This historical fiction tells the story of 13 year old Samuel who lives with his family in the wilderness of Western Pennsylvania. There has been talk of a war between the colonies and the British but it is too far away. News is old by the time it reaches the wilds and why would the fighting come this far out to a bunch of farmers and homesteaders?
Samuel loves the woods. He is almost a part of them. One day out hunting he sees smoke and knows something is wrong. The devastation he returns to leaves him in shock. His home and family are gone but he somehow knows his parents are alive and he plans to rescue them.
The journey he goes on and the people he meet along the way help tell a different version of the American Revolution.
Paulsen has inserted historical facts in between the chapters that can make this book a very good teaching tool. It has a high interest and information factor.