Our Strange New Land: Elizabeth's Diary, Jamestown, Virginia, 1609
This is a book in the My America/Dear America series. It's aimed at younger readers and differs slightly from the Dear America series of books. It has a shorter historical section and lacks the fiction epilogue found in the Dear America series of books.
This one is about Elizabeth Barker's life in the new town of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1609. It covers the types of things such a book normally would, including the building of homes, the terrible diseases and the up-and-down relationships with the Native Americans.
It also covers something interesting that I haven't seen in any related book, and that is the fact (explained in the historical section) that many of the men in Jamestown were terribly lazy; they expected things to be done for them, that they were "gentlemen." This caused a major problem since it was necessary for every single person to do whatever they could to help the colony survive, and some of the men basically refused to do their share.
Some of the men were even responsible for some of the worser relationships with the Native Americans in that they stole food from them and even captured some, trying to turn them into their personal slaves. This accounted for even more trouble for the settlers who actually were decent people just trying to survive.
The character of Pocahontas is brought into the novel as the young girl that she actually was (not the young woman of the Disney movie).
Overall it's a good book for younger readers and a good launching point for young people working their way towards the Dear America series.
Dear America index page
Young adult Index