Fearless Captain: The Adventures of John Smith

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
John Smith was an adventurer. Born in 1580 in England, he was only sixteen when he joined the army. He sailed across the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, participated in wars in Hungary, the Netherlands, and Slovenia. He was a born traveler and visited many countries throughout his lifetime. One of his adventures resulted in his capture and enslavement. His owner was a woman who took pity on him and treated him kindly, but her brother did not treat him as well. Eventually, Smith escaped. He found his way to the New World, where he had his most memorable adventures. The ship he was on landed in Virginia. He tried to establish an English colony but first had to make peace with the native people led by a chief named Powhatan. It was a constant struggle for the colonists to live among the Indians. They had to fight for survival, find food and shelter, and deal with illness. When Smith was captured by Chief Powhatan's tribe, he met Pocahontas for the first time. She saved his life when her father, Chief Powhatan, marked Smith for death. In 1616, Smith met Pocahontas again when she visited England with her husband John Rolfe. A year later, she died from an unknown illness. In 1631, Captain John Smith died at the age of fifty-one. He led an adventurous, exciting life and is remembered for his attempts at colonizing Virginia and his meeting with the Indian princess, Pocahontas. Illustrations and back matter material are included. 2006, Morgan Reynolds Publishing Inc, Ages 10 up.
—Della A. Yannuzzi
The biography of this English explorer, perhaps the person most responsible for establishing firm foothold by the British in Virginia, is both fascinating and illuminating. Born in 1580 to a yeoman farmer and his wife in Lincolnshire, England, Smith was endowed with an active imagination. His thirst for adventure was fueled by tales of heroic deeds of seafarers such as Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, and others. At the age of thirteen, the young man sold his school satchel and books, planning to go to sea. His father discovered his plan and put an end to it. In 1596, after his father's death, Smith, now sixteen, took a small part of his inheritance and set off for London. After traveling to France, he enlisted in the army of an English captain and mastered the skills of armed combat and horsemanship. He crisscrossed Europe, engaging in battles for the Holy Roman Empire against the Turks. In 1603, Smith became involved in planning an expedition to the Virginia colony, traveling on the Susan Constant, which landed on the Chesapeake Bay in April 1607. Later captured by Powhatan warriors and on the verge of being clubbed to death by them, he was spared by the compassionate intervention of Powhatan's eleven-year-old daughter, Pocahantas. Subsequently Smith made several exploratory voyages along the Chesapeake Bay and drafted many accurate maps of the area before returning to England, where he died at the age of fifty-one. American history buffs will be enthralled by the amazing life and deeds of this intrepid adventurer whose valor, sagacity, and vision anchored the early English settlement in the New World. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses;For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, Morgan Reynolds, 176p.; Index. Illus. Maps. Biblio. Source Notes., PLB . Ages 11 to 18.
—Delia Culberson
School Library Journal
Gr 8-10-Loker uses recent scholarship and Smith's own writings to create a portrait of this legendary figure. He opens with the famous scene in which Pocahontas saved Smith, and then traces the man's life, beginning with his childhood thirst for adventure, devoting almost half of the book to recounting his extensive travels in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. The remainder of the book summarizes Britain's explorations in the New World and looks at Smith's experiences in Jamestown, concluding that his actions and leadership "provided the bond" that held the struggling colony together. Loker is generally admiring of Smith, stressing his bravery and skills, but also describing his flaws. Illustrations include color reproductions of period art and maps and contemporary maps of Smith's journeys. This is an adequate examination of the man and his legacy, but it is not as well written as Kieran Doherty's To Conquer Is to Live: The Life of Captain John Smith of Jamestown (21st Century Bks, 2001), which uses many of the same sources, provides more historical context, and is more focused on Smith's experiences in Virginia.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931798839
  • Publisher: Morgan Reynolds Pub
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Series: Founders of the Republic Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,302,332
  • Age range: 11 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.06 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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