Gone from These Woods

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9780375845048: Gone from These Woods
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I didn't want to go hunting with Uncle Clay that morning. Now I have to live with what happened for the rest of my life. It was just an accident. The rabbit ran away. Clay fell.

Nothing has been the same for Daniel since that morning in the woods when Uncle Clay went down. Mom tries to hold the family together. Mrs. Hardy, Daniel’s guidance counselor, tries to help Daniel after he loses his role model and best friend. Daniel’s alcoholic father just makes the situation worse. The memory of that cold morning will stay with Daniel forever. But somehow, he must find a way to go on . . . for Uncle Clay . . . and most of all, for himself.
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From the Author:

I got the idea for Gone From These Woods from a tragic event that happened in the family of my second grade teacher. Her nephew shot her husband by accident. Though I was still a child when this happened, I asked myself two questions: What if I had been the boy who shot his uncle? And how would I live with that? I didn't know it at the time, but I had just started writing my first published novel.

Many years later, when I sat down to begin book ten (books 1 - 9 were unpublished), I remembered the boy who shot his uncle and decided to write his story. But I didn't simply retell the real story. I created my own fictional characters and plot and I used my local Winterville, Georgia area as the setting.

I worked on the manuscript for two years before I showed any of it to an editor. At a 2007 SCBWI conference in Atlanta, the first page of what I called, D-Man, was read by Harcourt editor, Gretchen Hirsch. Another editor on the panel, Michelle Poploff, VP and Editorial Director of Random House Children's Books, made several positive comments about my first page. She compared it to a Gary Paulsen novel. This got my attention. Two weeks later I sent Michelle the first three chapters and to make a long story short, she called on July 13, 2007 and said, "I'm going to make this a very lucky Friday the 13th for you. I'm going to buy your novel." Two years later Gone From These Woods was published by Delacorte Press.

Though I had been published as an article and column writer in magazines and newspapers for many years, Gone From These Woods was my first published book. Many people who had known me for years had no idea I wrote children's books, so the publication was quite a surprise. My story is told in first person, in the voice of eleven-year-old Daniel Sartain. Since I'm a middle-aged woman, this amazed many readers. This kind of narration was hard for me to do, but I've always loved a challenge.

Gone From These Woods was a difficult story to write and for many readers, it's a challenging story to read. It's been called a coming of age story, and it is definitely that. It's a boy's story, but girls also read it and relate to it. Some say it's a hunting story, and it does begin with a hunting scene. But this isn't a hunting story. It's also not a story about death. Gone From These Woods is a story about life. I hope readers come away from this story with the feeling that no matter what happens in their life, they can go on, as Daniel Sartain does in Gone From These Woods.

From the Inside Flap:

I didn't want to go rabbit hunting with Uncle Clay on that cold November morning. But I went. now I  have to live with what happened for the rest of my life. It was just an accident. A careless accident. The rabbit ran away. Clay fell beside me. But he wasn't dead. Clay couldn't be dead.

Nothing has been the same for eleven-year-old Daniel Sartain since that morning in the woods when Uncle Clay went down. Mom tries to hold the family together with her comfort and love. Mrs. Hardy, Daniel's guidance counselor at school, offers a sanctuary in her office as she tries to help Daniel survive after losing his role model and best friend. At the same time, Daniel's alcoholic father, Clay's older brother, makes a tragic situation worse.

The memory of that cold morning in the Georgia woods -- and most of all the hurt -- will stay with Daniel forever. But somehow, he must find a way to go on . . . for Uncle Clay . . . and for himself.

Donny Bailey Seagraves paints a riveting portrait of a once brave and confident boy struggling with the pain and guilt of having taken a loved one's life. As the spirit and love of Uncle Clay resonate through the story, readers are reassured that Daniel will finally move beyond his grief and make peace with the past.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780385736299: Gone from These Woods

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ISBN 10:  0385736290 ISBN 13:  9780385736299
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2009
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