Virginia Bound

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Overview

Rob Brackett is in dire straits. He's always known that the first rule of survival is to not stick your neck out for anyone but yourself. But he disregarded his own advice and took another orphan, a young girl called Nell, under his wing. As a result of Nell's trusting nature, the two of them were kidnapped off the streets of London and shipped to Virginia. If only Rob had followed his instincts and left Nell on her own! Now he is in the new Jamestown colony, forced to work as an indentured servant to a cruel ...

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Overview

Rob Brackett is in dire straits. He's always known that the first rule of survival is to not stick your neck out for anyone but yourself. But he disregarded his own advice and took another orphan, a young girl called Nell, under his wing. As a result of Nell's trusting nature, the two of them were kidnapped off the streets of London and shipped to Virginia. If only Rob had followed his instincts and left Nell on her own! Now he is in the new Jamestown colony, forced to work as an indentured servant to a cruel tobacco farmer, and there seems to be no escaping his predicament. His only companion is an Indian girl named Mattoume, but everyone knows Indians are not to be trusted. He certainly can't depend on her for a way out . . . or can he?

In this well-told, extensively researched, and vividly portrayed novel, Rob must find a way to persevere in the cruel New World, even if it means accepting-and returning-the help of others.

Thirteen-year-old orphaned beggar Rob Brackett is kidnapped from the streets of London and taken to the New World for a cruel tobacco farmer master, who also owns a Pamunkey Indian girl named Mattoume.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...lively prose and brisk pace...excellent first effort sure to appeal to...anyone who enjoys a well-told tale." KIRKUS REVIEWS Kirkus Reviews

"...vivid details...the well-realized seventeeth-century setting becomes an integral part of the novel, rather than a mere backdrop." BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA

"Butler authentically presents the white settlers' racism toward the Native Americans...a mix of good and evil characters" SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL School Library Journal

Children's Literature
In 1627, orphan Rob Brackett struggles to live on the streets of London, especially when he must look after nine-year-old Nell, who he grudgingly befriended when he found her weeping. At thirteen Rob has seen much and tries to live by the credo "'Tis every man for hisself in this world." Although he'd gained skills from his carpenter father who died when Rob was eleven, Rob was still driven to the streets to live. Now Nell has accidentally led them into trouble, and the next thing Rob knows he is on a ship for the dreaded colony of Virginia, where kidnapped orphans and others are sold as indentured servants to English settlers. Once in the Jamestown colony, Rob and Nell are separated and Rob begins a gruesome life as servant to a cruel tobacco farmer. His only friend is a Pamunkey Inda girl named Mattoume who pretends she is mute, but eventually befriends and confides in Rob. Through their harsh experiences, Rob and Mattoume survive with the dream of escape, and Rob is presented with the choice of living with her tribe or a life of unbearable servitude. Fate has a way of bringing hope to Rob, and a satisfying ending re-unites him with Nell and a kind master. In her suspenseful first novel, Butler has woven the story of a young man's personal growth in helping others with the details of life's struggle in the new colony. While the use of period language in both narrative and dialogue is sometimes inconsistent, the plot is strong and affords readers an important opportunity to experience another glimpse of life in this desperate colony. An excellent Author's Note accompanies the story and the book is clearly well researched. 2003, Clarion/Houghton Mifflin, Ages 10 to 13.
— ElaineWick
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Rob Brackett, 13, is a softhearted orphan who lives on the streets of London in 1627. He cares for a younger orphan, Nell, whose na vet causes both children to be kidnapped and sent to Virginia. Rob is a skilled carpenter, but he is indentured to a cruel tobacco farmer, Captain Holt, and separated from Nell. When he arrives at Holt's farm, he meets another servant, Mattoume, a 12-year-old Pamunkey girl. At first, she does not speak, but when they are alone in the field, she saves Rob from a snake and begins to speak to him in English, and they devise a plan to run away to Mattoume's family. When a kind carpenter wants to buy Rob's services and take him away from Holt's farm, the boy feels guilty about leaving Mattoume alone but then assists her in a successful escape. He finds Nell living near his new home, and the villain, mauled by a bear during Mattoume's escape, moves back to England. Butler authentically presents the white settlers' racism toward the Native Americans and Rob's eventual understanding and respect for his new native friend, but it is unfortunate that Mattoume speaks in a type of broken English reminiscent of 1950s Hollywood Westerns. There's a mix of good and evil characters, but not all are well developed; Rob is presented with the most definition and depth.-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Newcomer Butler's title is a play on words: Rob Brackett and Nell Cranston are bound for Virginia, where they will be bound in servitude to the highest bidder for four to seven years. It is 1627, and the children have been kidnapped from the streets of London and brought to Jamestown, a mere village on the edge of a wild country. Rob blames Nell for being captured and figures he would be better off on his own, with his London street smarts and his attitude that "From now on I looks after meself. I'll not stick me neck out for no one." But when he is separated from Nell and forced to work for a cruel owner named Holt, he is miserable. Working with an Indian girl-whom he considers one of "the Devil's own people-compounds his misfortune. The narrative works on two levels: it's an excellent portrayal of indentured servitude, and it portrays Rob's growth from street orphan looking out only for himself to young man finding a kindness and responsibility toward Nell and the Powhatan girl, Mattoume. Facing the threats of fevers, snakes, bears, and the vicious Holt, Rob manages not only to survive but to stick his neck out for his friends and, in the process, he finds a place to call home. Butler's lively prose and brisk pace make for an excellent first effort sure to appeal to fans of historical fiction and to anyone who enjoys a well-told tale. (author's note, acknowledgments) (Historical fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618247523
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/21/2003
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 9 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

"Amy Butler writes historical fiction from her home near Boston, and has also contributed award-winning nonfiction to a variety of magazines. Virginia Bound, her first novel, was called "excellent" by Kirkus Reviews."

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book was a very good book .I recomend this book to anyone above the age of 7. It has things that you think are going to happen but they don't .I loved this book and I know you will too.This book is a very exciting book and at the end . It just grab's the reader's attention and takes for a ride . Whoever wrote this book should be proud . Because I absoultly loved this book.

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