before the NRA

Finished yet another Newbery winner, 1942’s incredibly short, The Matchlock Gun, Walter D. Edmonds

It’s 1750’s New York State, the area is still a British colony and major concerns to settlers were the French and the Indians. The story recounts the true events around an Indian attack on the Van Alstyne family (Dutch settlers)—a story that was passed on for generations.  

My copy of the book had a forward which provided a little background information as to why the Dutch were coming to the United States during this time; this might be helpful for kids in their understand of this time in U.S. history. (I would suggest reading this after reading the story, as the forward also gives away some of the action of the story). Also, keep in mind that this book was written in the 1940s when our cultural understanding/appreciation of/sensitivity toward Native peoples was very different; this fact would provide for a great discussion about how our understanding/appreciation of different cultures has evolved since then; this fact should also be taken into consideration when reading the book (a Google search will show you that this book has been criticized for its’ portrayal of Indians before).

Would I recommend it? Maybe to teachers covering this time period in U.S. history...? To kids? Maybe...

Ages: Amazon gives it an 8years+

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