A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements

It was something that was going to have an impact on the year’s Week in the Woods, but it wasn’t on Mr. Maxwell’s long checklist.  There was no way for him to be prepared, not for this.  Mr. Maxwell had no idea what kind of trouble was coming his way.  But it was.  Trouble was definitely headed north.

This paragraph at the end of chapter one is foreshadowing an exciting story!

Mark Chelmsley wasn’t happy about moving from New York to New Hampshire.  His wealthy parents wouldn’t even be with him when he arrived at the new house.  They were at a stockholder’s meeting in San Francisco.  So, Mark is left with Leon and Anya, the handyman and housekeeper for the move.

When he begins attending Hardy Elementary School, he meets Mr. Maxwell, the fifth grade science teacher.  They don’t exactly “hit it off”!  Mark is very intelligent and is actually ahead of the kids in the new school.  He’s also pretty quiet, and when Mr. Maxwell finds out that the Chelmsley family has purchased over 400 acres outside of town, the teacher’s prejudices against rich, environmentally insensitive people becomes a real problem.

The biggest event in the 5th Grade year is the annual Week in the Woods.  All of the kids and their teachers go to Gray’s Notch State Park in the New Hampshire White Mountains for a week of nature studies and environmental science.  Mr. Maxwell carefully plans the trip, and his rules for the week allow zero tolerance.  Unfortunately Mark’s new friend brought a knife along, and when Mr. Maxwell sees the knife,  in Mark’s hand, he immediately assumes the worst and tells Mark that he will be taken home right away.  But instead of going to Mr. Maxwell’s truck for the trip back home, Mark says to himself, “If Mr. Maxwell wants to get rid of me so bad, then he’s gonna have to find me first!”  And he heads, alone, into the woods!

This book is enjoyed by boys and girls alike!  Andrew Clements is an author who knows kids!  His years as a public school teacher make his books “Kid Favorites”!

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