Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

New Beginnings: Jamestown and the Virginia Colony 1607-1699

New Beginnings: Jamestown and the Virginia Colony 1607-1699

Daniel Rosen
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 10 and up
National Geographic, 2005   ISBN: 978-0792282778

There can be no doubt that the first wave of settlers who were sent to America to create a new settlement in the Virginia colony really had no idea what they were going to have to do. Many left England with the expectation that they would find gold and silver in the new land and that they would quickly become rich. The gentlemen in the group had no plans to do any menial work as this kind of work was beneath their station. Indeed it took many months and finally the orders of a new leader to get these gentleman to pick up tools and work alongside the other settlers to help make Jamestown survive.

Survival was indeed what these settlers found themselves striving for. Trying to find enough to eat, good water to drink, and trying not to die of disease became the goal and it was a battle many lost as they succumbed to illness and starvation. The colonists were also having troubles with the local Indian tribes, the relationship between the English and the Indians being tenuous at best.

In this Crossroads America title, the author paints a fascinating picture of what life was like in Jamestown from its founding in 1607 until 1699 when the capital of the colony was moved to the new town of Williamsburg. Beautifully reproduced illustrations and paintings cover the pages breaking up the text and making the story accessible to readers who are new to non-fiction history titles. Readers will encounter many familiar names including Pocahontas, John Smith, George Washington, and others. They will also discover how slavery came to America very early on in America's history and how the new colony grew and thrived.