The Sign of the Beaver – Elizabeth George Speare: 52 in 52 Book #11

The Sign of the Beaver

I suppose it’s time for me to admit to a cardinal sin when it comes to choosing books: I am a sucker for an interesting cover. I know not all books with good covers have a plot of equal greatness and I have read many a wonderful book where the cover would not give you even the slightest hint that anything vaguely interesting lay in its pages. It was the cover of this book that first drew me to it. The silhouettes against the warm yellow spoke to me of adventure and I wanted to know more.

The Sign of the Beaver is about the friendship between two boys: Matt, an America settler who has built a cabin in the forest with his father, and Attean, a Native American boy. When Matt is left at the cabin whilst his father goes to fetch the rest of the family he is alone for weeks. During an unfortunate incident with a bees nest, he meets some Indians of the local Beaver clan. Matt meets Attean when the chief of the Beavers makes a treaty with Matt: reading lessons for Attean in return for food. Over time the boys’ friendship develops. Attean teaches Matt how to hunt like an Indian and provide for himself.

This book is meant for children but I enjoyed it very much from an adult perspective too. I imagine it would send a positive message to children about friendship and breaking down boundaries. I certainly plan to give this book to a child in my family who will enjoy it.




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