The Lost Colony of Roanoke is one of the most puzzling mysteries in America's history. In 1587, 115 colonists sailed to the new world, eager to build the brand new Cittie of Raleigh, only to disappear practically without a trace. Where did they go? What could have possibly happened?
Who better to collect and share the clues than Jean Fritz and Hudson Talbott?
The creators of Leonardo's Horse , an American Library Association Notable Book, again combine their masterful talents to illuminate a tragic piece of history that still fascinates Americans today.
"Gr. 3-5. This history of the Lost Colony is more than a simple tale of settlers who disappeared, leaving a cryptic message behind. Fritz weaves the tangled threads of historical records, the multiple voyages, and the large cast of significant figures into a single narrative that enables children to envision the main events as well as many colorful details. The presentation is surprisingly traditional in some ways, from a Eurocentric reference to America as the newfound land to the anecdote (undocumented, as the appended notes acknowledge) about Sir Walter Raleigh's laying his coat across a puddle for Queen Elizabeth. In four chapters, Fritz discusses the English exploration of the region, the settlement on Roanoke Island, the mysterious disappearance of the colonists, and the conjectures, hoaxes, and evidence that have fueled speculation about the colony for 400 years. The fluid, expressive watercolors enhance the writing by using styles that reflect Talbott's research into the paintings of John White and sixteenth-century portrait artists as well as more romantic, imaginative interpretations of people and events. Notes and a bibliography are appended. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2004 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Previously teamed for Leonardo's Horse, Fritz and Talbott now focus on the complicated, still-elusive story of English exploration off the Virginia coast in the 1580s. Studded with facts, anecdotes and historical asides, Fritz's rapid-fire account sets the scene at Queen Elizabeth's court, where Walter Raleigh's friend uses his "show stone" to look into the future and predict that the English would find, hidden behind a long cape, an island where they could settle ("later to be called Roanoke"). The action moves quickly from the successful preliminary exploratory voyage to the disastrous initial expedition of 500 men sent to form a colony; if readers skip even one sentence, they will be lost. Most of the time, fortunately, the writing will compel attention, especially when Fritz focuses on the English policy toward supposedly hostile Indians-"smite them hip and thigh"-and its possible consequences for the second colony, where Virginia Dare was famously born and, along with 114 others, disappeared into oblivion. A concluding section helps the audience assess theories about the fate of the settlers and grapple with a more searching question: "This is not only a mystery; it is a tragic story. And who is to blame for the tragedy?" Talbott's detailed watercolors feature miniature portraits of the principals as well as dramatic, sprawling scenarios. While the dense presentation is not ideally suited to the short format, middle-school readers who are up to a challenge will come away with both a deeper appreciation of a historical mystery and a fuller awareness of how historians sift it for clues and interpretations. Ages 7-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved