The Winter Room

by Gary Paulsen

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What country did Uncle David and Nels emigrate from in The Winter Room?

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Uncle David, the narrator of the story, and Nels, the farm steward, emigrated from Norway to the United States. The Winter Room is set in Minnesota, which experienced a great influx of Norwegian immigrants over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. To this day, there are more Norwegian-Americans in Minnesota than any other state. It's no accident that the state's professional football team is called the Vikings.

Uncle David is a great story-teller and recounts old tales from Norwegian folklore, such as the story of Orud the Terrible, who was a fearsome Viking chief. Wayne comes to regard Uncle David's stories as nothing but a tissue of lies, especially the one about the strong man—Uncle David himself—who could split a piece of wood in half with two axes simultaneously. But Wayne is subsequently forced to eat a large slice of humble pie when Uncle David miraculously demonstrates his skill in an almost magical feat of strength.

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