Read the sign of the beaver by Elizabeth George Speare Online


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. When a renegade white stranger steals his gun, Matt realizes he has no way to shoot game or to protect himself. When Matt meets Attean, a boy in the Beaver clan, he begins to better understand theirAlthough 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. When a renegade white stranger steals his gun, Matt realizes he has no way to shoot game or to protect himself. When Matt meets Attean, a boy in the Beaver clan, he begins to better understand their way of life and their growing problem in adapting to the white man and the changing frontier.Elizabeth George Speare’s Newbery Honor-winning survival story is filled with wonderful detail about living in the wilderness and the relationships that formed between settlers and natives in the 1700s. Now with an introduction by Joseph Bruchac....

Title : the sign of the beaver
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 13164526
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 148 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the sign of the beaver Reviews

  • Tima
    2019-06-12 20:21

    When I read this book at a much younger age, I adored it. Let's be real, I probably had an unrealistic crush on the fictional Attean. Tall, dark, handsome, strong, intelligent, good with hands... ;)Alright, alright so he is 14 in this book, but I was merely a young lass enamored with the idea of a gorgeous Native American boy to sweep me off my feet.Now about the book itself... It is an easy read for 2nd-5th graders, I would say. It doesn't teach much but the plot is catching enough that young readers would devour it. A young boy's father leaves him alone in a cabin surrounded by nothing but forest while he returns to Quincy, Maine to retrieve his wife and child. In his absence, Matt [boy] meets Attean [Indian] and against all odds, they become friends. As things progress, he is invited to join the tribe in their move West. Does he abandon the cabin he's guarded for almost a year or does he wait for his family's return? *cue dramatic music* You'll just have to read it to find out! What I don't like is the inconsistent writing. The author used very ridiculous speech for the Indians. "Me Attean. We no like white man. White man words bad". She gives the boy's father a type of hybrid old-english-southern-alabama accent, while Matt's is plain ol' english. At times, she uses modern slang such as : "the village was awesome" and "now it looks lame".

  • Aaron C
    2019-05-25 04:19

    In my book, Sign of the Beaver, Matt an English teenage settler befriends and Indian named Attean. I found this book interesting because during this time the English and the Indians had a relationship that could best be described as fighting.I couldn’t get over the fact that Matt seemed to be realizing slowly that he wasn’t just bonding with Attean but slowly growing the relationship of a friend. Once Matt started to get to know Attean, through Attean’s father, the boys started to do things together. Attean taught Matt to hunt and trap. Matt taught Attean to speak English. They bonded further when Attean invited Matt to a tribal celebration. Sharing these experiences made Matt comfortable with Attean and he knew he had someone he could count on. He felt less alone in the wilderness. Also he had someone to rely on.I think this friendship was odd was because of their races. This friendship would be crazy because Attean was an Indian. It’s like a white man becoming friends with a African American man during civil rights. Everything going on around them was against it but neither if them let that affect them. I didn’t see much of that but I could tell from the first time Matt met Attean that he had never had an Indian as a best friend before. In fact he never knew why. That’s one of the reasons I think this author did that. Not just to express how strange this relationship was for this time but too also show how easy it was for people of two different cultures could become friends and be okay with it.Finally I think matt realized this friendship was different than others because he didn’t end up caring that Attean was an Indian he was just concentrated on him being a friend and a good one at that. I felt that Matt found the true meaning of friendship to him. That’s what I got from this book. Someone you think is an enemy becomes a friend.

  • Cindy Rollins
    2019-05-24 03:05

    For this category of book: Historical Fiction Mid-Elementary to Middle School this is a 5 Star book. It is a great book to give a child who needs reading practice but likes good stories. I had my recent studentsread it aloud to me and it was perfect for that also. I have read it several times and still did not get bored this time around.I would say this also qualifies as The Literature of Honor for Middle Boys which I have not put together yet.

  • Donalyn
    2019-06-12 03:21

    I read this book years ago before I started my Goodreads account and added it to my shelves based on my long term memories of it, but I have lowered my original rating (from 4 stars to 2 stars) after reading several newer articles about its problematic misrepresentation of Native Americans. Please reference these articles in the comments below.

  • Sasha
    2019-06-03 04:07

    Great book for young men! I liked the illustration of "both sides of the story" from the Native American point of view as well as the English settler. I loved the continual comparison to Robinson Crusoe as well as the Bible references and similar Native American version of the story of Noah. I cried when Attean and Matt had to say goodbye. Great story of survival and hope.

  • Jenna Kilpatrick
    2019-06-02 00:30

    This book was very detailed that almost made the book way more interesting. When I found out that the book was based off of an actual story (well mostly) I was shocked with surprise because I usually HATE with a capital H.A.T.E Historical Fiction. The ending of this book took me by surprise because Ben never came back and take something else like Matt's fishing line. He is such a mysterious character that the was surprise to me.

  • Liam
    2019-06-17 01:20

    I thought the Sign of the Beaver was a five star book because there was so much action that made you wonder will he make it or something else. We read this book during class. It had so many wondering moments like " Will Matts parents make it back to sleep the cabin?" That's why I gave this book the amazing five stars because it was one of the best books I have read.

  • The Shayne-Train
    2019-06-14 22:30

    Both my daughter and I found this book captivating. We're both fans of Native American stories, and of stories of survival. We got both with this one. Highly recommended for younger readers with a taste for pioneer-life fiction.

  • Kris
    2019-06-10 04:04

    A quite enjoyable read for a Sunday afternoon. It's simple and easy, asking relevant questions for any young kid in elementary school. Historical without being too overwhelmingly detailed. Heartfelt and sincere without being too sappy. I feel like I read this back during my early homeschool days, but I've no memory of keeping the book, so I'd like to add this back to my shelves someday.

  • Jane Stewart
    2019-05-24 02:05

    3 ½ stars. Nice story for ages 10 and up.It’s educational about surviving in the wild Indian style - and seeing a friendship develop between Indian boy Attean and Matt who is 12 years old. Attean’s grandfather wants Matt to teach Attean how to read and write in white man’s language. Attean teaches Matt how to trap, fish, make a bow and arrow, etc. I liked learning things that the Indians did. It’s a pleasant read, but it didn’t excite me or surprise me the way “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen did. Hatchet was the story of a boy surviving alone in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash. Matt lives alone in a cabin in the wilderness in 1768 Maine. Matt and his father built a cabin and planted corn and pumpkins. Then the father left for many months to get his wife and other child to bring them to the cabin.DATA:Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 144 pages. Swearing language: none. Sexual content: none. Setting: 1768 Maine. Copyright: 1983. Genre: children’s fiction.

  •  Pat
    2019-06-05 04:12

    This was an awesome book. I love reading books like this that show how friendships can develop even when you're of different cultures.

  • Jenna Petrillo
    2019-06-16 20:31

    I agree with Liam,this book was truly amazing!I also gave this book 5 stars!

  • Chris
    2019-06-15 04:17

    I read this book as a kid. Fourth grade maybe, it's hard to remember. All I remember is that I loved it. I loved anything about survival in the wilderness. I had wanted to run away with my dog into the woods as a kid and recall reading this voraciously. I would like to re-read it for my inner-child.

  • Kate
    2019-05-31 21:09

    I've loved The Witch of Blackbird Pond since I was about twelve, but I had somehow never read The Sign of the Beaver. A teacher friend outed me for not having read it in front of her whole class of fifth graders, so then I clearly had no choice. And it was good! It's no Witch, but very few things could be. This is aimed at a slightly younger audience, and it's about a boy and rather more action-oriented.13-year-old Matt and his father have traveled to the Maine wilderness to build a homestead; then the father goes back to Boston to get the mother and younger siblings, leaving Matt alone. Completely alone. In a cabin in the wilderness. There aren't even any neighbors. Really, it's TERRIFYING, and Speare makes it all very subtle and understated, but - my God, I cannot even imagine. Of course, then a bear comes and eats a bunch of the food, and then Matt gets stung extremely badly when trying to get honey out of a hive. A local Native American chief has been watching him, it turns out, and takes him home to give him some medical care.Matt is afraid of the Native Americans at first, of course, but he comes to like and respect them over time, and he strikes a bargain with the chief. (The reader is left to suspect that the chief, being a nice guy, was probably going to take care of this poor little boy no matter what, but Matt feels like he's being an adult about the whole thing.) In exchange for food and other help that the chief and his people provide, the chief asks Matt to teach his grandson (around Matt's age) to read. The boy doesn't want to learn, but the grandfather recognizes that if their people are going to survive, they must learn to play by the white settlers' rules. Matt and the boy become grudging friends, and eventually the rest of the boy's family come to trust Matt too.By this point, Matt's father has been gone way longer than planned, and it's time for the Native Americans to move to different hunting ground. They offer to adopt Matt, and he has to decide whether to go with them or wait for his family, who might never appear. I was honestly unsure of what he would decide while I was reading, which is quite something for a kids' book - usually the plots of even high-quality kids' books are pretty predictable to adults. I won't ruin the ending for you, but it brings up some really interesting issues of the concept of "civilization" in regards to the Native Americans and the settlers, and of the way that prejudices can change, in several directions, over just a generation or two.

  • Scarlett Sims
    2019-06-09 02:10

    Ok. I had heard various Native American reviewers pan this book for its stereotypical portrayals. I'm still not that great at evaluating Native American literature but I'll list some things that stuck out to me:1. Usage of the word squaw. I'm pretty sure that's generally not ok.2. Going off #1, Speare gives the impression that women were not valued in "Indian" culture.3. I don't think a tribe name is ever mentioned. The Indians are referred to and refer to themselves as "Indians." (from context I think they are Algonquin?)(update: I looked at Debbie Reese's blog and they are Penobscot)4. The Indians all speak in stereotypical bad English. I guess at a time when not many could speak English, this might be somewhat realistic but I know it's frowned upon.5. It seems awfully easy for Matt (the protagonist) to become basically an "honorary Indian."I think Speare was trying to do a good thing here, showing that the boys could be friends and Matt ends up rejecting some of his prejudices against Indians. However, if you were teaching this book, you'd need to address the things she does wrong.If you want more in-depth analysis of the problems with this book I suggest checking out Debbie Reese's blog located at

  • Madissen
    2019-05-17 23:07

    It was a good book.It had these sad moments in the book,but the rest of it was good.If our you I would read this book.p.s its historical fiction.

  • Joey Oborne
    2019-06-15 21:21

    I liked this book the begining was "ok" but then it started to get way better!I wanted to keep reading this book because all of us wanted to find out were his parents where they were WAIT! that would be a "spoiler alert" but you would know if you read the book.

  • Ava
    2019-06-03 21:04

    The end was awful. The baby was dead and Attean was gone forever. But the general survival story was pretty neat, but nothing any average person couldn't handle. I had really hoped that Attean would come and stay with Matt for the winter and matts family would never return but hey. I'm not the writer. I'm the reader. I read the book. I was disappointed.

  • Cynthia Egbert
    2019-05-26 00:10

    I really enjoyed this adventure with Matt. I wish that my boys had been able to read this one when they were younger. This is just the type of book and hero that my guys love. If you have young men in your life, this would be a wonderful read-aloud together.

  • Jacob
    2019-06-09 21:08

    A 12 year old boy named Matt is moving into the forest with his family. He and his father went there early to build a cabin while his mom and sisters stayed home. His father has to leave him alone for multiple weeks so he can go get Matt's mom and sister. His father left and Matt had to fend for himself. When he was fishing one day a bear came into his cabin and ate everything. Matt saw a bee’s nest and tried to steal honey, he got stung and fainted. Then an Indian found him and gave him medicine and then took him back to his cabin. They made a deal, if Matt teaches his son, Attean, how to read English then they will bring him food. Attean and Matt became great friends after Matt saved his dog. Then one day Attean and his father came to Matt’s hut and asked if he wanted to live with them because they're moving. Matt's father hasn't came back yet even though he said he would. Matt thinks his father might be dead. Will Matt live with the Indians or will he stay at the cabin and pray his family will come back? I enjoyed the book a lot. My favorite part was when Matt’s family came home at the end of the story. It was my favorite part because it was a happy ending. Another reason that was my favorite part was because I finally got to see how happy Matt was, and how his family acted. I also wanted to see the relationship between him and his father. What I didn’t like about it was I wanted Matt’s sister to live, and I wanted to see what Matt’s father would do about the missing gun. I also wanted to know about their neighbor s’ but besides those little things it was a great ending to the book.

  • midnightfaerie
    2019-05-31 01:12

    For my 8-yr old son's school, every year he gets a list of like 20 books he can choose from, and has to read around 4-5 and do a book report on them. I usually make him read them all. (Except evil ones like Old Yeller) This year, I realized there were many I hadn't read, or hadn't read in a very long time, so I'm working my way through them so we can enjoy them together. After he's read them, we plan on having movie nights for those that have movies. This is the first one I read. I'd never read it before, and let me just say, I was missing out as a kid. What a compelling, and entertaining story! Not only are kids learning about Native American culture, they are learning about these two very different boys from very different backgrounds, learning how to get along. They also learn new and exciting ways of doing things, that were completely foreign to them, thereby learning acceptance to new cultures and ideas. And it wasn't boring at all. Lots of action, even though the boy is often alone, and a book I just couldn't put down. I recommend this book, not only for children, but for parents of children who are reading this book. What a great family discussion this could be!

  • Bill
    2019-06-02 21:04

    A children's book that doesn't pretend to be more than it is--the fairly tame story of a 12-year-old boy left alone in the wild frontier of Maine. He is befriended by and learns from a neighboring tribe of native Americans.Written in 1984, "Sign of the Beaver" is a bit dated in the way it portrays the native Americans and their pidgin English, but still offers a sympathetic portrait of their plight as white settlers push them from their hunting grounds. In one especially clever stroke, the Newbery Honor Book quotes from "Robinson Crusoe," and contrasts the behavior of the white "civilized man" and his friend/slave Friday with the relationship of the frontier boy, Matthew, and his native American mentor/friend, AtteanThe relatively short book is interspersed with morality lessons and adventure, but none too deep or challenging. With a listed reading level equivalent of 5.7, the novel should hold the attention of younger readers, but it may be too tame for those on the upper end of level.

  • Penny
    2019-06-10 22:22

    This is a wonderful book by the Newberry award winning author Elizabeth George Speare. It tells of a family who make a claim for land in Maine. The father and their son (about 14) go out to the claim and built a small log cabin. The father then leaves the boy there to keep hold of the claim whilst he goes back to collect his wife and younger children. Nothing goes as the father plans and the boy is left alone far longer than was intended.He is befriended by a small group of Indians and is taught how to survive by them. He is asked by an older Indian to teach the man's grandson to read - the only book the settler boy has is Robinson Crusoe and obviously the native lad doesnt appreciate the treatment given out to Man Friday.This is a gripping well - told story and as usual for this author, provokes a lot of discussion for a child.Read aloud to a 9 year old.

  • Ana Rînceanu
    2019-06-09 04:19

    The author tried to do show that the boys could be friends and Matt ends up rejecting some of his prejudices against Native Americans, but I really had a hard time understanding why Matt used slang words and why the Indians call themselves Indians. Aren't they supposed to refer to their tribe?I didn't feel like I learned a lot about Attean or the tribe so I'm a little confused as to how he and Matt became "brothers". The fact that Matt refers to Attean as his "Indian brother" to his sister is a little troubling, but this was written in the '80s so maybe I was expecting too much? I don't really like the fact that the author makes Attean seem lazy and willing to let women do the work.I don't think I got much out of this book.

  • Breanna
    2019-06-03 01:14

    Read this book as part of the kids curriculum and we all really enjoyed it. It's rare that my kids ask me to keep going when I finish a chapter. I love teaching history through stories and this was a great insight into what life was like for both settlers and for the native american indians, without being particularly biased either way. It was hard to live back then, and it gave both my kids and myself an appreciation for what it took to establish this country and to survive. We also did a few activities together to make the book and the history come more alive like making oil paper window panes and corn cakes with molasses. I would definitely recommend this book for kids.

  • Megan
    2019-06-11 01:22

    WOW!!! Awsome book! I read it as a school requirement, all night. It's a shorter book but has so much meaning you really have to think about what Matt (Main Character) goes through.In the very beggining of the book you find out that Matt who has lived in Massachussetts all his life, now has to move to the Territory of Maine (Takes place in the late 1700's) Together Matt and his dad build a cabin, plant crops and set up their land. It is then that Matt is told by his father that he'll be left alone at their property, whild his father goes to get Matt's mother sister and baby sister. You won't regret reading this book!

  • Connor Bowers
    2019-05-22 02:21

    This was a great book if you love to read about hunting and adventures. You will be left hanging at the end of chapters and you will want to keep reading until the end. The ending is very shocking but very realistic. I would definitely recommend this book!

  • معصومه توکلی
    2019-06-13 04:15

    ترجمه پروین علی پور را خوانده ام (با عنوان در سرزمین سرخپوست) و همان را هم توصیه می کنم(ترجمه ی دیگر متعلق به نسرین وکیلی است که نشر قطره منتشرش کرده)خیلی حرف دارم درباره اش که بعدا سر فرصت باید بیایم این جا بنویسمشان...

  • Jeremy
    2019-05-18 02:18

    An amazing story of a young man left to dfend his family's new homestead in Maine as his father travels back to MA to bring back his mother and siblings. During his time alone, he is comes to depend on the Native inhabitants of the region and learns about cultural differences between them.

  • Andrew Smith
    2019-06-15 01:31

    I liked the book but I didn't like how the baby died and they didn't explain about Ben (the person who stole Matt's gun and never came back) anymore. I would give it 4 stars if the rating was 1-5 stars for the book.