Blood on the River: James Town 1607

bloodriver12 year old Samuel Collier is a street urchin and orphan on the mean streets of London in 1607.  He’s learned to trust no one, fend for himself, and fight off any one who gets in his way. After attempting to steal back a locket pawned by his dead mother, he ends up in a orphanage. But soon Samuel finds himself, another boy, and the kindly Reverend who ran the orphanage, aboard a ship bound for the New World.

Samuel becomes page to Captain John Smith and spends months at sea on the way to the new Virginia colony, James Town.  Everyone imagines that the shores of the new world are awash with gold; however, as soon as they arrive on the beautiful and forbidding coasts, the colonists learn that the New World is nothing like they imagined. From political in-fighting between the nobles and the common men, to mysterious illness, starvation and troubles with the Native people, the colony’s troubles continue to mount, and Samuel cannot tell who is to be trusted or how they will survive.

Young readers will enjoy the accessible way Elisa Carbone fills Blood on the River with authentic, picturesque  historical details about the James Town colony based on the accounts of the real people who survived those first brutal years.  They’ll also identify with Samuel’s struggles to cope with his fears and selfishness, learn to channel his anger and trust those around him, and his courage to survive.  Blood on the River is one of those stories that can fuel a growing interest in and love for American history.

  • Posted by Cori 

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