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The Sign of the Beaver tells the story of a 13-year-old boy named Matt and his father, who, as early settlers, together build a wooden cottage in Maine in 1768. However, Matt's father must head back to Quincy, Massachusetts, to get Matt's mother, sister, and new-born sibling who were left behind so Matt and his father could build a house. Matt's father promises to return in seven weeks and Matt is left alone. Unfortunately, Matt finds himself enduring many hardships for which he is unprepared. His father’s hunting rifle is stolen by a stranger named Ben, his crop is picked over by the wildlife, and his food supplies are pillaged by a hungry bear. After he is attacked by bees and dives into a lake, he is rescued by some Native Americans. His stings are treated by the Indian chief named Saknis, and his grandson, Attean. After recovering, Saknis asks Matt to teach Attean, how to read. Matt does not immediately become friends with Attean, although the two young boys eventually form a strong friendship as they help each other through difficult circumstances. When Matt's family has didn’t return after many months Attean invites Matt to join his tribe, who are moving west to new hunting grounds. Although Matt became good friends with Attean and enjoys Indian culture, he has not forgotten his family. Matt has to make a decision, and fast, before they leave. In the end the two boys trade gifts, Matt gives Attean his treasured watch that his father gave him before he left and Attean leaves his dog behind with Matt. Attean's grandmother gives Matt some berry bread, and Saknis gives Matt a pair of snowshoes. When Attean left, Matt's family came and Matt told his family about Attean. The story ended happy and sad. It was happy because Mat... ... middle of paper ... ... he becomes a man as he experiences life in the wilderness with the help of his new Indian friends Attean and Saknis. He is eventually faced with the decision of whether to go with the Indians who feel forced to leave the area or wait for his father and the rest of his family, who are months late getting to him and who may not return at all. I enjoyed reading this book very much because it was a story of perseverance, survival and friendship. What I like about this story is that it teaches us that true friendship can’t be stopped by boundaries between cultures. Matt was a white settle and Attean was a Native American, but they still became very good friends. I read this book several times and every time I read it I found new things that I hadn’t noticed before. I suggest this book to anyone who has the time to read it. I promise them that they won’t regret it.
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