Cover image for Our strange new land : Elizabeth's diary
Our strange new land : Elizabeth's diary
Hermes, Patricia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic, 2000.
Physical Description:
109 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.
Nine-year-old Elizabeth keeps a journal of her experiences in the New World as she encounters Indians, suffers hunger and the death of friends, and helps her father build their first home.
Reading Level:
350 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.2 2.0 44826.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.1 5 Quiz: 21167 Guided reading level: P.


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area
Boston Free Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library X Juvenile Fiction Series
Collins Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Crane Branch Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Eden Library X Juvenile Fiction Series
Kenmore Library X Juvenile Fiction Series
Lancaster Library X Juvenile Fiction Series
Marilla Free Library X Juvenile Fiction Series
Orchard Park Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Williamsville Library X Juvenile Fiction Series
East Delavan Branch Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Award-winning author Pat Hermes tells the story of Elizabeth Barker, whose family sails from Plymouth, England, to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1609. This book helps to relaunch the My America series.

In May 1607, 3 ships sailed up the James River in Virginia. In the riverbank marshes, they made land and hung the flag--England's flag--establishing the first permanent English colony in Jamestown, Virginia. In 1609, the first ship carrying women and children arrived.

After 71 days at sea, nine-year-old Elizabeth Barker is thrilled to be on dry land. Lizzie keeps a journal for Caleb, her twin brother who stayed in England because of his weak lungs. In her buoyant entries,Lizzie tells of the abundant forests, trading with and learning from the Indians, and adventures with her new friends.

Author Notes

Author Patricia Hermes was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1936. She graduated from St. John's University with degrees in speech and English. She taught English and social studies in middle school before taking time off to raise her five children. When she returned to teaching, she was less satisfied with the job and decided to take a class in writing nonfiction for adults. She wrote essays and nonfiction for adults before she starting writing books for children and young adults.

In 1980, her first book, What If They Knew?, was published. Since then she has written over fifty books and received numerous awards including the Smithsonian Notable Book Award, the C. S. Lewis Honor Award, the American Library Association Best Book Award, and the award for the New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Years. She also writes The Cousins Club series and novelizations for screenplays including My Girl and My Girl 2. She has also researched and written six historical novels in the Scholastic Dear America/My America series.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-Resembling the "Dear America" books (Scholastic), these titles are aimed at a slightly younger audience. In the first book, nine-year-old Elizabeth records her experiences as she, her family, and other colonists adjust to the harsh weather conditions, illness, endless hard work, and nascent social strata in the new land. In the course of three months, Elizabeth meets Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, Gabriel Archer, and George Percy. This is a quick, easy read. Hermes has created a sensitive main character and readers will empathize with her fears and emotions as she adjusts to her new life. In My Brother's Keeper, nine-year-old Virginia Dickens is left in the care of Reverend and Mrs. McCully while her father and brother help her uncle hide his horses from the Confederate raiders. Her journal documents the battle at Gettysburg and the horrors of war. After the battle, she and her father find her brother in a makeshift hospital. The novel ends as the town slowly recovers and Virginia hears President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Osborne successfully creates individual characters, and she poses difficult questions about war and the waste of human life. There is a lyrical quality to several passages, and the author slowly builds suspense and release. However, this book seems more fitting for older, more experienced readers, and the intended audience may have difficulty digesting some of the material. Fans of "Dear America" will enjoy it.-Shawn Brommer, Southern Tier Library System, Painted Post, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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