Famous is the legend of William Tell, the great bowman who shot an arrow through an apple that rested on the head of his son. What makes this version of the story so special is the fact that it is told from that son's point of view. Walter Tell is 11 years old when his mother, Hedvig, considers him old enough to hear of the troubles that have befallen their Alpine homeland of Uri. It is the Middle Ages and the land that would someday be known as Switzerland is under the rule of Albrecht of Austria, a ruthless king, who has installed an even more ruthless bailiff named Gessler to maintain order and dominion over the region. Hedvig tells the young Walter that his father, William Tell, is involved in a secret plot to unite with the neighboring lands and revolt against Gessler and the Austrian rule he represents. Walter accompanies his father to the nearby town of Altdorf, where the elder Tell is suddenly taken prisoner by Gessler and his men. Gessler instructs his soldiers to tie Walter to a tree and then demands that William Tell shoot an arrow through the apple placed on the boy's head. Walter finds his courage in his father's bravery. He completely trusts in his father's abilities and convinces him to pull back his crossbow and fire. Even after hitting the apple, William Tell is taken away by Gessler and his men. But he eventually fights his way free and Walter becomes the proud witness of a father who fights for what he knows is right. Mary and Conrad Buff conclude their Newbery Honor book with a historical note that admits that the legend of William Tell which portrays him as an actual figure fighting for the independence of Switzerland, may actually be just that — a legend. But through words and pictures they capture the truth behind this legend — of a community of people fighting oppression to win their freedom, and of a boy who has absolute faith in their efforts.