gftwyearling62920112On the day Daniel Sartain will remember for the rest of his life, the chilly morning air feels damp and smells of fallen leaves. He stands in the woods of rural Georgia before daybreak with his role model, best friend, and father figure, Uncle Clay, and dreams of being back home under warm blankets. Hunting in the Sartain family woods has been a tradition since it was a necessity for the first Sartains who came to Georgia over 100 years ago, and Clay insists that Daniel take part in the family custom. But when Daniel’s gun accidentally fires and Uncle Clay suddenly goes down, the woods around Daniel fill with deafening silence, and he is left to wonder what will become of him now.

Gone From These Woods (Delacorte Books for Young Readers 2009, Library edition 2009, Yearling Paperback edition 2011, plus e-book edition, Random House Children’s Books) tells a gripping tale of overcoming guilt, and learning to go on. In this poignant debut novel, Donny Bailey Seagraves tackles the tough but prevalent topic of gun violence (The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1.69 million children live in homes where firearms have not been put in safe places) and lends her smart voice to this hot-button issue. The protagonist of Gone From These Woods struggles with the fallout of his mistake, and also faces the abuse of an alcoholic father.

As Daniel learns to listen to the kind words form his uncle that replay in his mind and accepts help from a school guidance counselor, his story unfolds into a moving and important message for middle graders. In Gone From These Woods, Seagraves, an Athens, Georgia native and long-time resident of the nearby tiny town of Winterville, deftly illustrates the culture and tradition of the American rural South and how one boy must learn how to navigate this world.

Gone From These Woods is

  • A Brodart McNaughton List Pick
  • An Accelerated Reader
  • A SIBA Book Award Nominee
  • A Top Choice Award Pick
  • A Pizza Hut Featured Book-It program Book
  • A Cybils Award Middle Grade Novel Nominee
  • A Mock Newbery Award Nominee
  • Donny Bailey Seagraves was a Georgia Author of the Year Nominee for Gone From These Woods

“There is a lot of complexity in this coming-of-age novel. Sensitive younger readers will be drawn in by Daniel’s story, which can be likened to a more emotional twin of Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet.”

— Booklist

“(Gone From These Woods) Depicts a realistic portrayal of grief from a youth’s perspective . . . Boys will take interest in Daniel’s internal superhero-vs.-villain battle.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“Understanding or coping with an accidental death is seldom so directly connected to real responsibility or the need to make peace with such a mistake. Seagraves shows the best way for support to be given as well as how hard it is to forgive.”

— School Library Journal

To read more reviews, go here.

  • ISBN: 978-9-38573629-9 (Trade Edition)
  • ISBN: 978-0385-90599-2 (Library Edition)
  • ISBN: 978-0-375-84504-8 (Yearling Paperback Edition)
  • ISBN: 0385736290 (Kindle eBook Edition)
  • Also available in Nook and other eBook editions.

Read an excerpt from the beginning of Gone From These Woods.

Gone From These Woods Discussion Questions

Blake Morrow – Gone From These Woods Book Cover Artist

Luke Kitson – The Boy on the Gone From These Woods book cover

For publicity, email: Donny Seagraves or Random House Publicist Roshan Nozari:



Dear Mrs. Seagraves,

I am almost finished reading your book, Gone From These Woods. I am liking it so far and I am finding it interesting. Your book is interesting because the kid is hunting and he likes being outside. I can relate to that because I like to be outside too. He liked to hang out with his uncle also. I was really sad when he found out his uncle was dead. I would like to read more of your books. I look forward to hearing from you.–Sincerely, John Headley

John Headley

Eagleswood School, West Creek, NJ

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