Cover image for The Lost Colony of Roanoke
The Lost Colony of Roanoke
Fritz, Jean.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2004]

Physical Description:
58 pages : color illustrations, maps, ; 27 cm
Describes the English colony of Roanoke, which was founded in 1585, and discusses the mystery of its disappearance.
Reading Level:
850 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.7 1.0 78845.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.2 4 Quiz: 38221 Guided reading level: W.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F229 .F78 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F229 .F78 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F229 .F78 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
F229 .F78 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F229 .F78 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F229 .F78 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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The Lost Colony of Roanoke is one of the most puzzling mysteries in America's history. In 1587, 115 colonists sailed to the new world, eager to build the brand new Cittie of Raleigh, only to disappear practically without a trace. Where did they go? What could have possibly happened?

Who better to collect and share the clues than Jean Fritz and Hudson Talbott?

The creators of Leonardo's Horse , an American Library Association Notable Book, again combine their masterful talents to illuminate a tragic piece of history that still fascinates Americans today.

Author Notes

Jean Fritz was born in Hankow, China on November 16, 1915. She received a bachelor's degree in English from Wheaton College in 1937. She wrote picture books and historical fiction before focusing on historical nonfiction. Her first book, Bunny Hopewell's First Spring, was published in 1954. Her other books included And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?; Will You Sign Here, John Hancock?; Can't You Make Them Behave, King George?; Shh! We're Writing the Constitution; Traitor: The Case of Benedict Arnold; Where Do You Think You're Going, Christopher Columbus?; Who's That Stepping on Plymouth Rock?; The Double Life of Pocahontas; and George Washington's Mother.

Homesick: My Own Story, a collection of linked narratives, traces her life from her girlhood in China to her longed-for yet uneasy passage to America. It won a National Book Award and was named a Newbery Honor Book. She received the Regina Medal by the Catholic Library Association, the National Humanities Medal, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and the Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature for her body of work. She died on May 14, 2017 at the age of 101.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-5. This history of the Lost Colony is more than a simple tale of settlers who disappeared, leaving a cryptic message behind. Fritz weaves the tangled threads of historical records, the multiple voyages, and the large cast of significant figures into a single narrative that enables children to envision the main events as well as many colorful details. The presentation is surprisingly traditional in some ways, from a Eurocentric reference to America as the newfound land to the anecdote (undocumented, as the appended notes acknowledge) about Sir Walter Raleigh's laying his coat across a puddle for Queen Elizabeth. In four chapters, Fritz discusses the English exploration of the region, the settlement on Roanoke Island, the mysterious disappearance of the colonists, and the conjectures, hoaxes, and evidence that have fueled speculation about the colony for 400 years. The fluid, expressive watercolors enhance the writing by using styles that reflect Talbott's research into the paintings of John White and sixteenth-century portrait artists as well as more romantic, imaginative interpretations of people and events. Notes and a bibliography are appended. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Previously teamed for Leonardo's Horse, Fritz and Talbott now focus on the complicated, still-elusive story of English exploration off the Virginia coast in the 1580s. Studded with facts, anecdotes and historical asides, Fritz's rapid-fire account sets the scene at Queen Elizabeth's court, where Walter Raleigh's friend uses his "show stone" to look into the future and predict that the English would find, hidden behind a long cape, an island where they could settle ("later to be called Roanoke"). The action moves quickly from the successful preliminary exploratory voyage to the disastrous initial expedition of 500 men sent to form a colony; if readers skip even one sentence, they will be lost. Most of the time, fortunately, the writing will compel attention, especially when Fritz focuses on the English policy toward supposedly hostile Indians-"smite them hip and thigh"-and its possible consequences for the second colony, where Virginia Dare was famously born and, along with 114 others, disappeared into oblivion. A concluding section helps the audience assess theories about the fate of the settlers and grapple with a more searching question: "This is not only a mystery; it is a tragic story. And who is to blame for the tragedy?" Talbott's detailed watercolors feature miniature portraits of the principals as well as dramatic, sprawling scenarios. While the dense presentation is not ideally suited to the short format, middle-school readers who are up to a challenge will come away with both a deeper appreciation of a historical mystery and a fuller awareness of how historians sift it for clues and interpretations. Ages 7-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-This fluidly written account describes the colony founded under the aegis of Sir Walter Raleigh in 1585. The opening section, "Looking," discusses the first attempt at settling the island and highlights the English policy regarding the Native population: "Never turn the other cheek" and "smite [hostile Indians] hip and thigh." When harsh conditions caused the men to return to England in 1586, 15 individuals were left behind to hold the colony. "Settling" describes how the second expedition arrived in 1587 and found the men gone, perhaps victims of the "hip and thigh" policy. The travails of these settlers began on landing and continued unabated until Governor John White agreed to sail to England to get help. "Lost" details White's frustrated attempts to get back to Virginia, and what he found when he finally returned two years later. In the final chapter, Fritz explores various theories about Roanoke's fate. She discusses the 1937 hoax involving stones with counterfeited inscriptions as well as current archaeological and historical exploration. Talbott's softly colored watercolor illustrations, ranging from cameo insets to two-page paintings, are at once detailed and impressionistic. Clever touches of humor abound. This book is superior to existing works such as Dan Mabry Lacy's The Lost Colony (Watts, 1972; o.p.). Fritz has scored again, making history breathe while showing both historians and archaeologists at their reconstructive best.-Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.