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Raleigh's Page [Kindle Edition]

Alan Armstrong , Tim Jessell
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Random House LLC


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Book Description

ANDREW HAS grown up near the Plymouth docks hearing the sailors talk about America. Knowing that Andrew's heart is set on going to the new world, his father sends him up to London to serve as page in the house of Walter Raleigh. In Queen Elizabeth's court, Raleigh's the strongest voice in favor of fighting with Spain for a position in the New World, and everyone knows that it's just a matter of time before Her Majesty agrees to an expedition. Can Andrew prove himself fit to go on an expedition to the New World?

Meticulously researched and brilliantly crafted, combining fictional characters with historical, Andrew's tale offers up a vivid look at the cloakand- dagger politics of the time and a genuine feel for what it must have been like for the first Europeans to set foot on the beautiful, bountiful, savage shores of America.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Armstrong, author of the Newbery Honor Book Whittington (2005), weaves a richly detailed historical narrative featuring 11-year-old Andrew Saintleger, who leaves his home in Devon to become a page to Walter Raleigh. Within two years, he has served Raleigh by sailing to France as a spy, helping to steal an important map, and traveling to Virginia, where he befriends an Indian boy. Andrew goes back to England more experienced, more mature, and eager to return to America. Armstrong's research is evident in the many period details that bring the narrative to life and in the appended author's note, where he lists sources and provides a few "specific notes." Readers may be disappointed not to find any reference there to a curious scene in which Queen Elizabeth I, dancing with her courtiers, summons her maids to remove her jacket and blouse and continues the dance with her "small breasts bared." Historical figures such as Raleigh, Thomas Harriot, and Manteo mix with fictional characters in an adventure that makes for compelling reading. Illustrated with expressive pencil drawings. Phelan, Carolyn


Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2007:
"It's an absorbing historical adventure from an emerging master."

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An adventure for everyone to enjoy August 19, 2008
Eleven-year-old Andrew Saintleger lives with his family on a farm in Devon, England. Since Andrew's older brother will inherit the farm, other prospects must be arranged for Andrew's future. So, in the spring of 1584, when Andrew finishes school, his father surprises him with the opportunity of a lifetime. Andrew travels to London to join the staff of Sir Walter Raleigh, a famous entrepreneur, a favorite acquaintance of the Queen's and a man with a dream to explore America.

Andrew settles into his new life in the loud, bustling city, despite missing home and being bullied by one of the other pages. Since he hails from a farm and is talented in such tasks, he is assigned to spend most of his hours assisting Pena, the gardener, and learning about the experiments Pena conducts on foreign plants in English soil. In addition, Sir Raleigh sets dangerous tasks before him to test his intelligence, his trustworthiness and his bravery. In one such test, Andrew must go undercover as a wine clerk to sneak into a mapmaker's home and obtain a new and supposedly very accurate map. After proving himself worthy, Andrew earns the grandest adventure ever --- to join the expedition to explore America.

Andrew now also assists with the preparation for the voyage, including visiting the Queen for her support, calculating for supplies needed and recording all transactions. He even befriends the two Native Americans brought back from a previous voyage, seeing to their needs and learning their language. They will return to America with Sir Raleigh's expedition and aid them in exploring the new lands.

They set sail the following spring. Even with all of their preparations and research, no one could have prepared Andrew and the crew for the most extreme of all tests --- mere survival.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too June 26, 2008
As the youngest son, Andrew Saintleger is destined for whatever life his father decides he should have. When his father chooses, just before Andrew's twelfth birthday, to take him to London and arrange for him to train and work under Sir Walter Raleigh, Andrew knows he is the luckiest boy around.

Rumor has it that Sir Walter has turned his sights on America. Andrew knows all about America. His teacher, Master Tremayne, is nearly obsessed with the New World and has been drilling all of the students on it all year. So much so that half of the students have become enthralled with it. And now, Andrew may actually get to go!

Adventures on the road to London are nothing compared to the life that Andrew is about to jump in to. Nothing can prepare him for the strange life that Sir Walter leads, and the amazing things he will learn, or the crazy things he will be asked to do. And that's just in London! Just when Andrew begins to feel somewhat comfortable at Durham House, Sir Walter is ready to leave for America. What Andrew finds during the journey and in America will change everything for him, forever.

This book is fantastic on so many levels. It's adventurous and exciting. It's well written. The characters are interesting and believable. It's historically accurate whenever possible. Whether you are a reluctant reader, you have a thirst for adventure, you enjoy the stories in history, or you just want to read a good book, this book can deliver. Simply put, this one is definitely worth the time!

On a personal note, I wish history was taught more like this. Or that someone had gotten me into historical fiction when I was much younger. I knew the name of Sir Walter Raleigh, and I had a general idea of his time period in history, but after reading RALEIGH'S PAGE I will never forget the story.

Reviewed by: Carrie Spellman
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inappropriate Material...Really, for 9-12 age group? February 2, 2011
I picked this one off the shelf at the library for my daughter because the cover art intrigued me. I should have known not to judge a book by its cover. The other reviews rave how "Raleigh's Page" brings us into the Elizabethan age with "well-researched" details of the time. Honestly, the book reads like a bad scotch-taped report of old England. These "details" are so awkwardly worked into the text, I can hardly believe this author is an award winner. The characters might be placed in the sixteenth century, but their actions and attitudes are most definitely of the 21st.

In addition to the poor writing, there is a shockingly smutty gratuitous scene in which the Queen of England removes her top and dances, "breasts bare", before her guests. I cannot for the life of me understand why this detail, so completely irrelevant to the plot, was written into the text. Call me old-fashioned, but I still think that topless dancing is inappropriate material for those ages 9-12.

Please go to Robert Lawson, and one of his many well written historical fictions, if you are interested to learn about history through a well-written fictional tale.
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