The Arrow Over the Door is a chapter book by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac. In this historical novel, the author has taken historical facts from 1777 and woven an anti-war story that promotes the ideals of peace. Told from the alternating perspectives of an Abenaki youth and a Quaker youth, the story takes place in New York State during a summer encounter between the pacifist Quakers and an Abenaki scouting party. First the reader is introduced to fourteen-year-old Samuel, a Quaker teenager whose pacifist beliefs are being tested during a summer of discontent in America. Called a coward because of his family's nonviolent stand, Samuel believes he would in fact take up arms to protect his family. Villagers are divided in their support for the British or the American rebels. Fear of the Native allies of the British army circulates in the tiny community. While the Quakers profess peaceful intentions and refuse to take sides, Samuel experiences a severe test of his faith. At the same time an Abenaki youth, also fourteen, has joined his uncle's scouting party. Stands Straight has experienced severe losses with the death of his mother and brother at the hands of the rebellious Americans. Now his small scouting party is working on behalf of the British and their mission takes them directly to the village where the Quakers live. The reader is taken through the thought processes of each youth as both young men have to reconcile their ideas about violence, war, peace, and revenge. A dramatic conclusion is reached when the young Quaker boy and his family attend a service at the Meeting House. While sitting in silence the peaceful gathering is watched by the Abenaki scouts. Samuel suddenly looks through a hole in the meeting house wall and sees the approaching Abenaki warriors. The Abenaki scouts have carefully watched the men, women, and children enter the building. Much to their surprise, no one entering is carrying a gun or weapon. Stands Straight's uncle enters the gathering and is welcomed by the Quaker leader. Extending the hand of welcome to each member of the scouting party brings potential enemies together. A Quaker family invites all to share a meager meal of bread and cheese. The Abenaki are drawn to the peaceful Quakers and recognize their nonviolent commitment. As a show of faith and friendship, Stands Straight's uncle places a sign of an arrow above the entrance to the Quaker meeting house. Other Abenaki warriors will honour this symbol and leave the village in peace. Bruchac explains the historical facts and people that inspired this engaging story. Effective black and white drawings are included to assist young readers to understand the story. The Arrow Over the Door is an excellent way to introduce young elementary students to ideas of peace, nonviolence, and the American Revolution. Lexile: 810L; Grade Level Equivalent: 5.5. Reading Level: 5.2; ATOS Level: 5.2.