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Woodsong Paperback – May 8, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 185 customer reviews

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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

  • 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 (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The number one item on my bucket list is to go to Alaska and see the beginning of the Iditarod dog sled race. Next month, I will be able to cross that off the list as that is exactly what I am going to do. While looking around the Iditarod website, I noticed that they recommended this book for people interested in dog sledding. I had read Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod previously by this same author and it is one of my favorite books of all time so I immediately downloaded this one.

It is a relatively short book and is divided into two sections. The first section is a bit about his personal history and how his growing-up years really revolved around nature and engaging in out-door activities. He also explains how he moved from being a very active hunter to someone who has decided he will never hunt another living creature again. As he got older, he developed a fascination with dogs and was intrigued by dog sledding and started dabbling a bit in the sport. I will warn folks that there are some very descriptive passages about animals hunting other animals. While this is just part of nature and to be expected, if you are thinking of allowing a youngster to read this, you may want to glance at it before you do so. Some younger folks might be very upset by the events.

The second half of the book is a day-by-day account chronically of his first Iditarod run. Each day is about 2 or 3 pages long and talks about what happened that day and what misadventures occurred.
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