The Sign of the Beaver

The Sign of the Beaver - "Forgettable" would be the understatement of the century in describing the first 90% of this shlock. There is no conflict or interest in this story until the very end, which rewards us with one of the stupidest "tough decisions" in children's literature history. (No mean feat!)

A white boy, Matt, meets an Indian boy, Attean. While initially reluctant, Attean eventually accepts Matt as a friend. He teaches him how to fish and several other basic aspects of the wilderness. There's no real explanation for why an Indian tribe would bother with some random lost kid, but whatever.

It seemed like the author was desperately trying to pad her page length, though; at some point, the things Attean teaches Matt become redundant and excessive.

Near the end, there is a ridiculously contrived climax where Matt has to "decide" whether to abandon his actual birth parents and a comfortable future for an Indian tribe that sees him as an outsider, and are essentially penniless scavengers.

As mentioned previously, it's one of the most idiotic choices imaginable, presented in a completely serious, straight-laced manner.

Still, somehow it seems appropriate. The book is a whole heap of nothing topped off with a steaming helping of idiocy.