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The Arrow over the Door
by Joseph Bruchac
Sonlight Books (484)
4th Grade Books (294)
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Loved the specificity of this story and the conversation about research in the author's note in the back. Loved the insight that Bruchac brought to that research, as an Abenaki tribal member, who has a better idea of what was likely. Loved the message of peace at all costs, and the quiet strength of the Quakers. Short, but incredibly well done. ( )
To fourteen-year-old Samuel Russell, called "coward" for his peace-loving Quaker beliefs, the summer of 1777 is a time of fear. The British and the Patriots will soon meet in battle near his home in Saratoga, New York. The Quakers are in danger from roaming Indians and raiders -- yet to fight back is not the Friends' way. To Stands Straight, a young Abenaki Indian on a scouting mission for the British, all Americans are enemies, for they killed his mother and brother. But in a Quaker Meetinghouse, he will come upon Americans unlike any he has ever seen. What will the encounter bring? Based on a real historical incident, this fast-paced and moving story is a powerful reminder that "the way of peace ... can be walked by all human beings."
I liked this book or several reasons. The book Focuses on a young Quaker boy named Samuel Russell during the American revolutionary war. The book really pushes readers to think about a tough issue, in that Samuel and his family are pacifists in a time where everyone was taking sides in the war. Because of this, Samuel really struggles, which pushes the reader to broaden their perspectives. Secondly, I really enjoyed this books language. It was very descriptive, and makes the reader feel as if he were living in colonial times. This books big picture is of living peacefully, no matter what walk of life you come from.
Set near Saratoga, New York in 1777, this short historical novel follows the parallel stories of two young boys, one a Quaker farm-boy, the other an Abenaki scout. As Samuel Russell agonizes over the right course of action, should violence ever come to the peace-loving Friends, Stands Straight remembers his mother and younger brother, murdered by the American colonists. But despite the cultural conflicts of the day, and the chaos of the Revolutionary War, when Stands Straight's scouting party comes upon the Quaker Meeting House, the exchange is peaceful.
Based upon an actual event, known as the Easton Meeting, The Arrow Over the Door is told in the alternating voices of Samuel and Stands Straight, and manages to clearly depict the differences in perspective and perception between the Abenaki and the Euro-American settlers. The immensely talented Joseph Bruchac, always one of my favorite children's authors, manages to involve the reader emotionally in both young men's stories.
This chapter-book novel is a powerful argument for the possibilities of peace, and would serve as an excellent introduction for young readers to both the Abenaki and the Quakers. I was moved by some of the Quaker beliefs, as Bruchac described them, particularly the idea that one might encourage the "Light" in others by attending to it in oneself. A highly recommended little book...
This is a slightly fictionalized account of an event that took place during the Revolutionary War. I say "slightly" fictionalized because the story itself has been around for over 200 years now. When the author took it upon himself to retell the tale for modern audiences, he cleared away some of the inaccuracies that had crept into the earlier versions of the tale. Anyway, the core story itself is about an encounter between a group of Quakers and a band of Native American warriors. It's wartime and tensions between Colonists and the Indians (not to mention between Colonists themselves) are high. Quakers--the Society of Friends--are pacifists and desire to be friends to everybody. But when the shooting starts, few combatants would trust a pacifist's claims. Mr. Bruchac provides us with two fictional characters through whose eyes we can see the story. Samuel is a young Quaker who struggles to define his beliefs amongst neighbors who are pushing for war. Stands Straight is a young Abenaki whose people are seeking the right path through this war between the whites. All in all it's a nice little tale. Check it out.
In the year 1777, a group of Quakers and a party of Indians have a memorable meeting.
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