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Sign of the Beaver


Sign of the Beaver
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Matt's father leaves their wilderness cabin with the promise that he will return. Until then, the 12-year-old boy knows that he must bravely fend for himself. Time passes without a sign of his father and Matt nearly dies when he disturbs a bee hive. Thankfully, Attean, an American Indian boy and his father, the chief, rescue him in the nick of time. A lot of time passes and eventually Matt teaches Attean how to speak English and Attean teaches Matt how to hunt. Realizing that the boy's father will probably never return, the Indian chief asks him to join the tribe. Should Matt leave his old life as a white settler child behind and start fresh as a Native American? Young readers first enjoyed Elizabeth Speare's Sign of the Beaver in 1905.


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Michelle Snipp
During our study of Canadian Natives this past school year, we read The Sign of the Beaver as a read-a-loud. All three of my children (ages 13, 10 and 7) loved it. In fact, this book, and the mention of the book Robinson Crusoe in it, spurred my 10 year old non-reader son to ask if he could check Robinson Crusoe out from the library. If you think I was shocked when I heard that, you should have seen my face when he came out of the library carrying the actual 350+ page copy under his arm. From the moment he got home he was determined to read this book from cover to cover – and I am proud to report that he did it! As well, on the day we finished reading The Sign of the Beaver, my 7 year old son who is a reader, promptly grabbed the book from off the shelf at the end of our school day and began to read it again on his own. Thanks, Donna, for providing such wonderful reading and school materials for our family