Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Surviving Jamestown The Adventures of Young Sam Collier by Gail Langer Karwoski with Illustrations by Paul Casale

Age 8-12
Hardcover: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-239-2
About the book:  A stirring story of survival set against the backdrop of the founding of the first permanent English settlement in the New World.

In 1606, King James I granted a charter to a group of London businessmen known as the Virginia Company to establish an English settlement in North America. In 1607, 104 men set sail aboard three tiny ships on a voyage to a new land. What they found became the first permanent English settlement in the New World—Jamestown.

Among the brave adventurers who made the journey was a young boy named Samuel Collier, the page of famed Captain John Smith. Samuel accompanied Smith on the legendary journey to meet the Algonquin leader Powhatan. Disease, famine, and continuing attacks by neighboring Algonquin Indians took a tremendous toll on the settlers. Samuel was one of the few to survive the harsh realities of the New World during the first few years of Jamestown.

Based on author Gail Karwoski's careful research of the era, this fictional account portrays the struggles and successes of our country's earliest settlers, as seen through the life of a young man. Young readers will enjoy following this story of courage and survival while learning about this important period in the history of the United States.

Review: This is an excellent informative book which I have read to my class several years to prepare them for our field trip to historic Jamestown Settlement.

The adventure begins on board the Susan Constance while docked on the Thames River.  She is one of three ships setting sail for the New World in the year 1606.  Sam Collier is a twelve year old boy ready for an adventure.  He is leaving his native England to be the page for John Smith, one of the original settlers of Jamestown, Virginia.

Sam faces incredible hardships during the voyage and first several years of the settlement.  The reader is given significant insight into the conflicts and difficulties which plagued this first permanent settlement.

This book, an engaging adventure book which will appeal to upper elementary and middle school students, is well written and engaging while teaching history.  After reading this book students will have a better understanding of the historic Jamestown time period and the bigger struggles which were a major part of the early colony.

The illustrations by Paul Casale are a pleasing addition to the story and enhance its value to younger readers. (rev. A.Freeman, Grade 6 teacher)

DISCLOSURE: Peachtree Publishers provided a complimentary review copy to facilitate our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

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