It's July 4, 1845. A soft-spoken young man named Henry David Thoreau has carefully constructed a small, simple cabin in the woods overlooking Walden Pond. For the next two years, his closest companions will be the chickadees, the woodchucks, and the quiet pines of the Walden Woods.
Henry is twenty-eight years old, and his life has not been easy. His brother John—his closest friend and companion—has died. The only woman he ever loved has rejected him. On this day he has come to Walden in search of truth—not the truth taught in schools or in church, but the truth he can feel dwelling deep within him.
Henry opens his journal and begins to write:
I went to the woods because I wished to
live deliberately, to front only the essential
facts of life, and see if I could not
learn what it had to teach, and not,
when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Follow Henry into the woods and out again—through a courageous American life that has changed our world for the better.
For ages 12 and up.
About the Author
Gerald Hausman calls himself a "native of the world" after living in so many places in the United States and the West Indies. He spent more than twenty years in New Mexico where many of his American Indian folktales were collected and published. Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1945, Hausman has been a storyteller almost since birth. His more than 70 books attest to his love of folklore, a passion instilled by his mother who painted the portraits of Native American chiefs. During his thirty-five years as a storyteller, Gerald has entertained children of all ages at such places as The Kennedy Center, Harvard University, St John's College and in schools from one end of the country to the other. Five audio books have come out in recent years and two of Gerald's books have been made into animated and folkloric films. His books have also been translated into a dozen foreign languages.
"Thoreau is a man best understood by the young whose minds are still free. The Hausmans have written A Mind with Wings especially for them. It soars!"—D. B. Johnson, author of Henry Builds a House and Henry Hikes to Fitchburg
"Along with Lincoln and Washington, Thoreau is one of the most important characters in our national history—the very model for a kind of stubborn and lovely American rebelliousness. This book captures him at his most human: equal parts difficult and deeply alive."—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
"I've often wondered what it might have been like to walk with Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau's great mind, social conscience, and open heart are on display in this beautifully written and frequently moving story of one of the greatest of all American writers."—Joseph Bruchac, author of Thirteen Moons on a Turtle's Back
"A marvelous blending of the many-sided life of Henry David Thoreau—known from his childhood as Old Stick. He would over his lifetime polish his old stick namesake of knotty, slender twists and bends into a character that exemplified right living and civil disobedience, both of which we are in great need of at just this moment."—David Kherdian, author of The Road from Home: A True Story of Courage, Survival, and Hope