Serpent Never Sleeps

Serpent Never Sleeps

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by Scott O'Dell
     
 

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Serena Lynn, age seventeen, turns down an appointment to serve England's King, James I, at court in order to follow her beloved Anthony Foxcroft across the sea to the newly founded colony of Jamestown. But their ship, loaded with much-needed supplies, founders in a hurricane, wrecking Serena and Anthony in Bermuda. By the time they make their way to Jamestown, the

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Overview

Serena Lynn, age seventeen, turns down an appointment to serve England's King, James I, at court in order to follow her beloved Anthony Foxcroft across the sea to the newly founded colony of Jamestown. But their ship, loaded with much-needed supplies, founders in a hurricane, wrecking Serena and Anthony in Bermuda. By the time they make their way to Jamestown, the colony is in ruins, the people half-starved. Now Serena must go to the Indian princess Pocahontas to plead for the life of the colony — and of the man she loves!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This latest historical novel by the award-winning author transports readers from a lavish 17th century English castle across the Atlantic to a shipwreck off Bermuda and finally to the struggling early settlement at Jamestown. As always, O'Dell writes seamlessly about historical settings. His young protagonist, a castle maid, Serena Lynn, follows nobleman Anthony Foxcroft to the New World; when he is killed, she hopes to return to England before deciding that her life is in America. A stream of dramatic action makes this story mostly compelling to read, but Pocahontas, appearing long after her famous encounter with Captain Smith, befriends Serena too late to provide a strong climax to the tale. Despite this, the novel provides a spinning sense of immediacy with underplayed but key events: the arrival of King James's English translation of the Bible in Jamestown; the near-constant debate of settlers as to whether to face a hazardous journey back to England or the bleak-looking future in the New World. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 10-up. (September)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9 Serena Lynn is in love with Anthony Foxcroft, son of the wealthy English countess for whom she works. When Anthony accidentally kills a servant, he must leave the country, and Serena joins him on a boat sailing for Jamestown. The blend of romantic notions and fierce determination allows her to survive Anthony's incarceration aboard ship, a life-threatening sea journey, a shipwreck on Bermuda, Anthony's drowning death, and the early days of harsh life in Jamestown. But without Anthony the new world holds no appeal. In an effort to return to England, Serena volunteers to aid in luring Pocahontas back to Jamestown. The mission begins a special friendship between the two young women and a new and happier life for Serena. Although Serena appears to be a fictional character, other characters and events are historically factual. O'Dell creates a vividly detailed picture of the time period, including the many political power struggles. However, the picture, stretching from England to Bermuda to Jamestown, is very much a panorama. There are so many events and characters portrayed that it will be difficult for readers to feel any sense of involvement with or understanding of the characters. Even Serena's motivations aren't fully examined. It is never clear why she is so taken with the self-absorbed Anthony or why she feels such an affinity for Pocahontas. Despite the lack of focus and the emotional texture found in O'Dell's earlier works, this book is worth reading for the fascinating story and would be a fine supplement to a colonial history lesson. Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, Wis.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547561998
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/1987
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
603,645
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Scott O’Dell (1898–1989), one of the most respected authors of historical fiction, received the Newbery Medal, three Newbery Honor Medals, and the Hans Christian Andersen Author Medal, the highest international recognition for a body of work by an author of books for young readers. Some of his many books include The Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Road to Damietta, Sing Down the Moon, and The Black Pearl.

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