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A week in the woods /

The fifth grade's annual camping trip in the woods tests Mark's survival skills and his ability to relate to a teacher who seems out to get him. Full description

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2002
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Mark didn't ask to move to New Hampshire. Or to go to a hick school like Hardy Elementary. And he certainly didn't request Mr. Maxwell as his teacher. Mr. Maxwell doesn't like rich kids, or slackers, or know-it-alls. And he's decided that Mark is all of those things. Now the whole school is headed out for a week of camping -- Hardy's famous Week in the Woods. At first it sounds dumb, but then Mark begins to open up to life in the country, and he decides it might be okay to learn something new. It might even be fun. But things go all wrong for Mark. The Week in the Woods is not what anyone planned. Especially not Mr. Maxwell. With his uncanny knack to reach right to the heart of kids, Andrew Clements asks -- and answers -- questions about first impressions, fairness, loyalty, and courage -- and exactly what it takes to spend a Week in the Woods.


1Preparationsp. 1
2Leavingp. 7
3Not the Samep. 14
4Attitudesp. 22
5Zero Pressurep. 26
6Spoiledp. 34
7Skirmishp. 45
8Discoveriesp. 52
9Testingp. 66
10Trial and Errorp. 77
11Springp. 85
12Gearing Upp. 94
13Readinessp. 102
14Zero Tolerancep. 111
15Retrialp. 128
16Into the Woodsp. 136
17Tracksp. 143
18Bushwhackingp. 150
19Herep. 161
20Campp. 166
21Foundp. 173
22Homep. 182

Review by Booklist Review

Gr. 4-8. Mr. Maxwell has taught fifth-grade science and supervised the class weeklong field trip to a nearby New Hampshire state park for many years. He is sure of his teaching methods and equally confident that his respect for nature is transmitted, a hundred students at a time, through the sessions in the woods. Mark Chelmsley, clearly bright, bored, and (in Mr. Maxwell's opinion) probably spoiled, moves to the small New Hampshire town just weeks before the trip. It's inevitable that the two clash. The third-person narrative alternates between the powerful adult and the lonely, stalwart boy, allowing readers to see both characters' strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the week in the woods, both boy and man have changed. Clements' compassionate character studies are realistic and hopeful, and the characters' subtle conflicts and eventual transformations will linger with readers long after the book is finished. Francisca Goldsmith.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

A showdown between an 11-year-old and his teacher occurs at the start of an annual environmental program when they spend a week in a wooded state park. Ages 9-13. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Angered by his family's move from Scarsdale, NY, to rural New Hampshire, Mark refuses to make friends or please his teachers. Because of his indifference, one teacher decides that he's dealing with a "slacker" and a "spoiled rich kid." To make matters worse, the fifth grader acts unimpressed with Mr. Maxwell's annual outing to the state park for a week of nature studies. However, the boy becomes increasingly interested in the outdoors and camping and signs up for the trip. On the first day there, the teacher discovers Mark with a camping tool that contains a knife, an item that students were asked not to bring. He decides that someone needs to teach the boy a lesson and decides to send him home. Mark runs away, gets lost, and must use his newly acquired skills to survive a night in the woods. The story explores both Mark's and Mr. Maxwell's point of view, and the final resolution of their conflict is effective. The boy's relationships with his ever-absent parents and his caregivers are interestingly developed. The novel includes a helpful map of the state park. Like many of Clements's titles, this one will be a popular choice, particularly with fans of Gary Paulsen and Jean Craighead George.-Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Miamisburg, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Andrew Clements was born in Camden, New Jersey on May 7, 1949. He received a bachelor's degree in literature from Northwestern University and master's degree in teaching from National Louis University. Before becoming a full-time author, he taught in the public schools north of Chicago for seven years, was a singer-songwriter, and worked in publishing.

He is well known for his picture book texts, but it was his middle school novel, Frindle, that was a breakthrough for his writing career. Frindle won numerous awards including the Georgia Children's Book Award, the Sasquatch Children's Book Award, the Massachusetts Children's Book Award, the Rhode Island Children's Book Award, and the Year 2000 Young Hoosier Book Award. His other works include The Landry News, The Janitor's Boy, No Talking, Things Not Seen, Things Hoped For, and Things That Are.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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