The Book Reviews – Website

December 4, 2008


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Author: Gary Paulsen

Page Length: 90

Reading Level: 6

Genre: Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: John Borne has already lost enough in his lifetime. He lives with his grandparents and has just found out that his grandfather is dying. John has always hunted with his grandfather, but this year he will hunt alone. John sets out alone to kill a deer for his family to have meat. Yet, John begins to track the deer across the forest and through the night. It’s almost as if the deer has something to tell him.

REVIEW: This is a typical Paulsen book which is graphic in terms of describing the habits of the animal and the hunter. Students who have ever hunted before can certainly relate to the events John describes; students who have never hunted or tracked an animal can learn what that might be like. Paulsen is able to help the reader feel John’s mixed emotions and share his anxiety over losing his grandfather while coming to terms with the inevitability of death.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: sequence of events, cause and effect, plot, author’s purpose, imagery

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: use of a rifle, detailed descriptions of the voiding habits of a deer

RELATED BOOKS: Dancing Carl, Night John, Dogsong, Sentries, The Foxman




REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor

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