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El signo del castor (1983)
por Elizabeth George Speare
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This was a fantastic Newbery. I would read it again.
A touching book I read in grade school.
Good. I like the fact that the book Robinson Crusoe is in the story.I may read it again.
This was an interesting book. I can see from a child's or tweens perspective it would be very illuminating as a historical fiction. I would believe that a book from Attean's perspective would also have been great if not better! I did enjoy moments of the book, but the internal dialogue of Matt was annoying.
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The students ... were vocal and articulate in their responses to Speare's depiction of Attean's speech as grunts. I can still hear their voices, 18 years later, as they "talked back" to Speare.
In this coming-of-age story set in 18th-century Maine, Matthew Hallowell, left alone to guard the family cabin, is befriended by local Indians (tribe not indicated)…. The Natives speak stereotypical "Hollywood Indian," and the story contains offensive terms such as "heathen," "squaw," and "savage." The story perpetuates the stereotype of the "vanishing Indian." While this book is popular and widely used in classrooms, it is offensive in its portrayal of American Indians.
Melody A. Moxley (KLIATT Review, September 1998 (Vol. 32, No. 5))
Schaffert gives Speare's classic story of a 12-year-old boy facing the challenges of young manhood a straightforward yet spirited reading. Matt is left to take care of the pioneer home he and his father have built on the land they purchased in Maine when his father returns to Massachusetts to fetch Matt's mother and sister. Matt, in quest of honey when the molasses runs out, is badly stung, surviving only due to the assistance of Attean, a young Indian, and his grandfather, a chief. In repayment, Matt agrees -- at the grandfather's request -- to teach Attean to read. Matt is reluctant, due largely to Attean's seeming contempt for the activity. But as the boys get to know one another throughout the months ahead, both are surprised by the friendship that is forged. When Matt's father does not arrive and Matt realizes he must face the winter alone, he has to decide whether to go with the Indians as they move their village or stay at the homestead alone. A great choice for family listening, as the listener inevitably considers how s/he would have dealt with Matt's challenges. Schaffert imbues the story with Matt's courage, fear, and uncertainty as well as Attean's grudging friendship for a white boy. He conveys their youth without overstatement, a difficult task for some narrators. Highly recommended. Category: Fiction Audiobooks. KLIATT Codes: JS*--Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1998 (orig. 1983), Ages 12 to 18.
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Wikipedia en inglés (1)
La amistad; el mejor de los legados para un niño. Porque se trata de una herencia sólida y contundente que lo alertará acerca del necesario intercambio solidario entre los humanos; ese rasgo peculiar que nos distingue como seres sociales. Por eso, regálale este libro a tu hijo. En él se enseña sobre el valor, el sentido y las características de la verdadera amistad. La historia es muy entretenida. Se desarrolla en Maine, Estados Unidos de América. Transcurre el año 1768. Mientras su padre va en busca de su mamá y su hermana, Matt, un chico de sólo trece años, se queda completamente solo en una cabaña ubicada justo en medio del territorio indio. Un hombre le roba su rifle; el joven queda totalmente indefenso. Aparece en la escena otro muchacho, pero indio y entre ambos se establecerá una profunda relación fraternal.
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Sistema Decimal Melvil (DDC)900 — History and Geography History History and Geography
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13-year old Matt must survive at his family's new homestead while his father travels back to his old home in Massachusetts to retrieve his mother, sister and new baby sibling.
Matt suffers quite a few setbacks during the wait for his family to arrive. He is aided by a Native American leader and, a bit reluctantly at first, by his grandson, Attean, who is around Matt's age.
There is some racial sensitivity shown by Matt towards Attean (when reading portions of Robinson Crusoe), and I enjoyed the friendship which developed between Matt and Attean.
But there are other historical points, such as what homesteading did to Penobscot livelihood, which aren't fully explained. ( )