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The Apple and the Arrow Paperback – August 27, 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Told from the point of view of William Tell's son, Walter, the 1952 Newbery Honor book The Apple and the Arrow by Mary and Conrad Buff recounts the 1291 Swiss struggle for freedom. Full-color and b&w illustrations highlight key points in the drama (including Tell aiming his bow and arrow at an apple atop Walter's head) as well as the breathtaking Swiss landscape.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

"Shoot, Father, shoot! I am not afraid." Walter's voice seemed to bring back his father's courage. He quickly raised the heavy crossbow to his shoulder as muscles rippled on his brown arms. He sighted the apple on his son's head. He pulled back the bowstring…

The legend of William Tell survived for more than seven hundred years. The Apple and the Arrow, winner of a 1952 Newbery Honor Medal, tells the story through Walter's eyes, as he and his father struggle for the freedom of their family, their village, and their country.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 750 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (August 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618128093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618128099
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on May 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Conrad Buff was born in Switzerland in 1886, studied art in his native country and in Germany, them emigrated to the United States in 1904, settling in Los
Angeles, where he became a noted landscape artist. Along with his wife Mary, he coauthored/illustrated a number of children's book, among them this Newberry
Honor winner, which recounts the legend of the Swiss hero, William Tell.
The story is simply told, from the perspective of twelve year old Walter, who has the famous apple shot off his head. In 1290, the good king Rudolph has died; leader
of Germany, Austria, and the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Underwalden, he collected taxes yearly but otherwise left the stubborn and independent mountain people
of Uri alone. But his son Albrecht rules with a harder hand, and his deputy, Gessler, who is building a permanent castle at Altdorf, is particularly despised. William
Tell is part of a group, eleven men from each canton, who plan to revolt in 1291, but events get ahead of him when he and Walter travel to Altdorf. There, Gessler's
henchmen have placed a nobleman's feathered cap upon a tall pole and require the men of Uri to bow to it, which William refuses to do, setting in motion the train
of events that bring honor to his name even seven hundred years later.
This is a thrilling story of "one man's revolt against tyranny", with serious themes of independence and freedom and responsibility. Kids, especially boys, will love it
and even parents will learn from it.
GRADE : A
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Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this book to my 5-year-old daughter as part of her homeschool curriculum. We were assigned to read portions each day and often she would beg, "Please, just a little more!" I hated to put it down, too.

A Newberry winner, the story is well written and powerful. It develops the tale of William Tell from the perspective of his son, Walter, from whose head he shot the infamous apple.

What I most appreciate is that the story helps children understand freedom, and why people would risk their lives to fight for it. (William Tell is the legendary hero of the fight for freedom of what is now Switzerland.)

When my daughter asked, "Why do people have wars?" I struggled with the right words to answer her question. Then this book showed up on our reading list. "The Apple and the Arrow" managed to explain the concept of fighting for freedom in a page-turning, enjoyable way.
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A Kid's Review on June 11, 2003
Format: School & Library Binding
I really liked this book.This book is about a cruel noble named Gessler, a bowman named William Tell and his son Walter. Gessler didn't believe William tell was as good as a bowman as everybody said he was. So Gessler tied Walter to a tree and put an apple on Walter's head.William Tell had to shoot it with his crossbow. I won't tell you any more you'll have to read, The Apple and the Arrow to find out the rest.
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By A Customer on March 11, 2000
Format: Library Binding
This is a short novella about William Tell and his son Walter Tell during the Swiss fight for independence. Historical accuracy aside, it is a thrilling story told simply and well with a good eye for detail and setting. I love the illustrations in this book too.
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A Kid's Review on May 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Apple and the Arrow is about an eleven-year-old boy named Walter Tell. He awaits the skillful demonstration of his father William, a Swiss freedom fighter, who will shoot an apple from his head, "Shoot, father, shoot! I am not afraid says Walter". Walter's voice seemed to bring back his father's courage. Walter's father quickly raised the heavy crossbow to his shoulder as muscles rippled on his brown arms. He sighted the apple on his son's head. He pulled back the bowstring...
The legend of William Tell survived for more than seven hundred years. The Apple and the Arrow, winner of a 1952 Honor Medal, tells the story through Walter's eyes, as he and his father struggle for the freedom of their family, their village, and their country.
I recommend The Apple and the Arrow as a nighttime story for kids of any age. Although it is a little bit on the long side is goes by pretty quickly.
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Format: Paperback
I absolutely loved this story. If you are looking at it as part of the Sonlight Curriculum however, I would encourage you to read it first. I was screening it for my 4 year old and sincerely believe it's totally inappropriate for that age group. At least my sensitive daughter does not need to be afraid that things like that will happen in her own life. It is recommended for ages 9-12 in the description, but for those of you using Sonlight it is in the Kindergarten Curriculum as a read aloud. Anyone else considering it should just be aware that it has some themes that are not appropriate for young children (e.g. killing people).

Having said that, it's beautifully written and I couldn't put it down. I appreciated the historical nature of it. Honestly I had no idea who William Tell was (other than the famous apple and arrow part of the story) and it was very informative, assuming that the historical information is accurate. Overall a great book, especially for boys. I look forward to reading it to my children when they are older.
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Format: Hardcover
Conrad Buff was born in Switzerland in 1886, studied art in his native country and in Germany, them emigrated to the United States in 1904, settling
in Los Angeles, where he became a noted landscape artist. Along with his wife Mary, he coauthored/illustrated a number of children's book, among
them this Newberry Honor winner, which recounts the legend of the Swiss hero, William Tell.
The story is simply told, from the perspective of twelve year old Walter, who has the famous apple shot off his head. In 1290, the good king Rudolph
has died; leader of Germany, Austria, and the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Underwalden, he collected taxes yearly but otherwise left the stubborn and
independent mountain people of Uri alone. But his son Albrecht rules with a harder hand, and his deputy, Gessler, who is building a permanent castle
at Altdorf, is particularly despised. William Tell is part of a group, eleven men from each canton, who plan to revolt in 1291, but events get ahead of
him when he and Walter travel to Altdorf. There, Gessler's henchmen have placed a nobleman's feathered cap upon a tall pole and require the men of
Uri to bow to it, which William refuses to do, setting in motion the train of events that bring honor to his name even seven hundred years later.
This is a thrilling story of "one man's revolt against tyranny", with serious themes of independence and freedom and responsibility. Kids, especially
boys, will love it and even parents will learn from it.
GRADE : A
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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