Who's Saying What in Jamestown, Thomas Savage?

Overview

No one told Thomas Savage that life in the New World would be so hard. The colonists suffer through harsh conditions, little food, and a lot of fighting. Then Thomas is asked to live with the Algonquian Indians to learn their language and become an interpreter. But when things turn sour between the English and the natives, Thomas is stuck in the middle. Can he keep the peace?

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Overview

No one told Thomas Savage that life in the New World would be so hard. The colonists suffer through harsh conditions, little food, and a lot of fighting. Then Thomas is asked to live with the Algonquian Indians to learn their language and become an interpreter. But when things turn sour between the English and the natives, Thomas is stuck in the middle. Can he keep the peace?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Thomas Savage was only thirteen years old when he arrived as a presumed orphan at the new settlement of Jamestown in 1608. His already unsettled life took an even stranger turn when Captain Christopher Newport "gave" him to Algonquian chief Powhatan to live among the Indians and learn their language. Thomas succeeded in his mission of becoming a translator between the two peoples. But no amount of linguistic skill could bridge the deep divide between the invading British and the hostile Indians resisting their presence in the New World. Thomas survived and prospered, and ultimately the Jamestown colony did so as well, though only after repeated Indian massacres. Little is known of the day-to-day details of Thomas Savage's life (he left no written record of his achievements), so in a forward, the scrupulous Fritz explains that she is presenting his story as "historical fiction." Despite some additions of imagined dialogue and thoughts, however, this does not read as fiction rather than nonfiction but as an uneasy compromise between the two: We hear that Thomas "must have felt alone" as he remained behind with the Indians, and that he "apparently" watched the brutal slaughter of one English captain. Fritz's presumably faithful account of the greed, laziness, and incompetence of the settlers, and the gruesome rapacity of the Indians, does not make the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown seem an occasion for much celebration.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142414019
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/21/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean Fritz, the Newbery Honor-winning author of Homesick, is best known for her engaging and enlightening nonfiction for young readers, including What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?, And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?, and Shh! We're Writing the Constitution. She was honored with the Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature by the New York State Library Association, and won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her career contribution to American children's literature.

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