I read The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare. The genre was historical fiction and Matt, the main character, was a very brave, strong, kindhearted 12 year old boy who had brown hair and was average height. What I admire about matt is that he is a brave kid who was very willing to sacrifice himself to protect the cabin for his family.
The story is about a family who lives in Quincy, Massachusetts when one blistering cold winter in 1768, they decide to move to Maine.
In the spring Matt and his father went to an area of land that he bought and cleared it out from all the trees. They built a log cabin in a forest. His father would go back to Quincy to get the rest of his family and matt would stay by himself to protect the cabin. He has heard stories about their being Indians in this part of Maine and he has been taught to be very polite to them.
His dad told him he wouldn’t come across one if he didn’t bother them.
He one day wanted honey from a bee hive that he had seen a couple days back, so he went and was chased by a bunch of bees. He was stung many times but finally tripped on a root and was thrown into a small lake. He was rescued by the feared Indians, who then took him to his cabin and gave him medicine (for his foot he had hurt when he tripped) and new shoes.
The next day the Indians came back to matt’s cabin and checked his leg. They said it was sprained. He later in the book found out that the Indians who had saved him were Attean and his grandfather Sankis.
Matt made a deal with Sankis that if they taught his skills about the wild he would teach Attean better English. They agreed and Matt learned many skills while Attean learned English or white man signs. Matt bonded with Attean and became his Indian brother. Attean and Sankis then came one day and asked him a very important question. They said, do you want to come with our tribe to live with us and become an Indian. You should read the rest of the book to find out what matt says. The theme of this book is that friends come in many shapes and sizes because when matt, a white boy, becomes friends with an Indian it is amazing.
The author chose this title because there are different hunting grounds and Attean’s tribe’s ground was the sign of the beaver. Another good title for this book would be The Boy and the Indian, because Matt, the boy, meets Attean, the Indian. If I had to choose between my Newberry honor book, The Sign of the Beaver, or my Newberry Medal book, Maniac Magee, I would choose the honor book because it wasn’t confusing like the medal book and also it had much suspense. I would give The Sign of the Beaver a 8 because it kept your interest the whole book and was an exciting book.