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Two Little Savages by Ernest Thompson Seton

Two Little Savages (1911)

by Ernest Thompson Seton

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194460,720 (4.18)4
  1. 10
    Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (thesmellofbooks)
    thesmellofbooks: Both books have a benign sense of human nature and a love of the outdoors. Both teach lots of interesting things about what the kids are doing as well as entertain. S&A teaches sailing craft, for the most part, and TLS teaches woodcraft. (Don't be put off by the "savages". The book is respectful; the language is dated.)… (more)
  2. 00
    The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (Cecrow)

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Yan is an unhappy boy at home. He longs to be in the woods... makes himself a hideout in a thicket, wanting to learn all about local wildlife and plants. But those around him dismiss his interests; he is supposed to stick to his schoolwork and help with chores. However after struggling with a long illness, his parents send him to live with some relatives on a farm, in hopes of improving his health. He is very surprised and pleased to discover that his cousin is also 'keen on woodscraft'. The boys have very different temperaments and skill sets, but become friends through their common interest. They play in the woods any chance they get, and eventually gain permission from their parents to spend a few weeks camping out. With the help of an old trapper who befriends them, the boys make a tipi and set up a proper camp. This trapper had once lived with a native american tribe, so the boys pester him to teach them all he knows about 'being Injun'. And he does..... They make up all sorts of games to compete and improve their skills- really their marksmanship with bows and arrows are laughable at first..... By the end of the story they have befriended several other boys and even brought their disinterested parents into the camp to admire their accomplishments.

Aside from all the details about making a temporary living in the forest, the book is a good story about a bunch of kids, just being kids. They have their moments- staunch camaraderie, teasing and heated quarrels by turns. I really appreciated that each kid had a very distinct character. ... It is also a great picture of what life was like for people in rural, relatively poor areas over a hundred years ago. Yan's family is not well off by any means, but he finds there is another level of poverty altogether when he visits an 'old witch' who lives in by herself in the woods... The written vernacular can be a puzzle- it was amusing to read it out loud when sometimes I couldn't figure out in my head what people were saying.

There are also ghost stories, a distracted coon hunt, and a bit of mystery to solve that exonerates a man who had for years been shunned by the community, righting a long-standing wrong. And so much more. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's not as long as the page count might make it seem- the print is fairly large and there are tons of drawings- bird tracks, animal prints, diagrams showing how things are made or built, profiles of ducks, humorous sketches and full-page illustrations.

more at the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | Jan 26, 2017 |
Two Little Savages
  zx442149698 | Jan 28, 2010 |
The title is a bit freaky in this century, but the sensibility is great. A wonderful summer read. Grey Owl's favourite book as a child, and perhaps the inspiration for his assuming an Indian identity in later life. ( )
  thesmellofbooks | Feb 22, 2009 |
The title page says "Two Little Savages; being the adventures of two boys who lived as Indians, and what they learned; with over three hundred drawings; written and illustrated by Ernest Thompson Seton; author of Wild Anmials I have known, Lives of the hunted, Biography of a grizzly, Trail of the Sandhill stag, etcetera, and Naturalist to the Government of Manitoba.
Inside it says "Two Little Savages: a book of American Woodcraft for boys".
During their camping adventures the boys learn from experience and from their parents, and hunter and trapper friends: how to build a wigwam, and camp lore like drying their blankets in the sun to avoid damp, making a smudge to get mosquitoes out of the teepee, and keeping the camp site clean to keep away flies and other pests. There are many details about plants and animals. And many sketch illustrations, both small drawings along the margins, and occasional full page illustrations. Interesting and practical. Suitable for young teens (boys or girls). ( )
  tripleblessings | Oct 4, 2006 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Yan was much like other twelve-year-old boys in having a keen interest in Indians and in wild life, but he differed from most in this, that he never got over it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486209857, Paperback)

Two boys build a teepee in the woods and learn how to make a fire without matches, navigate by the stars, blaze trails, read animal tracks, and perform other practical skills. A great classic by one of America's foremost nature experts, it has inspired and instructed generations of readers. 293 illustrations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A boy with a consuming interest in nature finally realizes his dream of living in the woods like an Indian. Includes drawings and explanations of camping techniques and Indian crafts mentioned.

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