The Arrow Over the Door

The Arrow Over the Door by Joseph Bruchac is a fictionalized version of a true story.

In 1777, the American Revolution was in full swing.  People in America were choosing sides, and both sides disliked the Quakers because they resolutely chose no side.

Samuel Russell feels the sting of his neighbor’s displeasure, and struggles to understand why his family chooses not to carry any weapons.  He fears the Indians, who have also chosen sides, and wonders how he can defend his family if the Indians attack them.

Meanwhile, Stands Straight is scouting for the British Army with several members of his tribe.  When they enter the Quaker meetinghouse, Samuel and Stands Straight share an encounter neither of them will forget.

Bruchac includes his research for The Arrow Over the Door at the end of the book, which helps to separate truth from fiction.  Both versions support the idea that it is possible to be peaceful in a time of war, and that people communicate even when they don’t speak the same language.  This book also gives insight into the thinking and practices of the Society of Friends, or Quakers.

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