Map of Nathan's Woods
Purchase Trouble in Nathan's Woods
It’s not enough
that eleven-year-old Nathan Moulton has trouble handling his feisty new
horse. War rages in Europe in 1917, yet Nathan learns that enemy spies
lurk in New Hampshire, where he lives in his family’s lumber camp—and they
intend to burn the woods! Terrified of fire, Nathan’s suspicions and fears
deepen as he tracks a new teamster and discovers strange clues. Convinced
the man is a spy, Nathan and his friend Orey desperately try to thwart
his plan and save the lumber camp. A fire breaks out in the sawmill, and
Nathan hears the teamster screaming inside. Struggling to overcome his
fears and his hatred for the enemy, he coaxes his horse to help pull the
man to safety. But can he save the camp?
My novel was inspired
by photos and diaries of family members who lived in a large lumber camp
during the First World War. My family owned Paris Manufacturing Company,
in South Paris, Maine, where they manufactured wooden sleds, skis, and
other products. They operated a lumber camp in New Hampshire and my father
spent his early childhood living in the camp. The book includes several
archival photos of the real lumber camp
and its logging operation.
famed children's author, enjoyed reading the book. She wrote, "I hope it
finds its way into Maine classrooms so that kids can be transported into
that place and time."
Chris Van Dusen, Author/Illustrator
says: “Life in an early 1900s New England
logging camp is described so well in this book, you can practically smell
the sawdust. Packed with adventure, mystery, and historical facts, any
outdoor loving 12-year-old is going to be hooked from page one.”
Comments from a few other readers:
"...a delightful book.
I especially liked the ending where love overcomes hate!"
“I really enjoyed the
book even as an adult. Cute plot and the historical details of WWI and
the New England lumbering industry were craftfully intertwined.”
"I just finished the book
and thoroughly enjoyed it! I had to slow down reading it because I didn’t
want it to end."
"It was such a
I could hardly
believe Pa bought me a horse ’cause I sure didn’t deserve one. That’s why
I named her Lucky. I ran like wildfire down the dusty road, past the bunkhouse,
straight for the barn. I stepped into Lucky’s stall and hugged her, sniffing
her musty mane. Then I pumped her a bucket of fresh water. Suddenly, I
heard footsteps near the back of the barn—heavy footsteps—coming closer
and closer. I darted behind Lucky and peeked out from her stall. A stranger
stomped out of the tack room, hefting two huge harnesses, one over each
shoulder. His jaw rigid, his scowl fierce, he looked as big as a draft
from Chapter 16,
… I stared at him as
he marched our two big Belgians toward the barn door. The old floorboards
shook. The horses looked like twins, creamy tan with white manes and tails—and
thick hairy ankles. When they clomped past Lucky’s stall, the man shifted
his steely eyes toward me before I could duck down.
His glare shot through me like an arrow. I shook
worse than the floorboards. My legs felt like jelly. “What’s that scary
man doing in our lumber camp?” I whispered to Lucky.
She swished her tail
at the horseflies.
We crept up to
the cabin, crouched down under the window, then slowly raised our heads
to peek inside. I didn’t hear anyone breathing. It took a minute for my
eyes to adjust to the darkness. The cabin was empty.
“All clear,” I said.
The door creaked when
I pushed it open. …
The wind began to whistle,
and tree trunks groaned. Orey decided he should stand guard outside. I
found two loose boards and lifted them, one at a time. When I reached down
inside the dank, musty space, my mitten bumped into something soft. I jumped
when it moved. After I caught my breath, I said to Orey, “There’s nothing
here but a mouse nest.”
Then my mitten hit something
hard. Carefully, I felt its shape. It didn’t feel long like a gun or a
knife or round like a hand grenade. It felt square. I shook all over. Was
it dynamite? Maybe I shouldn’t lift it out, but I couldn’t resist. Ever
so slowly, trying not to shake it, I pulled up a rusty box by its handle.
“Orey, I found something—a tin box!"