Armstrong takes you into life in the Elizabethan times as Sir Walter Raleigh’s page. This is a thoroughly researched and compelling account of the first expansions of England into North America. I am torn on whether to recommend this book for K-8 libraries. I believe Armstrong handles the racism of his characters with deftness but I worry some about whether the racism of the characters will be a confirmation of the racism in the readers. This book needs a companion book told from the First Nations perspective. It needs a teacher who is aware of its colonialist perspective. I almost think the book should come with a warning label. Although exactly what it should read, I’m not sure. I loved this book and I am aware of my own roots in a colonial perspective. As a mature reader, I can see the racism of some of the English sailors and courtiers for what it is but I am a white girl, how would it feel if I was not? I’d add this book to my public library collection or personal collection in a heartbeat. I am cautious for my K-8 public school library.
Rating #1 (Highly Recommended) #2✓ #3 #4 (Not acceptable)
Interest Level: grades 6+ Reading Level: 6+
Curriculum Area: Language Arts, Social Studies
Themes/Topics: colonial times, exploration, living in Elizabethan England
This book would be suitable for ✓ Lit Circles ✓ Kit Materials