The Matchlock Gun

By Walter D. Edmonds
Level 6

This short (62 pages with some illustrations) Newbery Medal winner, published in 1941, is a jewel. The writing and story are superior. This is a true story of the tremendous courage of a mother and son that takes place during the French and Indian War. Not only does it give a fascinating look at history, but it helps readers really feel what the challenges were like in those days. Some oppose this book because they feel it is “politically incorrect” to paint the Indians as cruel savages. Of course not all Indians were cruel and to be feared, but the Indians in this book were recruited by the French to attack English settlers. They were fearful enemies. I recommend doing this book as a read-aloud so you can discuss the issues. Just like the white settlers, many Indians were good and kind, but others were not.

(Reviewed by Jenny Phillips)

Region North America
Period 18th Century, Late 1700s
Genre Biography, Fiction
Digital Format Audiobook, E-book
The Good and the Beautiful Library No
  • Audiobook
  • E-Book
  • 3.5 Entertainment Value
  • 5 Moral Value
  • 5 Educational Value
  • 5 Literary Value
Rating System