Lexile Measure
820L
Guided Reading Level
T
Publisher
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date
August 20, 2002
Series
-
North Carolina Children's Book Award
Nominee 2004 - 2004
Sunshine State Young Reader's Award
Nominee 2005 - 2005
Iowa Children's Choice (ICCA) Award
Winner 2004 - 2005
Young Hoosier Book Award
Nominee 2005 - 2005
Keystone to Reading Book Award
Winner 2005 - 2005
Black-Eyed Susan Award
Nominee 2003 - 2004
Virginia Readers Choice Award
Nominee 2005 - 2005
Golden Sower Award
Nominee 2006 - 2006
California Young Reader Medal
Nominee 2007 - 2007
Massachusetts Children's Book Award
Nominee 2004 - 2005
Sasquatch Award
Nominee 2005 - 2005
Land of Enchantment Book Award
Nominee 2005 - 2006
Charlie May Simon Children's Book Award
Nominee 2004 - 2005

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