Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

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.

Paperback, 144 pages
Published May 1, 1993
 by Yearling
4/5 stars

This middle grade book was an audio read, coming in around the 3 hour mark and perfect for a road trip.

Told from the POV of 13 year old Matt, alone on the family homestead while his dad goes to bring his mom and sister home. This was more than an adventure story but rather an exploration of Native culture and friendship taking place before the American Revolution.

The original plan was that Matt‘s father would be gone for seven weeks and those seven weeks turn into many months. Even though he is only 13 years old, he is prepared and knows what to do. However, there are obstacles in his way in terms of man, animal and the unknown.

This was a fun read by talented author who knows her history and a great book not just for middle-aged readers but older ones as well.  It's a story of friendship, bravery and history.

I obtain the audiobook via cloudLibrary, but I also have a print on my shelf

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