The Apple and the Arrow
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The Apple and the Arrow

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,160 ratings  ·  38 reviews
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 family's goat herd and practicing his marksmanship in the hopes of making his father proud. But as the end of the year approaches, Walter's peaceful life is shaken as his country...more
Unknown Binding, 80 pages
Published January 1st 1951 by Scholastic
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Joan Innes
This book had a lot of appeal maybe because of the strong antagonist/protagonist theme. Will the people ever rise above the cruel overlord, Gessler, that has the people working for him to increase his greatness through buildings on his land? Switzerland is in a revolution against its Austrian rulers. Little Rudi and his younger brother Prinz live in a Swiss village in 1291, and courageous Rudi is the main character of this book. The book is rich in description of the surroundings of this mountai...more
Confession: I didn't think I was going to like this book because it looks like the type of book I wouldn't enjoy, from the time period of Newbery Honor winners that I haven't particularly enjoyed. I know I know, not fair. And it turns out I did enjoy it. I was wrong. And now I know a little more about how Switzerland came to be, and who the William Tell Overture is written about. I could see a child in fourth or fifth grade enjoying this book, especially as it is told from the perspective of a c...more
I just read this book to some of my kids (ages 8-12) and we all loved it. I have been meaning to read this to them for years and just never did. I think this book has some great messages about faith, courage, family, and freedom. It also got us interested in learning more about Switzerland. The kids were engaged and begged me to keep reading. You can easily read this aloud in one or two sittings.
I loved the legend more than the book. This Newberry honor book of only eighty pages was offered time and again in the Scholastic book orders for fifty cents or a dollar. I purchased them for my classroom, but truthfully rarely saw anyone take interest. It's not a great read aloud, but is an okay offering in early reader historical fiction.
We really enjoyed this true story of the independence of Switzerland. We liked how it pointed out the difference one man can make to change the course of events in his own world. Freedom requires courage and this story displays the courage of a family to gain independence from tyranny. There are lots of good attributes represented in this book.
"He knew what wise men have always known, that man lives by faith, and that faith can be stronger than fear..." This was so much more than a story about William Tell. In five short chapters we learned and lived the history of the founding of Switzerland. A wonderful and touching book.
At just eighty pages in length and plentifully decorated with full-page illustrations, The Apple and the Arrow certainly is one of the shorter books to have ever been designated a Newbery Honoree by the ALA committee. It's brevity doesn't prevent it from being a very good book, though, filled with splashes of excitement and conspiratorial intrigue in the retelling of an old legend about a brave people who fought back against despotism to earn freedom for themselves and their children. The actio...more
Wayne S.
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...more
This is a short little book about the legend of William Tell. I loved it. It has such a good message about standing up for what you believe in and the strength you get from family. It is especially interesting to me because my grandfather came from Switzerland and it is the story of how Switzerland gained independence. It was a great little history lesson too. I could recommend this book to children who are good readers. Some of the language is old-fashioned, but the story is very simply told.
Jaime Contreras
I read this for myself and attempted to read it to my eldest daughter. Sadly, she was not interested. I read it to know the tale of the legendary William Tell. It was fun and i learned more about honor and love of country and family.I also love the overture of the William tell operetta because it is also the theme of The Lone Ranger.
A very sweet version of the William Tell legend and the rebellion that led to Switzerland becoming a nation. The story is told from the point of view of William Tell's oldest son, so it made the story easier for my kids to attach to the characters. My kids (8 and 6) loved this short, but fabulous book.
I found this Newbery Honor book at my sister's house, and just had to read it. I was just as pleased as I expected to be, learned some history, and more details about a famous legend from the makings of the country of Switzerland. Wonderful read!
This is scheduled in SL A (old K) during the first half of the year. While this is a great book, I think it is too early in the year to read it. Three times through and each time I've decided to pull it and add it back in at the end of the year. (You'd think I would have learned by now.) Each time they would glaze over when we tried it with the schedule, but later on they were truly into the story and loved it. I enjoyed reading it to them much more then too. Much better suited for a slightly mo...more
Hailey White
We loved the legend but it wasn't as great of a read aloud as hoped for! That being said it was worth the read. I see apples and arrows as part of playtime in the future.
“He knew what the wise have always know, that man lives by faith, and that faith can be stronger than fear.”

“Today it does not matter whether the story of William Tell really happened or is a legend handed down. For the story of a brave man’s revolt against tyranny is always true—as true for us now as it was for those in the far-off days of The Apple and the Arrow.

Great story of courage and standing up for freedom and doing what is right.
This is the exciting story of Walter, son of William Tell.
Set in the early 1200's of Switzerland, young Walter has to face danger in the eye. The title of the book centers on the fact that the boy must trust his father to shoot an arrow at an apple that rests on Walter's head.

It is a very interesting story, and I like the writing style very much.

Bring your courage with you as you read Walter's story...
spoiler of sorts.
the final paragraph says that it doesn't matter if the story is true or not. then why write the thing as a true story? is this on the level of king arthur or washington throwing a coin across the delaware? wish either the final paragraph wasn't in the book or else there were an author's note about the facts of the story.
This book is based on the legend of William Tell. A remarkable story of courage and trust. The fire for freedom has burned deep in man's heart for centuries, as illustrated by the life of this brave man. A fitting story to read and discuss with your children.
Lauren Brown
I thought this book was wonderful. At first I needed it because it contained trust but then realized it is a great story. No wonder it is a legend. This book would be good for third to fourth grade. It does contain some good pictures as well.
This book completely deserves its award winning status. I loved reading the complete story after hearing only bits and pieces my whole life. We read this when we were studying the medieval period and learning about Swiss independence.
Another book I grabbed in the kid section for me to read. It is the most complete story of William Tell that I have read (that is, the only complete story of Tell that I have come across).
With Story of the World, Vol II.

Not the most intriguing of styles, but the legend itself is strong enough to overcome it. I appreciated the telling from the boy's perspective.
My kindergartner and 3rd grader loved this book. It had intrigue and adventure and history all wrapped up in a true story. Doesn't get any better than that!
I liked this book, however it didn't hold my son's interest as much as our other read-alouds. I'm sure we will read it again when he gets a little older.
I love Children's Lit. This is the story of the legend of William Tell told from the perspective of his son. The story was simple and engaging.
Sep 21, 2010 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Families
Recommended to Stephanie by: Sonlight
A simple and faith inducing story. Great for homeschoolers and non alike. My sons both loved this book and are anxious to read it again and again.
Great book to understand the historical events around the event of William Tell shooting the apple with an arrow on his son's head.
This book was one of my all-time favorites as a kid!! A wonderful story with just as good illustrations.

Recommended age: 5-12
Kristy Powers
My 7-year-old really liked this short chapter book about William Tell, his son Walter Tell, and the birth of Switzerland.
Kerstin Olcott
My kids found this boring. It didn't have enough of a hook to interest them in the history.
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