VIRGINIA BOUND by Amy Butler

VIRGINIA BOUND

Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Newcomer Butler’s title is a play on words: Rob Brackett and Nell Cranston are bound for Virginia, where they will be bound in servitude to the highest bidder for four to seven years. It is 1627, and the children have been kidnapped from the streets of London and brought to Jamestown, a mere village on the edge of a wild country. Rob blames Nell for being captured and figures he would be better off on his own, with his London street smarts and his attitude that “From now on I looks after meself. I’ll not stick me neck out for no one.” But when he is separated from Nell and forced to work for a cruel owner named Holt, he is miserable. Working with an Indian girl—whom he considers one of “the Devil’s own people—compounds his misfortune. The narrative works on two levels: it’s an excellent portrayal of indentured servitude, and it portrays Rob’s growth from street orphan looking out only for himself to young man finding a kindness and responsibility toward Nell and the Powhatan girl, Mattoume. Facing the threats of fevers, snakes, bears, and the vicious Holt, Rob manages not only to survive but to stick his neck out for his friends and, in the process, he finds a place to call home. Butler’s lively prose and brisk pace make for an excellent first effort sure to appeal to fans of historical fiction and to anyone who enjoys a well-told tale. (author’s note, acknowledgments) (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 21st, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-24752-1
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2003




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