- Age Range: 10 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 5 - 7
- Paperback: 135 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (August 2, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0547577117
- ISBN-13: 978-0547577111
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 645 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #2 in Books > Children's Books > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > United States > Colonial
- #2 in Books > Children's Books > Geography & Cultures > Multicultural Stories > Native North & South Americans
- #4 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Boys & Men
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The Sign of the Beaver Paperback – August 2, 2011
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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
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6-By Elizabeth George Speare. Twelve-year old Matt is trying his best to survive on his own until his father returns to their cabin in the Maine wilderness with the rest of the family. Matt develops a deep friendship with a Native American boy. Matt must decide if he should continue waiting for his family or begin a new life with his friend.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
A young boy, not yet a man, left to 'hold the fort', so to speak, in a wilderness while his father went back to fetch the rest of the family. He would have surly died if he had not been befriended by the people already there (Indians).
The underlying message is that there were many who learned to look beyond the stories of 'scary' Native Americans, and discover they were people, not monsters. And how they were driven off their 'land' by the white settlers, but also, when treated with respect, were willing to co-exist.
Learning 'survival' at this young age would be good for young people in today's society, instead of walking thru malls talking on their cell phones.
The 2 young boys teach each other skills, and become friends.