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Children's LiteraturePlucked from an orphanage to serve Captain John Smith on his voyage to the New World, eleven-year-old Samuel Collier finds that the aggressive energy that served him well on London's streets is equally helpful for surviving the rigors of the Atlantic crossing and England's new colony on the Virginia shores. From his new master he learns that the independence he once prized is less valuable than the ability to get along with others, to work together to accomplish difficult tasks. Closely based on historical fact, this story of the early years of the James Town Colony comes to life through the eyes of this engaging character. Written in response to teacher requests, this is not simply supplemental curricular material. Carbone paces her story well, creating dramatic suspense and a clear sense of place through the use of vivid sensory detail. The irony of Samuel's early fear of native "cannibals" is made clear in the afterword, in which we learn that while Samuel was surviving the winter of 1609 in relative safety at Point Comfort, using some of the survival skills he learned from Powhatan Indians, those who remained at James Town were digging up graves for food. This is an adventure story, a coming-of-age story, and living history. In a concluding note the author describes her research and appends a list of sources. Entertaining and informative, this is a welcome addition to any historical fiction collection. 2006, Viking, Ages 10 to 14.