Raleigh’s Page by Alan Armstrong

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.
2008 Bristol Renaissance Faire
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

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Filed under children's lit, library, reading

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