What book does Matt read in The Sign of the Beaver? Why does he skip a section of the book?

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In The Sign of the Beaver, the main character, Matt, is saved from a bee swarm by a Native American man. As repayment, Matt tries to teach the man's grandson, Attean, to understand English.

Matt uses the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe to teach Attean to read. When...

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In The Sign of the Beaver, the main character, Matt, is saved from a bee swarm by a Native American man. As repayment, Matt tries to teach the man's grandson, Attean, to understand English.

Matt uses the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe to teach Attean to read. When Matt's attempts to teach Attean the alphabet don't go well, Matt decides to just read the book to Attean instead.

Matt skips two different sections of Robinson Crusoe while he's reading to Attean. The first skip happens in chapter 8. Matt remembers that when he first read Robinson Crusoe, he didn't like the first page very much. So he skips ahead in the story to a more exciting scene in order to grab Attean's attention.

(Although The Sign of the Beaver doesn't mention it, this was probably a good idea—the first page of Robinson Crusoe features the main character introducing himself, his family, and his early life. Matt skips ahead to the part where the main character is caught in a storm at sea, which is full of action.)

The second skip occurs in chapter 10. In chapter 9, Matt read the part of Robinson Crusoe in which the main character (now stuck on a desert island) saves a man named Friday, who then becomes Robinson Crusoe's slave. Attean gets angry, saying "No. He would never do that. Never kneel to white man. Not be slave."

Remembering Attean's reaction to hearing that Friday was a slave, Matt decides in chapter 10 to skip a line in Robinson Crusoe where the main character refers to himself as Friday's "master."

In both cases, Matt skips part of Robinson Crusoe because he doesn't want to bore or anger Attean. He wants to keep Attean interested in the story so that Attean is more likely to learn English from hearing it.

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