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.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
September 02, 2002
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements
Mr. Maxwell looked at the long checklist, and then looked at the calendar, and then he shook his head. It was February thirteenth, and he was sitting at his desk in his classroom at quarter of seven on a Friday morning. And a question formed in his mind: Why on earth do I do this year after year? He quickly pushed that thought out of his head and turned back to the checklist.
It had become a tradition at Hardy Elementary School: Bright and early on the Monday morning of the third week in April, the whole fifth grade piled into three buses and went off for a week in the woods.
And that's what the program was called: A Week in the Woods. It was nature studies and it was environmental science and it was campfires and creative writing and storytelling and woodcraft. It was always the last big event for the fifth-graders before they went on to the middle school. It was always fun, always memorable. And the person who always made it happen was Mr. Maxwell, the fifth-grade science teacher.
The kids looked forward to A Week in the Woods. They all loved it. The fifth grade-teachers also looked forward to A Week in the Woods. But not all of them loved it. Not even most of them.
In fact, there was a rumor that if Mr. Maxwell ever moved or retired, the program might change. It might become A Day in the Woods. And at this year's early planning meeting, Mrs. Leghorn had been heard muttering, "This is Whitson, New Hampshire, for Pete's sake! Every week is a week in the woods!"
Mrs. Leghorn was the fifth-grade math teacher, and if she got her way, the program would become An Hour in the Woods -- Without Me!
But Mr. Maxwell had originated the program, and this would be his sixteenth year as its director. As always, he wanted the fifth-graders to have an outdoors experience that they would remember all their lives. So once again, it was going to be A Week in the Woods.
* * *
Bill Maxwell was a big man. He cut and split his own firewood, and he had the shoulders and arms to prove it. He always wore dress pants and a white shirt and tie to school, and that helped make him look less rugged and a little less imposing. But it was fair to say that Mr. Maxwell had never had a discipline problem in any of his classes. Ever.
At forty-five years old, his thick brown hair was starting to turn gray, but apart from that, he looked like a man ten years younger. He wasn't handsome, but he had a pleasant face, open and honest, with clear blue eyes and a strong jawline.