The Winter Room

The Winter Room

3.5 14
by Gary Paulsen
     
 

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This Newbery Honor Book by master storyteller Gary Paulsen is now available in this After Words paperback edition! Following the turn of the seasons, eleven year old Eldon traces the daily routines of his life on a farm and his relationship with his older brother Wayne. During the winter, with little work to be done on the farm, Eldon and Wayne spend the quiet hours… See more details below

Overview

This Newbery Honor Book by master storyteller Gary Paulsen is now available in this After Words paperback edition! Following the turn of the seasons, eleven year old Eldon traces the daily routines of his life on a farm and his relationship with his older brother Wayne. During the winter, with little work to be done on the farm, Eldon and Wayne spend the quiet hours with their family, listening to their Uncle David's stories. But Eldon soon learns that, although he has lived on the same farm, in the same house with his uncle for eleven springs, summers, and winters, he hardly knows him.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Following the events of one year, from plowing to harvest to butchering, this novel offers a compelling description of farming in a bygone time. The narrator, Elgon, is the younger son of a Scandinavian family in northern Minnesota. He begins in spring, a time of softening rather than awakening, and finishes with stories old Nels and Uncle David tell around the stove in winter (the story is set some time in the first half of this century). While work fills their time, the year is not without its lighter moments, like the time Elgon's brother Wayne, inspired by Zane Grey, decides to leap from the hayloft onto the back of one of the plowhorses. Elgon's steady, believable voice tells a story that will inevitably recall Laura Ingalls Wilder--but by way of Hemingway and Jim Harrison. Newbery Award-winner Paulsen never disappoints, and proves his talent again in this remarkably good tale. Ages 11-14. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Bruce Adelson
Winters in the upper Midwest can represent the true meaning of cold, with bitter, icy winds, snow, and frigid temperatures. Regardless of these weather difficulties, particularly prevalent in northern Minnesota where this story is set, Eldon and his older brother Wayne looked forward to the winter. They knew their farm family would gather in the living room, known as the winter room because of its warmth, and listen to their Uncle David regale them with stories and fanciful tales. This delightful book takes the reader through the seasons with the boys and their family, through planting and harvesting time and fall, when animals are slaughtered in preparation for winter's harsh freeze. The author has written a finely detailed book, filled with textured characterizations and wonderful descriptions of life on a large Minnesota farm. The winter highlighted here is proceeding apace until Wayne, who had always idolized his Uncle David, finds himself disillusioned when he discovers that the stories told by the uncle he looks up to are likely nothing more than tall tales spun by an old man. Wayne sinks into profound despair until his uncle performs some needed 'magic' for his nephew, restoring his faith, belief and familial adoration.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-- Of the four rooms downstairs in the northern Minnesota farmhouse, the one that might be called a living room is where Wayne and Eldon, their parents and great-uncle, and old Norwegian Nels spend their winters. There the family sits near the corner wood stove and listens, uninterrupting, as Uncle David tells stories--of the old country, of old times, of a semi-mythical lumberjack. Eldon, the younger son, begins his own story, in spring, when everything is soft. While he describes for readers the farm activities of each season and narrates memorable pranks and milestones of his boyhood, it is the palpable awareness of place and character that is unforgettable. Paulsen, with a simple intensity, brings to consciousness the texture, the smells, the light and shadows of each distinct season. He has penned a mood poem in prose. Uncle David's final story precipitates within the brothers a fuller understanding of personal identity and integrity. For those special readers who find delight in The Winter Room, it will become a part of their own identity and understanding. Teachers who seek to illuminate the use of ordinary English words with extraordinary descriptive power will find the introductory chapter, in particular, to be a godsend. --Katharine Bruner, Brown Middle School, Harrison, TN

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545748292
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/24/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
245,194
File size:
5 MB
Age Range:
12 Years

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