The Madman of Piney Woods

 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
219 0
The Madman of Piney Woods
Age Range
8+
Release Date
May 28, 2019
ISBN
978-1338359657
Buy This Book
      
Benji and Red couldn't be more different. They aren't friends. They don't even live in the same town. But their fates are entwined. A chance meeting leads the boys to discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. Both of them have encountered a strange presence in the forest, watching them, tracking them. Could the Madman of Piney Woods be real?

In a tale brimming with intrigue and adventure, Christopher Paul Curtis returns to the vibrant world he brought to life in Elijah of Buxton. Here is another novel that will break your heart -- and expand it, too.

This critically acclaimed story by National Book Award finalist Christopher Paul Curtis joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes extra bonus content!

Editor reviews

1 reviews

engaging historical fiction with great character-building
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
THE MADMAN OF PINEY WOODS follows two young boys in Canada as their lives are changing and intersecting. Benji Alston dreams of becoming a newspaper reporter, and he often thinks in headlines. When he gets an apprenticeship for a paper, he is excited to help and write- but it turns out writing articles is harder than he thought. Luckily, he has the persistence to keep at it. He lives with his parents, brother, and sister, and often explores the woods around where he lives. He navigates them well and as such occasionally spots the so-called Madman of Piney Woods.

Red lives with his father and Irish grandmother, and his inevitable nickname comes from his overall appearance. Red does not really understand his grandmother, but he is willing to try. At the coaching of his father, he asks for her story. Red would love to be a scientist one day. When the two boys meet, they instantly click and a great friendship is born.

When they encounter the proclaimed Madman or lion or whatever he may be in the woods, they are set on a new path- one they could never have expected.

What I loved: This is really a character-driven book, and each of the two boys are strongly crafted. My favorite character was Red's father who has a great deal of wisdom and sage advice for Red, mainly instilling empathy and patience into him. Some of the knowledge he imparts struck me as particularly poignant, and I think such things can be powerful to the reader. There are actually quite a lot of pithy quotes and wisdom to be found in the pages in general (even about the majesty of science and the difficulties in following a dream). All around, these make it a really great read.

The historical context of the book was also really intriguing, and the story told by Red's grandmother about her treacherous journey to Canada was beautifully written and its own captivating story-within-story. She is also, however, a racist, which is generally pointed out and fits the time period but is not conveyed through most other characters.

The book overall does a great job in connecting readers with the characters and imparting messages about empathy, friendship, and passion.

Final verdict: This is an engaging middle grade historical fiction that pulls you into the lives of Benji and Red, two Canadian boys with big dreams. Highly recommend for anyone who loves historical fiction, mischievous boys, and fantastic character-building.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Peppermint Post
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
'Twas the night before Christmas, when the North Pole's Peppermint...
Stolen from the Studio (Case Closed, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lauren Magaziner’s hilarious and high-stakes middle grade series gets a...
The Wizenard Series: Season One
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Reggie has never felt destined for greatness. He dreams about...
TURBO Racers: Escape Velocity
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Fast and the Furious meets Transformers in the second...
Bread Lab!
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
It’s a sleepy Saturday morning for most people, but not...
A Thousand No's
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
This empowering picture book teaches readers that even great ideas...
Ronan Boyle and the Swamp of Certain Death (Ronan Boyle, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The hilarious sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller,...
Sharko and Hippo
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
With tongue-twisty wordplay and escalating absurdity, this is a fall-down-funny...
The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A LOVE POEM FROM A FATHER TO HIS TWO SONS,...
The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kings become outcasts and lovers become foes in The Faithless...
Zora's Zucchini
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first zucchini of a summer garden is always exciting,...
Libby Loves Science
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Libby loves science! In this STEM-themed picture book, a companion...
The Hidden Rainbow
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
All the colors of the rainbow are hidden in the...
The Places We Sleep
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A family divided, a country going to war, and a...
Chasing Starlight
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Movies, mansions, and murder in the Golden Age of Hollywood!...
Crossing Lines
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Midwestern high school seniors and swim teammates Alli and Brandon...

Latest Member Reviews

Sunshine in the Shadows: Book 2 of the Sunshine Series
 
4.7
"This one is probably the least exciting out of the 3 books, but its lovely getting to know the characters..."
Sunshine Reigns: Book 3 of the Sunshine Series
 
5.0
"This my favourite book of the 3-part series. Sunny comes into her own with a very satisfying ending."
 
5.0
"Loved it!"
ExtraNormal Academy (ExtraNormal Academy, #1)
 
4.0
"A different take on Academy books with the main character as an alien from another planet, sent to observe humans...."
 
5.0
"I strongly recommend this novel. It has the perfect combination of action, plot twists, and cool characters that kept my..."
 
5.0
"I had no idea about how serious the fallout for teens who sext can be until I read this book...."
 
5.0
"I loved this book so much I didn’t want it to end! I totally related to the characters and the..."
Neon Nights: A Sequel
 
4.8
"'Neon Nights' by Katey Taylor is an addictive sequel to 'Inebriated'. Cait has moved to San Diego to live with..."
 
5.0
"You will not be able to put down this book! A fast and suspenseful read that will grip you with..."
The Zombie Queen
 
3.8
"Tamara is the daughter of the Vampire Queen and the Zombie King. She is extremely powerful and is wanted by..."
Dating Nashville
 
5.0
"When country music sensation Becks leaps off the stage mid performance and kisses Nicky everything he’s worked so hard to..."
Circus of the Dead (Circus of the Dead, #1)
 
5.0
"The story: When Callie's parents send her to help her uncle for the summer working at the Circus of..."
Circus of the Dead (Circus of the Dead, #1)
 
5.0
"An intriguing and twisty book. The story: Callie is just a girl who loves to surf...."
The Hunt
 
4.5
"What a ride! The story: Tempest is our fierce heroine who wants nothing more than to become the..."
Dating Nashville
 
5.0
"'Dating Nashville' by Michelle MacQueen and Ann Maree Craven follows some of the same characters that graced the pages of..."
Glass Kingdom
 
5.0
"I don't even know where to start with this book. I practically finished it in one day (and I would..."
The Lost Legends
 
5.0
"Growing up with the stories of the Nihryst, Adalina wants nothing more than to find them and break their curse...."
Jesse and the Ice Princess (Gulf City High)
 
4.8
" The story: Jesse Kerrigan has it all: good looks, charisma, and popularity. Even though he’s..."
Fae Hunter
 
4.5
"An enjoyable tale of a young woman who loses her sister and her sight to the Fae, but that is..."
Dragon Rebellion (The Hidden Warrior)
 
4.8
"Fantastic conclusion! Dragon Rebellion by M. Lynn is the final book in The Hidden Warrior duology picking up weeks after..."