GONE FROM THESE WOODS by Donny Bailey Seagraves


Age Range: 9 - 12
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“I was always going to be that boy who killed his uncle,” proclaims 11-year-old Daniel Sartain. He never wanted to hunt rabbits in his family’s Georgia woods, but coming from a long line of hunters and idolizing his uncle, Clay, Danny follows him one cold November morning in 1992, carrying his grandfather’s shotgun. The boy’s inexperience kills Clay, and he loses the almost-brother who shared comic books with him and who protected him from Danny’s abusive, alcoholic father, who has his own secret guilt. Now Danny wonders how he can get past this pain, avoid becoming an angry monster like his father and stop pointing the same shotgun at himself. Although sometimes repetitive and slow-paced, with a quickly resolved ending and heavy-handed message about suicide, this satisfactory debut novel depicts a realistic portrayal of grief from a youth’s perspective. Middle-grade boys will take interest in Danny’s internal superhero-vs.-villain battle and rally around him when he finds the strength to stand up to his father. (author’s note) (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-385-73629-9
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2009