Pocahontas: A Life in Two Worlds (Sterling Biographies Series)

Overview

The tale of the Powhatan princess from the Virginia woodlands is one of the best known and most loved in American history. While myth and legend have clouded some of the details, time has not diminished her bravery, selflessness, and commitment to peace. Nearly four centuries after her death, Pocahontas remains an inspiration, and her story will captivate every young reader.
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Overview

The tale of the Powhatan princess from the Virginia woodlands is one of the best known and most loved in American history. While myth and legend have clouded some of the details, time has not diminished her bravery, selflessness, and commitment to peace. Nearly four centuries after her death, Pocahontas remains an inspiration, and her story will captivate every young reader.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

A spirited biography untangles the accretion of myth and story around Pocahontas and makes clear what little is actually known and what fragments of the historical record are available. The text is rich in illustration and in sidebars (on longhouses, colonial diet, weaponry and so on) that illuminate the central narrative. Whether Pocahontas saved John Smith's life directly or as part of an elaborate ritual might not matter, argues Jones. Pocahontas and her people were certainly responsible for keeping the English settlement of Jamestown from starvation. Relations between English settlers and Native people were uneasy at best, and the author traces these carefully, relating how Pocahontas was later kidnapped by the British and held for ransom. When none was forthcoming, she was converted both to English ways and the Christian religion, marrying the widower John Rolfe and traveling to England, where Pocahontas saw John Smith once again and died at about the age of 21. An excellent stab at myth busting and capturing the nuances of both the figure and her times. (glossary, bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 9-12)

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Berne highlights Sacagawea's importance to the Lewis and Clark expedition, as well as her unfortunate lapse into obscurity and the mystery of what happened to her in later life. Chief Joseph was the Nez Perce's main negotiator with the U. S. Army, and he made a name for himself through his strong belief in resolving conflict through peaceful means. Although he was promised that the Nez Perce would return to their ancestral lands, they ended up farther east in Montana. Joseph spent the rest of his life advocating for peaceful relations between his people and whites. The story of Pocahontas saving John Smith's life may be a romanticized version of an elaborate Powhatan ritual, but the friendship between the two was real. Jones begins by placing the settlement at Jamestown in the context of both European exploration and Powhatan lifeways. Pocahontas became a friend to the settlers, eventually married an Englishman, and moved to London. No actual fictionalizing takes place, but the author does suggest what Pocahontas may have thought of the strangeness of her new home. This is a welcome biography for readers wanting more information than that found in Kathleen Krull's Pocahontas (Walker, 2007). In all three books, illustrations appear on almost every page, including period black-and-white photographs (where available), present-day photographs of important places, and well-chosen paintings and drawings. The authors succeed in painting sympathetic yet realistic portraits of their subjects and the cultures in which they lived, especially in the case of Chief Joseph, whose pain at his people's losses is clearly evident.—Rebecca Donnelly, Loma Colorado Public Library, Rio Rancho, NM
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402768446
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 10/5/2010
  • Series: Sterling Biographies Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 909,730
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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