BLOOD ON THE RIVER by Elisa Carbone
Kirkus Star


James Town 1607
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Lucky to escape the gallows but doomed to servitude in the New World, young Samuel Collier instead finds adventure and a chance to remake himself, away from the streets and orphanages he has known. Carbone frames her story of the Jamestown settlement by the Powhatan prophecy foretelling the destruction of the Powhatan kingdom. The clash of cultures bringing about that destruction is well portrayed, as is the personal class between the gentlemen of the Virginia Company and the commoner Captain John Smith. Good use is made of eyewitness accounts in a telling that far transcends the usual dry textbook summaries of the period. While learning much history, readers will find characters real enough to care about: Ten-year-old Pocahontas racing naked through the center of the fort, Samuel mastering the bow and arrow and shooting his first rabbit, the magic of a New World masquerade in Pocahontas’s village, where Samuel sits next to a princess. Lively historical fiction at its best. (afterword, author’s note, acknowledgments, sources) (Fiction. 10 )

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-670-06060-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2006


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