American History Reading List
Books on Early America: 1600 - 1610
the Jamestown Colony, Pocahontas
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Books on the Jamestown colony, Pocahontas, & Captain John Smith dominate this category, but don't miss the book Miracle: The True Story of the Wreck of the Sea Venture. This tale is not as well known, especially by kids, but is a fascinating piece of Jamestown history! As a side note, it is said that Shakespeare based his play The Tempest on the event, so consider reading the play at the same time.
The Double Life of Pocahontas by Jean Fritz, illus. Ed Young. UE+
This story is loaded with historical information.
Jamestown by James E. Knight, illus. David T. Wenzel. E-UE (not yet reviewed)
The Jamestown Colony (Cornerstones of Freedom) by Gail Sakurai. UE+
If you want to know and understand the complete history of Jamestown, this is your book. Pictures on every page illustrate the narrative, which is a little more on the factual side than what we usually list on this site. But we have yet to find another with as much explanation on all things Jamestown.
John Smith: English Explore and Colonist, Colonial Leaders series, by Tara Baukus Mello. Sr. Consulting Editor Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Chelsea House Publishers, 2000. UE+
This series tells the whole story, before and after famous events, in an easy-to-read format and with enough illustrations to keep reader interest high.
A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla, ill. Michele Chessare. E-UE
Set in 1609, 3 children find themselves alone in London after their mother's death and set off for Jamestown, America, to find their father.
Miracle: The True Story of the Wreck of the Sea Venture by Gail Langer Karwoski. Darby Creek Publishing, 2004. UE-JH
Fascinating story of the ship on its way to Jamestown that wrecked off the coast of Bermuda. Read of the ingenuity of the survivors, and their role in the settlement at Jamestown when they finally arrived there. Plenty of sketched illustrations.
It is said that Shakespeare based his play, The Tempest, on this event, so consider reading a book on that at the same time!
Our Strange New Land : Elizabeth's Jamestown Colony Diary, Book One (Dear America) by Patricia Hermes. Scholastic Inc., 2000. UE
A young girl's perspective of moving from England with her family to help start the new colony at Jamestown. The sequels (in order) are: The Starving Time and Season of Promise.
Pocahontas by Ingri & Edgar D'Aulaire. E-UE+
The D'Aulaires' books are richly illustrated, historically thorough, and entertaining.
Pocahontas and the Strangers Clyde Robert Bulla, illus. Peter Burchard. Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1971. E-UE
The American legend written for children. Plenty of sketched drawings to illustrate.
Pocahontas: Girl of Jamestown (Native American Biographies) by Kate Jassem, illus. Allen Eitzer. E-UE
Informational story of her entire life. Single-color illustrations.