Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event by Rebecca Bond (juvenile nonfiction)

This is a beautiful true story of different creatures united together for survival. It tells of an event that happened in Ontario, Canada, in 1914. The story is told by the granddaughter of a man who, as a child, participated in the event. The Giroux family ran a hotel on a lake in Ontario. Men who worked in the surrounding forest, such as lumberjacks, miners, and trappers, would stay at the hotel for months at a time. In the summer of 1914, a fire began in the forest. All the hotel employees and guests had to go into the lake up to their knees or waists to escape the fire. As the people stood in the lake, out of the forest came animals – foxes, rabbits, squirrels, possums, raccoons, deer, elk, moose, bobcats, and even wolves and bears. The animals stood in the lake, next to one another, even though some of them were predator and prey, and next to the humans. It was a remarkable event. When the fire had burned down, the animals left the lake and returned to the forest.

For the woodland animals, their fear of the fire was greater than their fear of the humans or their fear of being out in the open among animals that prey on them and so all species were together peacefully in that moment in time, which to me is very significant because it shows us that humans COULD live in peace with other animals if only we were more in touch with nature and not so far removed from the natural world.


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