Matt stays to hold his family's new log cabin in the wilderness, while Matt's father is away to escort his mother, sister, and new baby. After an accidental injury, Matt encounters a Native American tribe that challenges his ideas about pride, knowledge, and civilized living.
It is easy to relate to Matt's hopes and concerns, to admire the resourcefulness of the characters, and understand why their opinions of each other change over the course of the story. The book is rich with potential discussion topics, but it is accessible enough to recommend to individual students as an independent reading option.
Some writers have criticized this book for being inauthentic and dismissive of the First Nations people, so it's worth examining those critiques in conjunction with the story.
"Matt looked up from the page. There was not a flicker of interest on the boy's face. Had he understood a single word?"
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