Blood on the RiverPublisher’s Description: “Twelve-year-old Samuel Collier is a lowly commoner on the streets of London. So when he becomes the page of Captain John Smith and boards the Susan Constant, bound for the New World, he can’t believe his good fortune. He’s heard that gold washes ashore with every tide. But beginning with the stormy journey and his first contact with the native people, he realizes that the New World is nothing like he imagined. The lush Virginia shore where they establish the colony of James Town is both beautiful and forbidding, and it’s hard to know who’s a friend or foe. As he learns the language of the Algonquian Indians and observes Captain Smith’s wise diplomacy, Samuel begins to see that he can be whomever he wants to be in this new land.”

The author has done her homework and the attention to historical detail in meticulous. The book is as much about John Smith as it is about Jamestown. This would make a great companion to The World of Captain John Smith. It tells a more personal story of his leadership and challenges in the Virginia colony.

There is one disappointing facet to this book: its protagonist has little or no religious life of his own. Although there is s sympathetic religious figure, the Reverend Hunt, and although speaks several times of praying, there’s no discussion of his (or anybody else’s) religious convictions, if any.

Still, for anyone who wants a vivid, first person description of life in the Virginia colony in 1607, this is an excellent read.

 -Rob Shearer
   Director, Schaeffer Study Center