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RALEIGH’S PAGE by Alan Armstrong Kirkus Star


by Alan Armstrong & illustrated by Tim Jessell

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-83319-9
Publisher: Random House

Young Andrew’s mind’s been set afire by his teacher’s enthusiasm for the opportunities offered by America, so when his father finds him a position as page to Sir Walter Raleigh, he dares to hope for overseas excitement. Once ensconced in Raleigh’s household, he quickly becomes caught up in the web of intrigue that is Queen Elizabeth’s court. When events take Andrew, his teacher and Raleigh’s navigator to Virginia, they find themselves at the mercy of both insufficient provisions and the military captain of the enterprise, whose determination to find gold leads to the first in a tragic history of conflicts with the Native Americans. The monumental research that provides the foundation for this tale is woven effortlessly into the account of Andrew’s coming-of-age, the brutality and the prejudices of the times always evident. Armstrong walks a fine line between accurately representing the beliefs and sensibilities of 16th-century Englishmen and accommodating modern social attitudes, a feat he accomplishes neatly, between Andrew’s native teenage sense of justice and the introduction of Sky, Andrew’s Native-American friend. It’s an absorbing historical adventure from an emerging master. (Fiction. 10-14)