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The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George…
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The Sign of the Beaver (original 1983; edition 2011)

by Elizabeth George Speare (Author)

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5,640751,299 (3.78)59
Left alone to guard the family's wilderness home in eighteenth-century Maine, a boy is hard-pressed to survive until local Indians teach him their skills.
Member:Yazvac
Title:The Sign of the Beaver
Authors:Elizabeth George Speare (Author)
Info:HMH Books for Young Readers (2011), Edition: Reissue, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (1983)

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» See also 59 mentions

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  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
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  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
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  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Excellent book, OK story. It's oddly split in my head. What actually happens is minor - boy stays alone on the new family homestead in early Maine, runs into trouble, is helped by local Indians, happy ending. What makes the book amazingly good is what it _doesn't_ do - it treats the natives (OK, it does call them Indians) neither as savages to be taught white-man's ways, nor as Noble Savages who are magically in tune with Nature etc. They're people; they know how to live in that place (the white boy is shown a lot of food, tools, and methods of hunting he doesn't know), but it's not some magical thing inherent in their race, it's just, well, they live there. The white boy (I've forgotten all the names already) is teaching the native boy to read, at his grandfather's request/order; in return, he's getting a lot of help surviving alone. By the end of the book they've earned each other's respect - again, not magical best friends forever, but "this is a person I respect and admire for who they are". When I finished the book, my first thought was "this is the way it's supposed to be written". I'm not certain I'll want to reread - again, the story itself is slight - but I don't want to lose track of it. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Mar 6, 2020 |
This book provides many lessons and takes the reader on an adventure through the entire story. Matt is a very brave, 12 year old boy taking on the wilderness alone. He learns a lot about trust and patience. ( )
  kaileestrand | Feb 4, 2020 |
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The students ... were vocal and articulate in their responses to Speare's depiction of Attean's speech as grunts. I can still hear their voices, 18 years later, as they "talked back" to Speare.
 
In this coming-of-age story set in 18th-century Maine, Matthew Hallowell, left alone to guard the family cabin, is befriended by local Indians (tribe not indicated)…. The Natives speak stereotypical "Hollywood Indian," and the story contains offensive terms such as "heathen," "squaw," and "savage." The story perpetuates the stereotype of the "vanishing Indian." While this book is popular and widely used in classrooms, it is offensive in its portrayal of American Indians.
 
Melody A. Moxley (KLIATT Review, September 1998 (Vol. 32, No. 5))
Schaffert gives Speare's classic story of a 12-year-old boy facing the challenges of young manhood a straightforward yet spirited reading. Matt is left to take care of the pioneer home he and his father have built on the land they purchased in Maine when his father returns to Massachusetts to fetch Matt's mother and sister. Matt, in quest of honey when the molasses runs out, is badly stung, surviving only due to the assistance of Attean, a young Indian, and his grandfather, a chief. In repayment, Matt agrees -- at the grandfather's request -- to teach Attean to read. Matt is reluctant, due largely to Attean's seeming contempt for the activity. But as the boys get to know one another throughout the months ahead, both are surprised by the friendship that is forged. When Matt's father does not arrive and Matt realizes he must face the winter alone, he has to decide whether to go with the Indians as they move their village or stay at the homestead alone. A great choice for family listening, as the listener inevitably considers how s/he would have dealt with Matt's challenges. Schaffert imbues the story with Matt's courage, fear, and uncertainty as well as Attean's grudging friendship for a white boy. He conveys their youth without overstatement, a difficult task for some narrators. Highly recommended. Category: Fiction Audiobooks. KLIATT Codes: JS*--Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1998 (orig. 1983), Ages 12 to 18.
added by kthomp25 | editKLIATT Review, Melody A. Moxley
 
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To William and Michael
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Matt stood at the edge of the clearing for some time after his father had gone out of sight among the trees.
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Left alone to guard the family's wilderness home in eighteenth-century Maine, a boy is hard-pressed to survive until local Indians teach him their skills.

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Until the day his father returns to their cabin in the Maine wilderness, twelve-year-old Matt must try to survive on his own. Although Matt is brave, he's not prepared for an attack by swarming bees, and he's astonished when he's rescued by an Indian chief and his grandson, Attean.
As the boys come to know each other, Attean learns to speak English while Matt becomes a skilled hunter. Though many months have passed, there's no sign of Matt's family. Then Attean asks Matt to join the Beaver tribe and move north. Should Matt abandon his hopes of ever seeing his family again and move on to a new life?

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