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A Week in the Woods

A Week in the Woods

For Ages: 9 - 13
  • reading group guide
  • 6awards
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.
Choose a format:
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 160 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689825965 | 
  • August 2002 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
List Price $22.99

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Reading Group Guide

A Week in the Woods About the Book Mark Chelmsley is not going to try anymore. He’s not going to adjust to his new house in New Hampshire. He’s not going to make friends at his new public school. And he is not going to get excited about the highlight of the fifth-grade year—a week-long trip to Gray’s Notch State Park—even when his science teacher, Mr. Maxwell, offers him encouragement. Still, as Mark snowshoes through the woods, camps in a century-old barn, and watches the snowy winter melt into spring, he forges his own connection with this new place. He begins to feel happy and to make an effort in school. Mr. Maxwell, however, is not ready to forgive the kid he sees as a spoiled slacker. When he catches Mark with a knife on the first day of the trip, discipline is fast and furious. Mark, unwilling to admit he is taking the blame for a friend, stalks into the forest, where a few wrong turns get him dangerously lost. Mr. Maxwell realizes what has happened and rushes heedlessly after Mark, injuring his ankle. As chill night falls, the two find each other. With the benefit of Mark’s supplies and his teacher’s navigational skills, they return to camp. More importantly, they find a way to forgive one another. Safe once more, Mark realizes that his week in the woods has taught him the lesson of a lifetime. Discussion Topics 1. Why do you think Mr. Maxwell enjoys preparing for “the Week in the Woods”? Why are most Whitson stude see more

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About the Author

Andrew Clements
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Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements is the author of the enormously popular Frindle. More than 10 million copies of his books have been sold, and he has been nominated for a multitude of state awards, including two Christopher Awards and an Edgar Award. His popular works include About Average, Troublemaker, Extra Credit, Lost and Found, No Talking, Room One, Lunch Money, andmore. He is also the author of the Benjamin Pratt & the Keepers of the School series.He lives with his wife in Maine and has four grown children. Visit him at AndrewClements.com.

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