Sign of the beaver book

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sign of the beaver book

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

Its the time of the American Revolution and new Americans like Matt and his family are heading out to colonize areas of virgin territory.

Matt and his father head to Maine territory to stake their claim, which involves declaring their land, building a home and planting crops. Once theyve accomplished this, Matts father is tasked with returning to their home town in Massachusetts to gather Ma, younger sister Sarah, and the new baby, so they may start their lives together in their new home.

In order for Pa to travel to retrieve the rest of the family, he must leave behind Matt to protect their claim.

And poor Matt is only 13, when he realizes that He was alone, with miles of wilderness stretching on every side.

Hes alone, without a good dog (theirs has died), and his only gun is stolen by a sketchy trapper in one of the very first chapters.


Indians are around, and theyre both bitter and bemused by this lonely white boy, defending his wood and mud castle. They have awful lines, like, “Me no see um like white man do.”

But theres a dog in the story (owned by the Indian boy) and a fox and a bear, and you cant help but cheer for young Matt, because, frankly, hes been put in a lousy position.

This was a read aloud at our house, a special treat for my 10-year-old (without her 7-year-old sister—much arguing ensued!!), and shes an animal NUTTER, so the dog alone captured her interest.

Im a dog nut myself, and I own “only” three, because I cant afford to feed more than three the way I do (organic and free range food), but I would own ten if I could. No, Im not kidding, if I had more money or more land (or staff), Id happily own 10 dogs.

So. . . the realization of how crucial it was to own a dog hit me hard in this story. I cant even imagine being out in the woods with the bears and stinky humans without a loyal dog.

The moral to the story: a good dog is hard to find.
File Name: sign of the beaver
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Published 24.02.2019

Book Recommendation - Sign of the Beaver

These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. Matt and his father have spent the spring building a cabin in the wilderness of Maine where they will be among the first settlers on lands occupied by the native Americans. Now that the cabin is habitable Matt's father is ready to leave to collect the rest of the family and Matt is going to stay and look after the cabin.
Elizabeth George Speare

Sign of the Beaver

The Sign of the Beaver is a children's historical novel by American author Elizabeth George Speare , which has won numerous literary awards. It was published in February , and has become one of her most popular works. The idea for this book came from a factual story that Elizabeth George Speare discovered in Milo, Maine [1] about a young boy who was left alone for a summer in the wilderness and was befriended by a Native American, named Attean, and his grandfather. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Sign of the Beaver First edition. Children's literature portal.

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Meet Matt, the star of The Sign of the Beaver who, along with the help of Attean—a local Penobscot Indian —shows the 18th-century Maine wilderness who's boss. Well, kind of, anyway. Left alone to guard their wilderness home while his dad journeys back to fetch the rest of his family, Matt is in over his head in just about every way possible—we're talking limited survival skills plus he's super afraid of the Indians that live in the area. And it's not like he can just pick up the phone and call his dad if he needs a little guidance or gets into a pickle either—remember that we're hanging out in the s in this book. But this all means that the stakes are high and adventure lurks around every corner, which makes this a pretty captivating read. That this book is set in historical New England isn't very surprising, seeing that the author is Elizabeth George Speare.


  1. Verbena V. says:

    by Elizabeth George Speare

  2. Antoinette R. says:

    Although he faces responsibility bravely, thirteen-year-old Matt is more than a little apprehensive when his father leaves him alone to guard their new cabin in the wilderness.

  3. Shane E. says:

    The Sign of the Beaver Summary | GradeSaver

  4. Jacques S. says:

    The Sign of the Beaver

  5. Stan H. says:

    Chapter 1Matt was left alone with miles of wilderness around him.

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