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ROANOKE by Lee Miller


The Mystery of the Lost Colony

by Lee Miller

Age Range: 9 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-439-71266-1
Publisher: Scholastic

The story of the early settlements in America is one of greed, starvation, massacres and ruin, and the disappearance of the Roanoke colony is one of America’s great historical mysteries. Where most works for young readers leave the subject a mystery, Miller tells the tale as a detective story full of spy networks, sabotage, “accidents” and political posturing, and purports to solve the mystery, letting readers in on the thrill of historical investigation. Source notes, however, are mostly for primary sources, and inclusion of an author’s note would have been an opportunity to show how the author arrived at her conclusions. Also, for a book so rooted in geography, a good map would have been helpful, as would a bibliography for young readers who wish to read further. Still, the handsome design, the lively prose and the trappings of the mystery tale will make history buffs read this in one big gulp. A good match with Jean Fritz’s The Lost Colony of Roanoke (2004) and Michael Cooper’s Jamestown, 1607 (Jan. 2007). (historical cast, time line, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 9+)