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The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George…

The Sign of the Beaver (original 1983; edition 1983)

by Elizabeth George Speare

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3,817561,358 (3.79)43
Title:The Sign of the Beaver
Authors:Elizabeth George Speare
Info:Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (1983), Hardcover, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2012, Fiction, Young Adult

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The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (1983)


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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
A touching book I read in grade school. ( )
  Shadow494 | Jun 20, 2016 |
The Sign of the Beaver is about a boy named Matt who lives in Maine. He is alone in a cabin that he and his father built because his father went to England to get his sister, mother, and newborn sibling. One day Matt gets hurt and he soon finds himself spending time with a Native American named Attean. Both boys learn a lot from each other. I chose this book because I almost picked Elizabeth Speare books for a previous reading challenge, and I was interested by a description of the book given in class. I enjoyed reading this book because I liked the way that the two boys learned so much from each other, and I also learned new things. I would recommend this book to people who would like to read a book about friendship and also find out more about Native American life.
  wichitafriendsschool | May 23, 2016 |
The Sign of the Beaver is a wonderful book about hope and friendship. After Matt's dad leaves to get the rest of their family to their new settlement, Matt needed to survive. This means getting his own food, keeping himself warm, and staying safe. One day, Matt was going out to get honey from a beehive. Many of the bees stung him. Luckily, and old Indian was there, and he saved Matt. Matt was very surprised. The relationship between the white American settlers and the Indians was shaky, and he had heard that Indians were selfish and mean. Of course, Matt felt he needed to do something in return for the Indian's kindness. The Indian asked Matt to teach his grandson Attean how to read. Attean was not at all interested in reading English, and he did not seem to like Matt either. But Attean came to Matt's house to learn, even though he thought that the lessons were useless. Attean decided that he wanted to do something else besides reading. So the lessons ended up becoming more like adventures, and Matt seemed to be doing most of the learning. Though the two boys did not like each other very much, they managed to get along. After it had been months since Matt's father should have returned to Matt, Matt needs to decide to continue waiting for his family, or to give up all hope of them returning. I loved this book because it was enjoyable to read about Matt and Attean, and to learn about how their friendship evolved. This story clearly shows the challenges that people in colonial times faced, and it gives great detail about the setting and the personalities. The Sign of the Beaver is one of those books that you never want to end. I would recommend this book to people who love adventure and friendship. ( )
  JillianK25 | May 3, 2016 |
When Matt meets Attean, a boy in the Beaver clan, he begins to better understand their way of life and their growing problem in adapting to the white man and the changing frontier ( )
  lindy_brooke | May 2, 2016 |
This book could be used in social studies to teach about diversity, and early american settlers. ( )
  CleoButtermann | Apr 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440479002, Paperback)

When his father returns East to collect the rest of the family, 13-year-old Matt is left alone to guard his family's newly built homestead. One day, Matt is brutally stung when he robs a bee tree for honey. He returns to consciousness to discover that his many stings have been treated by an old Native American and his grandson. Matt offers his only book as thanks, but the old man instead asks Matt to teach his grandson Attean to read. Both boys are suspicious, but Attean comes each day for his lesson. In the mornings, Matt tries to entice Attean with tales from Robinson Crusoe, while in the afternoons, Attean teaches Matt about wilderness survival and Native American culture. The boys become friends in spite of themselves, and their inevitable parting is a moving tribute to the ability of shared experience to overcome prejudice. The Sign of the Beaver was a Newbery Honor Book; author Elizabeth Speare has also won the Newbery Medal twice, for The Witch of Blackbird Pond and The Bronze Bow. (Ages 12 and older) --Richard Farr

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:08 -0400)

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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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