Cover image for A week in the woods
A week in the woods
Clements, Andrew, 1949-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2002.
Physical Description:
190 pages ; 22 cm
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.
Reading Level:
820 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.5 7.0 63085.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.4 10 Quiz: 32629 Guided reading level: T.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

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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.

Author Notes

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)

Reviews 3

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.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Mark, the 11-year-old at the center of Clements's (Frindle; The Jacket) brooding and uneven novel, initially has no interest in making friends at his new school in Whitson, N.H., where his constantly traveling parents have just renovated and enlarged a 1798 farmhouse. Knowing that he's headed off to a prestigious boarding school next year, the boy has no incentive for pleasing his teachers and spends much of the day gazing out the classroom window. His science teacher, Mr. Maxwell, passes judgment on Mark before the boy finally decides to give the school a chance ("The only kind of people Mr. Maxwell disliked more than slackers were... buy-the-whole-world rich folks"). A showdown between boy and teacher occurs at the start of the annual environmental program organized by Mr. Maxwell for the fifth graders, who spend a week in a wooded state park. The teacher's discovery of Mark with a tool containing a knife (which actually belongs to another boy) climaxes with a pursuit through the woods. Unfortunately, the suspenseful sequence that follows and the engaging denouement account for only a fraction of the novel. Laborious passages about Mark's family's home and barn and the boy's preparations for the school trip, plus perhaps a bit too much description of Mr. Maxwell's background, bog down the story line and may derail readers drawn to the book's enticing title. Ages 9-13. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-Mark, a wealthy 11-year-old fifth grader, moves from Scarsdale, New York to a small, rural town in New Hampshire. His reluctance to make any effort to fit in with his new milieu puts him at odds with his science teacher and outdoor trip sponsor, Mr. Maxwell. The outdoor trip becomes a metaphor for personal growth and discovery. When Mr. Maxwell discovers that Mark has a knife and decides to send him home, Mark runs away and must use his outdoor skills during his night alone in the woods. Actor Ron Livingston is a solid narrator for this story by Andrew Clements (S&S, 2002). Male characters and vocalizations dominate, except for brief dialogue from Mark's mother and the female school principal. Although Livingston does not provide clearly discernable vocal changes for the different characters, his well-paced diction and the easy-going quality of the narration helps listeners recognize all the characters. There is a lot of descriptive and personal history background narration, especially during tape 2, but dialogue and soliloquies as well as the action pick up again on tape 3. This novel incorporates the themes of personal growth, courage, and the outdoors in an interesting storyline.-Tina Hudak, St. Bernard's School, Riverdale, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

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