Starving Time: Elizabeth's Jamestown Colony Diary (My America)

Overview


In Pat Hermes' sequel to Our Strange New Land, Elizabeth faces harsher times as she records the colony's daily struggle for survival. The My America series will be relaunched with new covers.

The story of the feisty, determined Lizzie of Pat Hermes' Our Strange New Land continues in this installment with the departure of both Captain John Smith and Lizzie's dear friend, Jessie. Facing new challenges, Lizzie records in her new diary all of the challenges that face the struggling...

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Overview


In Pat Hermes' sequel to Our Strange New Land, Elizabeth faces harsher times as she records the colony's daily struggle for survival. The My America series will be relaunched with new covers.

The story of the feisty, determined Lizzie of Pat Hermes' Our Strange New Land continues in this installment with the departure of both Captain John Smith and Lizzie's dear friend, Jessie. Facing new challenges, Lizzie records in her new diary all of the challenges that face the struggling colony. As a result of starvation and disease, Lizzed watches hopelessly as many of the settlers die. She records all of this, but even more, she records the intimate lives of the children who remain there, along with that of her new baby sister.

Elizabeth Barker continues to write to her "friend," her diary, as disease and lack of food further plague the suffering settlers at Jamestown.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Nine-year-old Elizabeth lives with her family in the Jamestown settlement. In this, her second diary, she describes her family's struggle to survive during the winter. Food is scarce and the settlers are wary of venturing outside the fort for fear of being attacked by Indians. Things become more desperate when sickness sweeps through the fort. In a last-ditch effort to save her family, Elizabeth ventures out to seek help from her friend Pocahontas in a nearby Indian village. The historical detailsare woven so intricately into the plot that they become an integral part of the story. While there is not much action, the sense of difficulty and harshness the settlers faced is apparent. Elizabeth is a mature and responsible figure who seems to act beyond her years. A "Historical Note" describes the situation at the real Jamestwon settlement and shows black-and-white drawings of the fort and its inhabitants.
---School Library Journal, June 2001
Children's Literature
This "My America" title has much in common with its big sisters in the popular "Dear America" series of historical fiction from Scholastic. First, it is written in a journal format. Second, it features as its main character a strong, capable girl who, while fictional, is drawn from the experiences of actual girls and women who lived in a particular period of American history. Third, this fictionalized diary conveys to contemporary children many facts about the challenges and joys of daily life in our American past. The major difference is that "My America" books are written for slightly younger readers, those wanting to take their first steps into chapter books. In this story, the protagonist is Elizabeth Barker, a nine-year-old inhabitant of Jamestown, the 17th century English colony struggling to survive in the New World. Elizabeth and many other characters have been carried over from Hermes first book, Elizabeth's Diary. The story picks up its thread in October of 1609. As a harsh winter looms, the colony faces both a lack of food reserves and a lack of leadership in the wake of Captain John Smith's return to England. Elizabeth's best friend, Jessie, sailed away on the same ship. Her twin brother, Caleb, is expected to rejoin the family soon, traveling on a supply ship that the London Company has promised will arrive in May. But with deadly diseases raging within the settlement's stockade walls and unfriendly Indians outside, Elizabeth wonders who will be left alive to greet him. 2001, Scholastic, . Ages 7 to 10. Reviewer: Dianne Ochiltree
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439369022
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Series: My America
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Book Two
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 278,256
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.52 (h) x 0.27 (d)

Meet the Author


Patricia Hermes was born in 1936 in Brooklyn, New York. An avid reader, she had time to practice both reading and writing when she came down with rheumatic fever, which left her stuck in bed for months. Hermes majored in speech and English at St. John's University, and taught junior high school English and social studies before taking time off to raise her five children. Returning to teaching after a number of years, she found it less satisfying than she'd remembered, and decided to try her hand at writing for publication. She took a class in writing nonfiction for adults; the teacher, Russell Freedman, would go on to win the Newbery Medal.

After publishing some articles, Hermes found the niche she'd been looking for: her first novel for young readers, What If They Knew?, was published in 1980. Hermes gave the main character in the book epilepsy, a problem she had dealt with herself as a child. Readers responded well to the believable situation, and over the years Hermes has continued to write stories featuring youngsters in difficult situations, so that readers can turn to her books knowing they are not alone. She has written more than 20 books for children and young adults.

Patricia Hermes lives in Connecticut, where she spends four hours of the day writing and the rest editing her work and answering letters. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, running, music, traveling, horseback riding, and playing the piano.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    My book is called My America The Starving Time Elizabeth¿s Dairy Two. My character is Elizabeth. Elizabeth has a twin brother. He still lives in England while the rest of his family lives in Jamestown, Virginia. His name is Caleb and he is supposed to go to Jamestown in spring. The book reminded me of when I was at church camp and came home. My cousin was sitting on my bed. I thought of my book as funny, sad, and exciting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2004

    Good,but not great.

    I read this book for a book report. It`s good,but not great.There are some scary parts.It`s a good book for second graders.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2002

    Okay, but not the best

    I thought this book was okay. I just didn't really like the setting and how so many people die even though it is true. We had to read it for an assignment in school for Social Studies. As I said, it's okay.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2001

    Lizzie's story continues in the sequel to Our Strange New Land.

    It's October, 1609. Although her best friend Jessie Bolton has returned to England with her grieving father following her mother's death, nine-year-old Elizabeth Barker is hopeful. The small colony of Jamestown, Virginia, is finally beginning to feel like home. The birth of Lizzie's baby sister, Abigail, has brought the Barker family joy. And Lizzie's twin brother, Caleb, will join the family come spring. But nothing can prepare Lizzie, her family, and the other colonies for the hardships they will face over winter. There isn't nearly enough food to last until the next ship arrives in the spring, and as soon as the first snow falls, disease once again breaks out among the colonists. Lizzie fears for her life, for her parent's lives, but especially for the life of little Abigail, whom Lizzie fears may not be strong enough to survive the winter. Lizzie and her new friend Mary cling to each other for comfort and pray for deliverance, yet even their strong spirits may not be enough to keep their families alive. As Lizzie struggles through the death of friends and loved ones, family and strangers, and starvation and sickness, she fights to keep her hope alive and to never give up. Told through Lizzie's spirited diary entries, this book continues the story begun in Our Strange New Land. Both that book and this one reveal what life might have been like for a young girl during the difficult winter of 1609-1610 in Jamestown Colony. I highly reccomend this book to all fans of the Dear America series, especially those that loved the first book about Lizzie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

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