At just 12 years old, Matt must face serious challenges in the Maine wilderness while awaiting his father's return to their cabin.When he is saved from a terrifying bee swarm attack by an Indian chief and his grandson, Attean, Matt gains a valuable friend in the young Indian boy.As the boys become closer and learn new skills from each other, Matt must face a heart-wrenching decision when the tribe decides to move north. Is it time for Matt to move on with Attean's tribe and give up hope of his family ever returning?More
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Progressive Yet Problematic
Good story, dubious dialog, irritating music
When the main character encounters a bear.
When the rifle is stolen.
There is music at the beginning of each section that is REALLY annoying and distracting. The sooner producers of audiobooks stop adding music at all, the better, IMHO.
The reader sounds like an adolescent boy, and he does a competent job, but I always groan when a child does the narrating because inevitably, in terms of voices, nuance, and general acting skills, they are not up to the job. Still, it is a book for kids, and kids might connect better to another kid.
No doubt Sign of the Beaver is a well written novel. As for the plot, it is thoroughly convincing; the voice, in the first-person of an 18th-century adolescent boy, equally so. The concept, that the narrator is stranded alone in a wilderness cabin is engaging; its resolution, that a Indian boy and his grandfather come to his rescue, is perfectly acceptable. The only aspect of the novel that is a little tough, at least for an adult reader who is aware of stereotypes, is the cliched manner of speech of the Indian characters. Of course, this can be forgiven, given the time the book was written. (Meanshile, another book, Last of the Mohicans, written almost a hundred years earlier, presents similar characters speaking English in a more convincing way.) Still, this hardly ruins the book; and, it's overall sympathetic and otherwise believable portrayal of the Native American characters more than makes up for it.
- Paul Hubbard