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The Sign of the Beaver Paperback – August 2, 2011
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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First, someone steals the gun that Matt's dad left behind for him. Then Matt meets some of the Indians in the area. The chief wants Matt to teach his grandson, Attean, to read English. Attean is two years older than the twelve-year-old Matt, and Matt looks up to him. As the weeks progress, Attean begins to show Matt how to live off the land. Will that help Matt survive until his family returns?
While this book isn't as famous as the author's two Newbery Award winners, it's still a great read. The characters of Matt and Attean are so real, and watching them change step by step is captivating. Even though I've read this book several times, I had a hard time putting it down on my latest reread.
Really, this is two coming of age stories, Matt's and Attean's. But underneath that is the story of race relations in 1768 Maine. There are so many layers to the story, which is part of what makes it easy to get into the story.
If you are looking for more books b Elizabeth George Speare, definitely pick this one up. You'll be captivated before you know it.
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.
However, I found this a truly fascinating story of survival and the beauty of the natural world. It's a fairly classic story of a friendship between two very different boys, but as usual and as wonderfully they find similarities.
Speare draws from Robinson Crusoe to make comparisons in this story--I thought that was a nice touch. But she herself as a wonderful gift with words that makes this a beautiful and spirited story.
Also, as a teacher I could not help but love the scenes where reading was taught. It appealed to me.
This book was assigned to my son's fourth grade class and i read it to him and in the process found the book quite moving.
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I would dissagree with people who think this book is bad.