A Week in the Woods

A Week in the Woods

4.1 164
by Andrew Clements
     
 

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The fifth-grade Week in the Woods is a beloved tradition of Hardy Elementary, where Mark Chelmsley (the Fourth) is pretty much killing time before his parents send him off to an exclusive prep school. But then Mark realizes the Week might be a chance to prove to Mr. Maxwell that he's not just another of the slacker rich kids the teacher

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Overview

Collision course
The fifth-grade Week in the Woods is a beloved tradition of Hardy Elementary, where Mark Chelmsley (the Fourth) is pretty much killing time before his parents send him off to an exclusive prep school. But then Mark realizes the Week might be a chance to prove to Mr. Maxwell that he's not just another of the slacker rich kids the teacher can't stand.
But it may be too late for Mark to change Mr. Maxwell's opinion of him. On the first day of the Week, the tension between teacher and student explodes, and in a reckless moment, Mark puts not only himself, but also Mr. Maxwell, in grave danger. Can two such strong adversaries work together to save their lives?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
School Library Journal This one will be a popular choice, particularly with fans of Gary Paulsen and Jean Craighead George.
Publishers Weekly
A showdown between an 11-year-old and his teacher occurs at the start of an annual environmental program when they spend a week in a wooded state park. Ages 9-13. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Playing on his customary theme that children have more on the ball than adults give them credit for, Clements (Big Al and Shrimpy, p. 951, etc.) pairs a smart, unhappy, rich kid and a small-town teacher too quick to judge on appearances. Knowing that he'll only be finishing up the term at the local public school near his new country home before hieing off to an exclusive academy, Mark makes no special effort to fit in, just sitting in class and staring moodily out the window. This rubs veteran science teacher Bill Maxwell the wrong way, big time, so that even after Mark realizes that he's being a snot and tries to make amends, all he gets from Mr. Maxwell is the cold shoulder. Matters come to a head during a long-anticipated class camping trip; after Maxwell catches Mark with a forbidden knife (a camp mate's, as it turns out) and lowers the boom, Mark storms off into the woods. Unaware that Mark is a well-prepared, enthusiastic (if inexperienced) hiker, Maxwell follows carelessly, sure that the "slacker" will be waiting for rescue around the next bend-and breaks his ankle running down a slope. Reconciliation ensues once he hobbles painfully into Mark's neatly organized camp, and the two make their way back together. This might have some appeal to fans of Gary Paulsen's or Will Hobbs's more catastrophic survival tales, but because Clements pauses to explain-at length-everyone's history, motives, feelings, and mindset, it reads more like a scenario (albeit an empowering one, at least for children) than a story. Worthy-but just as Maxwell underestimates his new student, so too does Clement underestimate his readers' ability to figure out for themselves what's going on in each character'slife and head. (Fiction. 10-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689858024
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
04/06/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
72,679
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

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