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The Madman of Piney Woods (Scholastic Gold)

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Bestselling Newbery Medalist Christopher Paul Curtis delivers a powerful companion to his multiple award-winning ELIJAH OF BUXTON.

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!

ISBN-13: 9781338359657

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Publication Date: 05-28-2019

Pages: 416

Product Dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.10(d)

Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Christopher Paul Curtis was awarded both a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor for his debut book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963, and won the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award for his second book, Bud, Not Buddy. Mr. Curtis is also the author of the Golden Kite Award-winning Bucking the Sarge, as well as Mr. Chickee's Funny Money, Mr. Chickee's Messy Mission, and the Newbery Honor book Elijah of Buxton.

Read an Excerpt


As a cold shiver ran through my body and heat flushed through my face, I quickly lost my courage and forgot all about leaping through the picture window. Even more shamefully, I also forgot about my heroic plan to grab Benji and escape with him.

Knocking over the chair I had been pretending I was going to sit in, all I could manage to do was run toward the kitchen and shout, "Oh, Benji! Please! For the love of God, run!"

I can only imagine the confused look that must have come to Father's face when Benji hollered over his shoulder, "Thank you very much for having me over for supper, sir, the conversation was stimulating, your company was exhilarating, and that was one of the finest meals I've ever had!"

Benji jostled past me as we ran through the kitchen and spilled out onto the back porch.

"Keep running!" I yelled. "Don't listen to anything she says, she's very confused!"

Three blocks from home, just outside of the funeral parlour I grabbed the back of Benji's jacket and pulled him to a stop. I leaned over, put my hands on my knees, and gasped to him, "I'm fairly certain we're safe. I don't think she can run this far."

"You don't think who can run this far? Who are we running from?"

"Grandmother O'Toole!"


"My mother's mother."

"Your grandmother? We're running like this from your grandmother?"