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The Apple and the Arrow


The Apple and the Arrow Cover

ISBN13: 9780618128099
ISBN10: 0618128093
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Newbery Honor Book, 1952.

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Publisher Comments:

The year is 1291, and Walter is the twelve-year-old son of William Tell, the greatest bowman in the land of Uri. Walter lives happily in the remote heights of the Alpine Mountains, caring for his familys goat herd and practicing his marksmanship in the hopes of making his father proud. But as the end of the year approaches, Walters peaceful life is shaken as his country enters a revolution, and Walter must carry a secret that could threaten the life of the father he loves so dearly.

More than seven hundred years have passed since the day Walter stood in the marketplace balancing an apple on his head while the Austrian tyrant Gessler commanded Walters father, William Tell, to take aim at the apple with his great crossbow. The dramatic tale of Williams arrest and escape and the daring revolt of the Swiss against the Austrians has become a legend around the world.

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Home School Book Review, April 28, 2013 (view all comments by Home School Book Review)
It is the year 1290 and eleven soon to be twelve year old Walter Tell lives happily in the remote heights of the Swiss Alpine Mountains near the village of Burglen with his father William, who is known as the greatest bowman in the canton of Uri and perhaps even in the nearby cantons of Schwys and Underwalden, his mother Hedwig, his little brother Rudi, and their herd dog Prinz. Nearby also live their friend Marie the herd girl, Brother Klaus the monk, and Grandfather Furst. King Albrecht is the new ruler of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, but unlike his late good father Rudolph he sends cruel bailiffs like Gessler to live at nearby Altdorf and oppress the people.

William Tell is one of 33 men who have met secretly at Rootli to formulate a plan to secure their freedom at the beginning of 1291. But it appears that Gessler suspects something. I suppose that nearly everyone has heard the story of how William and Walter go to Altdorf to sell furs. Tell refuses to bow down to Gessler’s cap which has been put on a pole in the middle of the town. Gessler is so angry that he punishes Tell by commanding him to shoot an apple off the head of his son. If he misses, both will die. But do you know “the rest of the story”? The legend of William Tell has survived for more than 700 years. Exactly how much of it is true and how much is fiction perhaps no one knows. But it is certainly a stirring account that resonates in the hearts of all people who love freedom and oppose tyranny.

Told simply and well with a good eye for detail and setting from the viewpoint of young Walter, The Apple and the Arrow, which won a Newbery Honor Award in 1952, was first recommended to me in the catalogue of Love to Learn, a homeschool resource center. One reference to drinking wine occurs, but there is a great deal of emphasis on looking to God for guidance and trusting in Him. With its serious themes of independence and responsibility, it will appeal to both children, especially boys, and their parents. Conrad Buff was born in Switzerland in 1886, studied art in his native country and Germany, them emigrated to the United States in 1904, settling in Los Angeles, where he became a noted landscape artist. Along with his wife Mary, he coauthored and illustrated a number of children's books. Another Newbery Honor book (1931) which recounts the same events is Mountains Are Free by Julia Davis Adams.
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Product Details

Buff, Mary
Buff, Conrad
Houghton Mifflin
Legends, Myths, & Fables - General
Children's 9-12 - Literature - Classics / Contemporary
Fathers and sons
Historical - Europe
Tell, wilhelm
Childrens classics
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
August 2001
Grade Level:
from 4 to 6
10.5 x 7.63 in 0.66 lb
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Children's » Awards » Newbery Award Winners
Children's » Classics » General
Children's » Folk Tales » Mythical Creatures
Children's » Historical Fiction » Europe
Children's » Historical Fiction » General
Children's » Middle Readers » Newbery Award Winners

The Apple and the Arrow New Trade Paper
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Product details 80 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780618128099 Reviews:
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