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Woodsong Paperback – May 8, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

According to PW , this "autobiographical celebration of Paulsen's longtime love of dogsledding and sled dogs . . . blends deep introspection with fast-paced action and succeeds admirably on both levels." Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up?Natural phenomena, chilling experiences, and exhilarating adventure are all part of Paulsen's personal recollections of his induction into sled-dog training and racing. Fluent, spare memoirs of one man's initiation, education, and unabashed awe of the wilderness and its inhabitants.
Copyright 1998 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: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (May 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416939393
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416939399
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,735 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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#53 in Books > Teens
#53 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Wood Song is about A man who loves his dogs and adventures. He was living in the woods when the beavers over-populated, so he borrowed his friend's dogsled and some dogs and then he set up a couple hundred mile trapline for beavers.He loved it, and very soon he got good at it, and the huge Alaskian race, called the Iditaron, was coming soon so he entered it, and that lead to a whole new part of the adventurous stoy. I liked this book, because of all the detail that Gary put into it. He did a great job, You could almost see what was happening as you read it. This book strikes the imagination of readers of all ages. I give it 5 stars and 2 thumbs way way up!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Wolfe Moffat on July 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a classic tale for anyone who has ever loved dogs, or, to be more specific, any particular dog. I can say that this is also an icy tale that will actually take your breath away as Paulsen describes some of the conditions he's been in with his sled dogs. This is the true story of how he survives in the Minnesota wilderness, and then takes on the bigtime, The Iditarod in Alaska!
When you read this, there are times when you will probably feel different things. Like the feeling some people have had (I have personally) of losing a pet. Or at times, you laugh at the hilarity of some of the things that pets will indeed do that leave you laughing so hard that it almost brings you to tears. Paulsen brings this to life only in the way that he has always used to tell a story. I love it how he describes his, and every man's greatest fear when in The Iditarod, is to scratch. When Paulsen describes this, he compares it to being a leper! He loves his dogs, and talks about how they are practically insane to run. He slightly haunts us with stories of hallucinations as a result of sleep deprivation! Yet, he also describes his most human side throughout the race, describing a cup of hot chocolate given to him by a beautiful blonde. Or how children from the Shageluk school made a pot of Moose chili especially for the mushers, and how he ate 19 bowls because it tasted so great, and then suffered the wonderful indigestion as a result. It is those stories and more, that make this an easy classic, and a read that you find hard to put down!
I first read this about 10 years ago. It still is easy to pick up, and enjoy it from page 1. Awesome work!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lifelong Learner on March 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
After reading Gary Paulsen's Winterdance, I had to try this one. I teach 5th grade, so I thought Woodsong might be more geared toward them. I'm still reluctant to use this except in small groups...the depiction of nature's brutality with all the graphic detail, will be a little too intense for some of my students...only balanced by an adult's perspective (putting it into context).
Setting aside that one word of caution, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Like one of his dogs, once I was harnessed in, I couldn't stop running through the pages. Woodsong isn't the marathon that Winterdance is...more like a quick run from White Mountain to Nome...but I only stopped briefly to eat and sleep. [Couldn't get my wife to rub my shoulders or change my socks, though. No moose chili, either. C'mon [...]!] It's a book I'll read again and again.
What Paulsen does, he does extremely well. To begin, it's a parallel story to Winterdance, but draws from a completely different set of experiences: read both books! Paulsen masterfully strips away our romantic 'Disney' notions of nature with gritty reality. If you've ever spent time in remote places, off the beaten path, his stories will ring true to you. Paulsen is both humble and insightful in his understanding of himself, his thoughts and feelings, his limitations and motivations. That honesty is as rare as it is refreshing. Paulsen spends a little too much time focusing on the 'strange but true' encounters that happen in the wild, but I think it's part of his way of processing them...and sharing the wonder and awe that you get when you're out there. The grand scale of some of his stories, perhaps embellished, nevertheless leave you with the proper impression that the world of the Iditarod and Alaskan wilds are unimagineable and endless.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By JAKE ALEXANDER on March 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Woodsong is a well written story about a determined man and his bond with man's best friend, the dog. As the story begins, he turns from a novice, inexperienced dog runner to a experienced dog runner. He goes from losing his way and standing on deaths front doorstep to making a lifesaving decision only an expert could make. Through many tragedies, joys and sorrows, such as the feeling of seeing the finish at the end of the Iditarod(the most challenging dog race in North America) or having to watch your favorite dog grow old and pass away slowly and not being there when he draws its last breath or when you are shooting off a 40 foot tall cliff and plummeting to the bottom onto a frozen lake. And don't forget staying up all night watching the wolves skulk around the perimeter of your camp and making sure they stay at the perimeter and advance no more. It's a challenging book about 8th grade level but it's worth it. It's a book that really shows you the bond between man and dog. There are life lessons aplenty too. It teaches you things, the hard way, but you will stop and it will make you think, hmmm. It shows you nature has no mercy, something as beautiful as a frozen lake pockmarked with snow can quickly change into a frigid icy pool of death with a simple crack in the ice. There are some more gruesome scenes but they all have a purpose. To prove to you the lesson of only the fittest survive in the wild, they drill home the fact a sick or injured deer is chosen from the herd, chased and hunted down by wolves. It shows you how mercilessly the wolves rip into the deer. It is indeed a gruesome part but a quite important part. There are some parts in it that are a little hard to follow in my opinion such as when he starts talking about life, why are we here, etc. etc.Read more ›
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