Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh

Stephanie Sammartino McPherson
For ages 7 to 9
Lerner Publishing Group, 2005   ISBN: 978-0822529453

Walter Raleigh was born into a farming family but he was not the kind of person who could be content working the land. So Walter went to Oxford University but he was restless and left before he had completed his studies. Luckily for Walter his half brother Humphrey Gilbert was able to take him along on an expedition and Walter's career as an adventurer and explorer was born.

Being handsome, charming, and intelligent Walter soon got into the good graces of Queen Elizabeth. The queen liked to have interesting people about her and Walter flattered her in a way that she liked. Always generous with her favor, the queen rewarded Walter by giving him a home, power, and the means to make a considerable amount of money. Though Walter enjoyed this life, he wanted more – he wanted to find and claim new lands for his queen.

Preferring to keep Walter near her, the queen would not let Walter leave England, and for many years Walter could only vicariously enjoy the expeditions he oversaw. Finally in February of 1595 – after his Roanoke colony had failed and he had fallen out of favor with the queen – Walter was able to leave his homeland to look for the fabled city of gold, El Dorado.

In this History Maker Bios title the author provides her young readers with an easily accessible portrait of a very interesting historical figure who had a lot of influence during the Elizabethan age. And easy-to-follow text is complimented by numerous annotated photos and illustrations. In addition text boxes on several of the pages provide readers with snippets of background information.