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Blood on the River: James Town, 1607 Paperback – September 20, 2007
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- Format: Paperback
- Publication Date: 9/20/2007
- Pages: 256
- Reading Level: Age 10 and Up
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This book really takes the story of Jamestown and brings it to life. We read my daughter's history textbook and compared it to what was happening in the "Blood on the River". She was so excited that the book followed so closely with what she was learning. The author does an amazing job of taking the flat history text and weaving a fabulous adventure story out of it. Every chapter was exciting or intense, and it was hard to close the book from one reading to the next.
My kids have never been excited about history before but they were so engaged during this story. Afterwards we watched Disney's "Pocahontas" and my daughter was disappointed that the movie was inaccurate and boring compared to the book. She mentioned how John Smith in the movie doesn't help anyone, and in the book all he does is work hard to ensure everyone is housed, fed, and at peace. My son is 8, and he said (about the movie) "well that was embarrassing".
I personally really enjoyed the author's tone and ability to add appropiate amounts of humor to it. Also, the way she writes made the story a really smooth read-aloud.
I really recommend this book to young and old alike--especially those interested in history. And even for those who don't like history or historical fiction, I dare you NOT to like this one after reading it!!
As we now know, but not back then, my family traces back through successive paternal grandfathers to second- or third-generation Jamestown, and the very youngest of the original settlers was named James Brumfield -- my last name. We can't claim direct lineage, although it seems likely he was a great-uncle who arrived there at age 9, and likely died at age 21 or so. The mystery of his death (or was it one other?) from a musket blast to the knee is described in "Jamestown The Buried Truth," by James Kelso.
I just bought this book by Elisa Carbone, and agree with the many pleased reviewers that she writes well and splices into the storyline the facts that I have come to know about the first English settlement. I'm not sure whether she'll describe the cannibalism that came in the "Starvation Time," but believe me -- had I known even a small part of the story of the founding of Virginia, I would have devoured every word!
For those of you who are wondering whether this is a kid's book, my first impressions are "yes" but much like Huckleberry Finn. Accept the point of view as seen through the eyes of a scrappy 11-year-old, and I think you'll find this book both educational and entertaining. But it will be a definite treat if you do happen to be a bored grade-schooler.