Reviews for Roanoke : The Mystery of the Lost Colony
Booklist Reviews 2007 June #1
Miller, author of Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony (2001), here reprises for a young audience her historical theory that a certain man sabotaged the expedition eventually known as the Lost Colony. She traces the colonists' journey to the New World, their leader's decision to return to England in hopes of obtaining much-needed supplies, and his desperate attempts to return, delayed again and again, until after the colonists' mysterious disappearance. Miller does an exceptional job of presenting the Native American culture and viewpoint, but the book focuses largely on people and politics in England. The book presents as fact her theory about who thwarted the colony's success and why. This handsomely designed book features one or two illustrations on each spread, many in color, including reproductions of period drawings, paintings, and maps, as well as modern photos of sites and wildlife. Although there is no bibliography, the book concludes with a time line and source notes, mainly from period sources, and includes succinct explanations of the terms Ibid. and Op. cit., which young readers may be meeting for the first time.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
This poorly organized account explores what happened to the English colony that settled on Roanoke Island. Despite a "historical cast" list at the beginning, the different players are hard to keep track of; the frequently shifting focus between Europe and America makes the mystery difficult to follow. Maps, photos, and archival illustrations provide some assistance to readers. Timeline. Ind. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2007 March #2
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+) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
VOYA Reviews 2007 June
One of the earliest mysteries of American history concerns the fate of the lost colony of Roanoke, founded in 1587. By 1590, the colony was deserted; no trace of the settlers was ever found. There is, however, much more to the story. This excellent book looks into the competitive political situation that pitted the Spaniards against the English in the New World, the mistreatment of the Secota Indians who shared the territory around Roanoke, the threat of pirates, and the changing attitudes of Queen Elizabeth toward Walter Raleigh and other supporters of the colony. Through the examination of many primary source documents and drawings, many reproduced in the text, it becomes apparent that egos, conflicting ambitions, an impending war with Spain, and neglect led to the ruin of the colony It took three years for rescuers and supplies to reach the abandoned colony. By then, only a cryptic message carved in a tree trunk, "CROATOAN," remained. The first white child born in America, Virginia Dare, was lost to the ages. Over the next twenty years, there were tales passed down from later colonists about inland tribes holding white captives and sightings of blue-eyed natives wearing English clothing and sporting crosses. In this fascinating look at the darker side of history, the author colorfully describes how cruelty, military blunders, and ruthless political ambition led to disaster for some unfortunate colonists. The book is successfully pared down to an elementary level from her adult book on the same topic.-Kevin Beach Index. Illus. Source Notes. Chronology. 5Q 2P M J Copyright 2007 Voya Reviews.