Our Strange New Land

Written by Patricia Hermes

Reviewed by Kirsten P. (age 10)

In the beginning of the story, Elizabeth and her family move to Jamestown, Virginia. Papa starts to build their new house. Mama says, "We are going to live next to the Bridger's". Elizabeth is not happy because John Bridger always teases her. Elizabeth's mother is going to have a baby. Also,they are running low on food. Captain Smith says, "People who don't work don't eat."

There are many diseases spreading around. Mistress Prickett dies while in chlidbirth. Also Mistress Bolton dies and is buried in the graveyard by the river. The Indians teach the men how to plant corn, to fish, lay traps, make canoes, and one of the Indians shows Elizabeth and her friend how to dig a carb. Captain Smith, ten men, Mama and Elizabeth go to befriend the Indians. They bring gifts like beads, pins, and shells. In return, the Indians give Elizabeth a soft pair of deerskin moccasins, a beaded necklace and a small woven basket. When they have to leave, Captain Smith made promises to live in peace with the Indians.

Elizabeth's family has a new house on September 28, 1609. They continue to lose food, so Captain Smith goes upriver to see how the men are doing trying to get food. He returns, but he is injured. There was a gunpowder explosion and he was burned and many of their men are dead. Many of Mama's friends are worried that Mama and the baby won't make it. On October 7, 1609, the new baby is born. The baby's name is Abigail. Also, Mama and the baby survive. Everyone is so happy.

I would not have changed anything about this book because it is such a great book. My favorite part of the story is when Elizabeth's baby sister, named Abigail, is born. My favorite character is Elizabeth, because she is funny, nice and helpful. My least favorite character is John Bridger, because he is mean to Elizabeth and he also steals Elizabeth's journal.

This story relates to my life because they are going through hard times, and so am I. I also have a sister like John Bridger. I think others should read this story because it's an amazing story. You will want to keep reading and it teaches you of what life was like back then.

Kirsten P. is a student in Mrs. Okamura's 5th Grade Class
2008-2009