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Children's LiteratureThis entry in the "Jamestown American Portraits" series shows what life might have been like for a youth without a family in colonial America. Being taken from his British homeland and brought America did not free 12-year-old Richard Ayre, but indentured him instead. He will serve unknown years of bondage to Laydon unless he can figure out how to release himself from this invisible contract that holds him in Virginia. Life is boring until a Native American boy Richard's age walks into his world and causes major chaos. Will Richard decide to help the man who holds him captive or will he help the young warrior? Loyalty comes with a high price and so does freedom. On the surface, the author has an interesting plot that shows young readers what life was really like in some parts of colonial America. The problem lies within the characters themselves. What are the odds that a colonial American will have the opportunity to indenture a Native American boy and keep him on his property for any amount of time? Unfortunately, the character Richard is one-dimensional and does not have any emotional impact on the story. The story simply moves through events, without character growth of either boy. The story twists and turns too many times to be realistic and support the historical data. Young readers need a hero that breathes true. 2004, Waterbird Books, Ages 8 to 12.