A Week in the Woods

A Week in the Woods

by Andrew Clements

Paperback(Reprint)

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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: 46,548
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 13 Years

About the Author

Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he has been nominated for a multitude of state awards, including two Christopher Awards 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 is also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series. He lives with his wife in Maine and has four grown children. Visit him at AndrewClements.com.

Table of Contents

1Preparations9
2Leaving16
3Not the Same24
4Attitudes33
5Zero Pressure37
6Spoiled46
7Skirmish58
8Discoveries66
9Testing82
10Trial and Error94
11Spring103
12Gearing Up113
13Readiness122
14Zero Tolerance132
15Retrial151
16Into the Woods160
17Tracks168
18Bushwhacking176
19Here188
20Camp193
21Found201
22Home211

Reading Group Guide

A Week in the Woods About the Book Mark Chelmsley is not going to try anymore. He’s not going to adjust to his new house in New Hampshire. He’s not going to make friends at his new public school. And he is not going to get excited about the highlight of the fifth-grade year—a week-long trip to Gray’s Notch State Park—even when his science teacher, Mr. Maxwell, offers him encouragement. Still, as Mark snowshoes through the woods, camps in a century-old barn, and watches the snowy winter melt into spring, he forges his own connection with this new place. He begins to feel happy and to make an effort in school. Mr. Maxwell, however, is not ready to forgive the kid he sees as a spoiled slacker. When he catches Mark with a knife on the first day of the trip, discipline is fast and furious. Mark, unwilling to admit he is taking the blame for a friend, stalks into the forest, where a few wrong turns get him dangerously lost. Mr. Maxwell realizes what has happened and rushes heedlessly after Mark, injuring his ankle. As chill night falls, the two find each other. With the benefit of Mark’s supplies and his teacher’s navigational skills, they return to camp. More importantly, they find a way to forgive one another. Safe once more, Mark realizes that his week in the woods has taught him the lesson of a lifetime. Discussion Topics 1. Why do you think Mr. Maxwell enjoys preparing for “the Week in the Woods”? Why are most Whitson students looking forward to the trip? Is Mark looking forward to the trip? Do you think you would enjoy such a trip? Explain your answers. 2. How does Mark feel about his parents? How does he feel about Anya and Leon? How does he feel about leaving Scarsdale to move to New Hampshire midway through the school year? 3. What do the teachers and students at the elementary school in Whitson think of Mark at the beginning of the story? List some reasons for the impressions they have of him. Are their impressions correct? 4. At the beginning of chapter six, Mr. Maxwell describes his strategies for dealing with students. What do you think of these rules? Do you think they are good rules? What suggestions might you give Mr. Maxwell for making his class exciting and keeping his students involved and disciplined? 5. What things does Mark do to upset Mr. Maxwell? Is he trying to upset Mr. Maxwell? What is Mark trying to do? How does Mr. Maxwell try to reach out to him? Is Mr. Maxwell successful? 6. During the first two weeks in New Hampshire, Mark had explored the grounds and barn on his family’s property. He had also “ . . . found his own sense of time—time present—and he had discovered how much this time was worth.” What does Andrew Clements mean by “time present”? Why is this discovery so important for Mark? 7. What are some things Mark learns from his camping experiments around his home? As he watches winter change to spring, what changes does Mark make in his behavior at school? 8. Why does Mark decide to take the blame for Jason’s bringing a knife on the camping trip? Why does Mr. Maxwell react so strongly when he believes Mark has broken the rules? 9. Why does Mark really head out into the woods? What does he think he will prove? Is he making a good decision? 10. How does Mr. Maxwell feel about Mark’s disappearance? What does he do? What mistakes does he make? 11. How do Mr. Maxwell and Mark make it back to the campground? What have they learned about each other in the course of their ordeal? 12. Why does Mark want his father to bring the penny from the radiator up to New Hampshire? What does this mean about the way he feels about his new home? 13. In chapter two, the author notes that “…when it came to Mark Robert Chelmsley and his future, things weren’t discussed. They were decided.” What does he mean by this? Is this statement still true at the end of the story? Why or why not? Activities and Research 1. Has your family ever moved or have you had a good friend move away? Write a short story describing one of these experiences. Include details about the why, when, and where of the move as well as how you felt about it and something you learned. Illustrate your story with photographs or drawings. Share your story with a friend or classmate. 2. In the course of the novel, Mark develops a new appreciation for the outdoors. Experience nature in a fresh, new way. Get up early to watch the sunrise, spend a quiet lunch hour observing the plants and animals in a local park, or host a backyard sleepover during which you study the night sky. Afterward, make a list of five new things you noticed about nature in the course of your activity. If desired, create a display box filled with artifacts such as stones, leaves, pressed flowers, sketches, or photographs collected during your outdoor adventure. 3. Go to your local library or online, or page through sporting goods catalogues, to find out more about hiking and camping staples. Then create a wish list of camping supplies. What would you buy if you had a budget of $100, $500, or another amount? Make a poster displaying images of your chosen camping supplies along with notes about why they are necessary and in what ways they might be used. 4. Mark seems to do everything wrong when he arrives at the public elementary school in Whitson. Imagine that you are a student at Whitson. You have decided to befriend Mark. Write the script for a scene (or a few paragraphs of dialogue) in which you try to help Mark adjust to his new school and give him some pointers on making friends. Perform your scene, having a friend read Mark’s lines while you read yours. 5. Every year Mr. Maxwell looks forward to the "Week in the Woods". On your own, or with classmates, plan a day-long or week-long outdoor adventure. Where would you go? Collect information about your destination from travel brochures, books, or Web sites. Find a map of the area on which to chart your trip. Make a schedule of activities, such as collecting nature specimens, stargazing, or telling ghost stories. Make a list of important items participants should pack and bring. Compile your research into a trip brochure. If possible, type your brochure on the computer, adding interesting fonts and graphics. 6. Draw a picture of the place you feel most at home. It could be your bedroom or family room, a tree house or play area, or even a spot at a grandparent’s or friend’s place. Tape or glue your picture on a larger sheet of colored paper to create a frame. Fill the colored border with words that make you think of home. 7. Imagine that you are Mark Chelmsley. In the character of Mark, write a journal entry describing how you feel arriving at your new house, sleeping alone in the old barn, getting caught with Jason’s knife, or getting lost in the woods. 8. Try using a compass and map to find your way through a park or playground. Then write directions from the entrance of the park or playground to a specific place such as a climbing structure or stand of trees. For example: “From the entrance gate, walk forty feet west, then turn east and continue on for ten feet.” Have a friend try to follow your directions with their own compass and map. Go to the library or online to learn more about the sport and skill of orienteering. 9. Create a welcome packet for new students coming to your school. Include such items as a school map, daily schedule, cafeteria menu, a sketch of your school mascot, and a list of available teams, clubs and activities. Write a welcome letter. Decorate folder with drawings, photographs, and stickers in your school colors, and then put your welcome letter and the other information inside. This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

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A Week in the Woods 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 176 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Week in the Woods is about a rich boy, named Mark, who moves from San Francisco to New Hampshire. He makes a bad impression on his teachers and makes no friends. Then Leon, the guy who watches him, likes the outdoors so he takes Mark snowshoeing. In his backyard, there is a barn that Mark camps out in. He now loves camping and he knew he acted like an idiot and a jerk to his teachers so he tries to apologize. He makes friends and participates in class but his teachers got mad. Then they go out for a week in the woods and he is fitting in and having fun. Mr. Maxwell, the teacher who hates him the most, is giving him a retrial fro a fresh start. Then Mr. Maxwell checks the cabins and Mark gets caught with friend¿s multitool. He didn¿t know it had a knife until Mr. Maxwell popped up a four-inch blade. It is a school-sponsored event so no weapons are allowed. He is going to be sent home until he runs off. Read the rest if you want to know what happens when a field trip turns into survival and more importantly, what happens to Mark. I recommend A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Week in the Woods is AWESOME!!!!!!!!! It is entertaining. I LOVE this book! It is soooo gooooood that I cant stop reading it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great! Ijust love it. First I didn't know if I'm going to like it or not, it was my class assignment to read.I would reccommend this book to all the kids like me, age about 9-12.Im 11 and this book was pretty easy 4 me ,so read it.If u like ,like it,if u dont like ,still like it. Thanks for reading! THIS IS FROM A 5TH GRADER,THANKS AGAIN!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Week in the woods is such a good book. I love it because it has so many adventures. It is about a boy that moves to a new house in New Hampshire and has some troubles. And they are going on a field trip that is called A Week in the Woods. The fifth grade classes go on it every year. There are no knives or anything like that allowed there and Mr. Maxwell catches Mark, the boy that moved, with a knife but it wasn't really his. It was Jason's, Mark's friend, but Mark took the blame for it. Mr. Maxwell tells Mark to pack his bags and meet him at his truck. But Mr. Maxwell makes a phone call and a leader of the campground said it had Jason on it and Mr. Maxwell was surprised and went to tell Mark but he wasn't in the truck and it has been a long time. But thought maybe he forgot something so he went to look for him but he was not on the campground. So he went to ask one of the other teachers. She passed him not too long ago going the other way . Then Mr. Maxwell knew where to look. Mr. Maxwell knew that Mark headed to one of the paths and so Mr. Maxwell went to look for him.


I think the book is very interesting because of all of the adventures. I also think that it was a little strange that Mark ran away.

I recommend this book because it is very interesting with all the troubles and how they work them out and it ends up to be a very good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome. I'm now a seventh grader was a sixth grader like 4 days ago. Anywho, it's about a kid in 5th grade who moves to NH like in the country. His family are millionaires and he's spoiled. His new teacher gives him a hard time because he's a sloucher. But When he's given a chance to attend a program called a week in the woods he takes it. hoping to make new, better friends he goes and if u read it you will know what happens next!! great telling you about it. If you have any questions on ANY book, I've probably read it. so e-mail me!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome you all should read it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amzing!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Samuel Lee#10 A Week in the Woods Have you ever moved to a totally different place and couldn't get along with the other people in your new school? In the book "A Week in the Woods" Mark has lots of friends, attends to a great school, and is rich, but he faces a lot of problems. This book is written by Andrew Clements. Andrew does a great job describing the main character and his character traits. This all started in Hardy Elementary School in New Hampshire. The main character of this story is a young 5th grader named Mark Robert Chelmsley. He is rich, spoiled, and has a happy life. Mark was enjoying his life until something shocking happened to him. Suddenly, his parents had to move because their business. When he came to his new school, he couldn't get along with his classmates, but the worst thing was that his science teacher, Mr. Maxwell, hates Mark because he was rude and disrespectful. A few months later, the 5thgraders begins their camping trip. Mark thinks that the camp is a good chance to get along with others. When they arrived at the Gray's Notch State Park, they went to their cabin. Mark notices that his classmate Jason is in his cabin. Jason shows Mark his knife that he bought. Mark wanted to inspect it, so he held it in his hands. Suddenly, Mr. Maxwell comes in and finds him with the knife. Mr. Maxwell sees that Mark brought a knife. Mark runs away into the woods. Later on, Mr. Maxwell finds Mark and notices that the knife did not belong to Mark. So Mr. Maxwell knows that Mark is a good guy. After the notice, the two get closer. I like this book because I had the same experience as Mark. I think you should read this book because it is fun to predict how the relationship grows between the student and the teacher. It is also fun how Mark starts a new beginning. I hope you enjoy the book~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The only thing I didn't like about it is the beginning is kind of slow. Other than that I loved this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really connected and was able to sympathize with Mark because I have moved 7 times in my life and the longest I've stayed in one place is 3 years, just like the main character of this book. I am about the same age of him too. This novel was very interesting and exceptionally well-written. Andrew Clements is an awesome writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only read the sample and I am SO EXITED to see what's going to happen next.
Hunter-age9 More than 1 year ago
This story is about a boy named Mark. He moves from the city to a small town in New Hampshire. He does not get along with his teacher Mr. Maxwell in the beginning. Mark learns to survive outdoors. His class goes to a state park for a Week in the Woods. Mr. Maxwell catches Mark with a knife that really belonged to Mark's friend. Mark runs away into the woods and Mr. Maxwell goes to find him. In the end they have to help each other. I would recommend this book if you like outdoor stories. This book also teaches a lesson that enemies can become friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is about a rich boy named Mark Chelmsly. Mark's parents are successful business people and they travel alot. Mark just moved to New Hampshire and he is not excited to be going to a new school, which is smaller than his old school and the kids he goes to school with now are not rich. Many of his classmates,including his teacher, Mr.Maxwell thinks he is spoiled and lacks initiative. Mark never pays attention in class and his teacher always catches him looking out the window and Mark is always grumpy. Then one day Mr.Maxwell announces that the class will be going on a week long camping trip called a week in the woods. Mark wasn't too thrilled to go on any camping trip. Then one day he thought of sleeping outside in the barn but his parents would not allow him to do that.His friend Leo, who was his nanny slept outdoors with him,then Mark liked camping. On the day of the trip, Mark's friend Jason, showed him a pocketknife that he brought on the trip, he let Mark hold it and the next thing he knows Mr. Maxwell is telling him to pack his things and get in back of the truck, he was going home. When Mr. Maxwell stopped the truck to talk to the ranger, Mark jumped out of the truck and ran into the woods. Mr. Maxwell finally looks at the knife and knows it does not belong to Mark. When Mr. Maxwell goes to the truck to tell Mark he is sorry, Mark is gone. Mr. Maxwell knows that even if you don't like someone you can't leave them stranded so he goes to look for him. Mark does surprising well in the forest, he packed a whistle, an energy bar, a flashlight and a compass. When Mark was trying to find his way back to camp, he found Mr. Maxwell, who had a broken ankle since a boulder fell on it. Mark helped Mr. Maxwell back to the ranger station to get help. Then Mr. Maxwell and Mark started to like and understand each other. Mark finally settled in to his new town and made new friends. In the beginning, I didn't think I was going to like this book since it started out kind of slow, but then I started to get wrapped up in the plot and I couldn't put it down. The book shows us that we need to give new circumstances and people a chance before we decide we don't like them. I thoroughly recommend this book to all.
mark_14 on LibraryThing 20 days ago
Mark Chelmsy the Fourth is moving to a new town in late Feburary against his will. Mark has to go to a new school and has to make new friends. He doesn't like it. Then Mark realizes that since he moved so late in the school year, his grades in school won't count. So Mark doesn't even try in class. He just stares out the window. No one is friends with him. One day Mark decides he wants to change. But the teachers already think he's snotty. Will Mark change the teachers opinion? Or will he put his teacher and him in grave danger?! Is it too late?!
littlepiece on LibraryThing 20 days ago
Clements is one of my favorite elementary authors. His stories are always accented by little grace notes: moments of characterization and humanity, frequently from minor characters, that help the reader to understand why people behave like they do. A Week in the Woods is no exception as he naturally conveys why his main character is aloof, why the main teacher doesn't like him, and how they both change under difficult circumstances and come to understand each other.
hoffer30380 on LibraryThing 20 days ago
Quick, holiday read. This book has a good plot, setting, and mood to it. This book helps the reader understand why people behave like they do.
sacamp on LibraryThing 20 days ago
Mark has just moved to a new city with his wealthy family. He was told that he was to go on a trip in the woods for a week. but the one teacher that mark hated the most was boss.
Mattiii on LibraryThing 20 days ago
Mark Chelmsey is indeed a safisticated wealthy child. He is moving from his current home to another estate built over a farm. The town is very relaxed and not "Wealthy" so his arrival has been spread liek wildfire. It is a very good story of his adventures.
librarymeg on LibraryThing 20 days ago
Mark Chelmsley is the son of very wealthy parents who spend alot of time away from home. When they move to a small country town in New England, Mark has trouble fitting in at his new school, and has special trouble dealing with the science teacher, Mr. Maxwell. It isn't until Mark discovers a love of nature that he starts to feel at home in his new town, but will a shared love of camping be enough to unite Mark and Mr. Maxwell when things go wrong at the school's annual camping trip? This entertaining book shows how people can misunderstand each other and includes several great descriptions of camping in the wild. This story could serve as a great introduction to more intense survival stories like Gary Paulsen's Hatchet or the work of Jack London
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing 20 days ago
When rich-kid Mark joins the fifth-grade class, Mr. Maxwell has him pegged - he's a slacker and a punk. He's got it out for Mark from the start. And Mark is a slacker at first... why make an effort when he knows he'll only be at this school for a few months before he starts an elite prep school in the fall? It's not like his parents are around to care about it anyway... Can a week in the woods change their opinions about each other? I am a huge Clements fan and I really enjoyed this one. Mr. Clements has a way of showing both sides of the story and he really pegged the relationship between a teacher and his student. Part school story, part survival story, I'd hand this one to fans of Hatchet, My Side of the Mountain, etc.
sirfurboy on LibraryThing 20 days ago
This was a harmless adventure about a boy who moves to a new school and gets on the wrong side of a teacher, and how they resolve their differences. It is a children's book, and I expect 9-11 year olds could enjoy this book, but it is not a chidlren's book that adults would be particularly satisfied with.The book is slow off the mark. Two thirds of the story are preparation for the week in the woods. Very little time is spent on the alleged subject, and all the preparation gets somewhat tedious. The conflict in the book is not very well defined, and we are perhaps told too much about the thought processes that lead the characters into their tension. Somehow it just did not work. The boy is impossibly mature and well behaved. The teacher does not act like a teacher. The underlying concept is not bad, and there are brief flashes of humour, but all in all this is not a book I would particularly recommend.
Omrythea on LibraryThing 20 days ago
A rich kid moves to a small town in New Hampshire, where his new teacher is not impressed with his "I don't care" attitude. He and his teacher end up learning a lot about each other when the two end up needing each other in the wilderness. And here is a cut and paste review: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.
hockey101 on LibraryThing 20 days ago
This book is about "Mark" a fith grader who moves to new Hampshire and is the smart Nerd until his teacher bringsup a camping trip for a whole week. Mark thinks he shouls bring tons of stuff so he goes online and buys ten hundred dollars of stuff. To find out what happens read the book!!!