Linda Lipko's Reviews > The Matchlock Gun

The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds
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's review
Mar 10, 11

bookshelves: newbery-winner, young-adult
Read in March, 2011

This is the 1942 Newbery medal winner. A book written based upon a true story of a young ten year old boy who defended his family from Indians.

By today's standards, because of the depiction of Indians as dangerous and aggressive, it would be perceived as politically incorrect.

In the context that the French lead Indians out of Canada to harm settlers, the story remains as a snapshot of history.

The setting is Hudson Valley, NY in 1756 when America was a British colony. Settled by Dutch and German people, many families lived on the land in small cabin like structures.

Using a Spanish matchlock gun brought from Holland by his great, great grandfather, Edward Van Alstyne shot three Indians and scared away two others as they were attempting to burn his house and kill his family. His mother was wounded by an axe as frightened, but brave, Edward heroically saved his mother and sister from certain death.

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