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Father Water, Mother Woods (Laurel-Leaf Books) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1996

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Descriptions of light and water, of fish and wildlife, kindle in the reader a measure of the author's own complex respect for nature," said PW in a starred review. All ages.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-Paulsen begins this collection of compelling memoirs with a forword that reflects on the genesis of his novel Hatchet (Macmillan, 1987). He concludes by poignantly expressing doubts about the moral correctness of hunting. In between, he pares away the layers of his life, revealing a lost kid who sought sanctuary in friends and the outdoors. In half of the selections, he relates the joys of fishing. There's one essay on camping as comic disaster during high summer; the rest are about hunting. All are intensely personal and steeped in a bygone time of hand-set pins in a bowling alley, lack of equal rights for African Americans, corporal punishment, dress codes, and ducktail haircuts. Readers of the author's earlier works will hear echoes as old as Winterkill (Elsevier-Nelson, 1976; o.p.) in Paulsen's description of snagging fish by the hydropower dam. The metaphor of life as a dance; his characteristic good humor; and the frequent references to blood, madness, prostitution, farts, and beer will strike a familiar chord, as will the seasonal structure through which the essays cycle. The pieces are rooted in the details of a youth spent in search of perfection: the perfect cast, perfect catch, perfect shot. Equally on target are descriptions of the pain of feeling the outsider, of being a failure at school, and of being ashamed of his parents' drunkenness. This book will appeal to Paulsen's many fans, to lovers of the outdoors, and to students of the essay.
Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Jr. High School, Iowa City, IA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Laurel-Leaf Books
  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf Books (March 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440219841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440219842
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Paulsen is one of the most honored writers of contemporary literature for young readers. He has written more than one hundred book for adults and young readers, and is the author of three Newberry Honor titles: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He divides his time among Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, and the Pacific.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#49 in Books > Teens
#49 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 22, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book truly brings nature to your fingertips. As a reader, I felt as if I was out in the wild, experiencing everything of which Paulsen wrote. With the descriptive settings and easy-to-relate-to tales, Paulsen makes the reader feel as if they have entered the woods along with the characters in the story. The essays on fishing and hunting in the northern woods are definitely his best work yet! This book is easy to follow, yet has very deep and interesting accounts.
I recommend this illustration to anyone who enjoys the great outdoors. If you want to learn about cold, winter morning fishing excursions, or hot, summer days in the woods, this is the perfect book to help fulfill your curiosity. Father Water Mother Woods is worth your time of reading and is definitely a classic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best books I have read about outdoors. The stories were exellently written and engulfed me in the happnings. I felt as if I could smell the crisp morning air on the first day of hunting season.I would give this book 50 stars but there is only five on the sheet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Terry on January 20, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Paulsen writes about seasons in his hometown being determined by types of fish caught down by the dam, under the Ninth street bridge, or in frozen lakes, and not by dates on calendars. When fishing ends, hunting is the obsession for Paulsen and friends he calls "orphans of the woods." He explains, "When we were in the woods or fishing the rivers and lakes our lives didn't hurt."
This book is a nature lover's choice. Paulsen writes of growing up in a small Minnesota town and he intertwines this town's life with stories of adventurous boys. Two of my favorite essays are "Running the River" and "Bow Hunting." The first is a hilarious tale of an overplanned camping trip gone wrong when the boat, full of supplies and boys, sinks, forcing the boys to walk back to town. "Bow Hunting" is a coming of age essay in which a boy, after killing his first doe, poignantly describes his realization that while his life will continue, hers will not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an excellent book. The book is written in such detail that it is easy to imagine yourself being there. This is a great book for those of any age. It will bring back some good memories of your childhood.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of my favorite books. I remember reading it when I was a fourth grader back in the nineties and I would compare it to my own lifestyle of growing up in the Upper Midwest. Remembered the book recently and bought it for my kindle to take with me to the treestand. Think I read it in after one or two hunts. Now it reminds me of my childhood and the feelings I would get in the outdoors. Simply awesome book even though it is an easier read (meant for young adults). Still you can tell Paulsen put his heart into it. Wish there were more authors who wrote with that kind of passion about the outdoors.
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