Synopses & Reviews
America comes of age--as seen through the eyes of its young founders
Nat and Richard are two orphaned thieves on the streets of London. When John Smith offers them passage as laborers on a merchant ship bound for the New World they jump at the opportunity. What luck! The land of Virginia is rumored to be paved with gold. They will be rich! But quickly the boys learn the awful truth: blinded by greed and arrogance, the settlers of the new English colony at Jamestown are unprepared for the brutal reality of frontier life. Inadequate supplies, illness, petty squabbling, malarial summer heat, and bitter winter cold decimate the colony. Those who escape death are reduced to chewing roots and shoe leather to survive--and, in one horrific instance, cannibalizing a corpse.
Yet by spring more colonists arrive, dreaming of paradise but finding a colony on the brink of starvation.
Through it all Nat and Richard must fall back on their wits to survive.
Nathaniel and Richard are delighted when Captain John Smith hires them as laborers aboard a ship bound for the New World. They will discover gold! Instead, they find that Virginia is a land of both beauty and terrible hardship. If starvation does not kill them, bitter cold night might.
About the Author
is author of numerous novels for young adult, middle grade, and primary readers. These include the Young Founders series, the Daughters of Liberty trilogy, The Great Chicago Fire: 1871
, The Fight for Right
, Read All About It,
and more. A former middle school teacher, Elizabeth enjoys exploring both important and little-known moments in American history and presenting those moments to readers through the struggles and triumphs of her characters.
Elizabeth lives in the historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, very close to where her family moved in 1747. She says, "Every place is historic. Well-known or not, every town, city, and county has its own compelling tale of people and events, a story that plays a part in the continuing story that is our history."