Sam Collier and the Founding of Jamestown

Overview

In April 1607, twelve-year-old Sam Collier and a group of Englishmen landed in North America. Arriving as an assistant to the solider John Smith, Sam was excited to discover what adventures lay before him in the new land soon to be known as Virginia. But the months ahead would soon prove to be a harsh test. Facing sickness and starvation and sudden attack, Sam had to use all his wits if he were to survive. Could Sam and his fellow settlers trust Virginia's Indians to help them? Could they learn to survive in this...
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Overview

In April 1607, twelve-year-old Sam Collier and a group of Englishmen landed in North America. Arriving as an assistant to the solider John Smith, Sam was excited to discover what adventures lay before him in the new land soon to be known as Virginia. But the months ahead would soon prove to be a harsh test. Facing sickness and starvation and sudden attack, Sam had to use all his wits if he were to survive. Could Sam and his fellow settlers trust Virginia's Indians to help them? Could they learn to survive in this strange new land?
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In 1606, a group of English colonists left England determined to establish a permanent settlement in the New World. Sam Collier, a twelve-year-old page in the service of Master John Smith, was one of them. This book is a fictionalized account of the youngster's life and the challenges that he surely faced as he tried to survive in the harsh new wilderness. Sam fought sickness, hunger, thirst, and occasional marauding Indians during those first years, but he always managed to survive and help others. The story is an inspirational one, but ultimately this book is flat and uninspiring. While the account of Sam and those first colonists is fictionalized in order to make it appealing to a younger audience, the plot is nonexistent. Sam is an uninteresting character without much of a background, and his actions in the book are mundane and ordinary although they could have been heroic. The story's only tension revolves around the arrival of the Powhatan Indians who provide needed food for the settlers. While the writing is at best pedestrian and at worst simply boring, the illustrations by Archambault are just plain bad. Archambault employs broad, heavy strokes in his illustrations that make them appear flat and uninteresting. I think the book would have been better by simply recounting the true story of the Jamestown settlers and trusting that children are smart enough to imagine the travails of children their age. 2006, Millbrook Press/Lerner Books, Ages 8 to 12.
—Tom Jones
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-These beginning readers are physically attractive, with large, competently done, full-color art, but they don't contain much factual information or cover any new territory. Jango-Cohen devotes all 48 pages to imagining what it might have been like for Franklin to discover that lightning is electricity with his legendary kite experiment, yet this is a tiny part of his amazing and varied life. The book is catalogued as nonfiction, but it is heavily fictionalized. Ransom covers four months in 1608 during the very beginnings of the settlement of Jamestown, VA. Although Sam was a real person who worked for John Smith, the story imagines what may have happened to him in these early days. The one-page afterword gives much more actual information about the colony's progress and the boy's fate, all of which would have made this book more interesting and informative had it been explored further. Stick with Rosalyn Schanzer's How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning (HarperCollins, 2003), Jean Fritz's What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? (Putnam, 1976), James Cross Giblin's The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin (Scholastic, 2000), or Elizabeth A. Campbell's Jamestown: The Beginning (Little, Brown, 1974; o.p.).-Kate Kohlbeck, Randall School, Waukesha, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575058740
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Series: On My Own History Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 2 - 4 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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