Random House, 2007 (2007)
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Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet
he year is 1584 and Queen Elizabeth of England commands a mighty fleet of ships. Her privateers, Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake, are spearheading expeditions to America. Twelve-year-old Andrew Saintleger, a farmer's son from Devon, England, has heard stories of the New World. Fueled by his teacher's tales of the new plants, animals, people, and lands to discover, Andrew dreams of such a voyage. He begins the first step of this journey when Raleigh, a boyhood friend of his father's, accepts him into his service.
by Alan Armstrong, begins as Andrew travels to London with his father, and begins his service with one of England's finest seaman. There, despite his fears about disappointing Raleigh and being sent home, Andrew thrives. He quickly befriends another page in Raleigh's service, along with a master gardener. Raleigh initiates Andrew into a world of intrigue, sending him to France and to Amsterdam in search of the world's latest and best maps. Andrew's chance to go to America arrives when Queen Elizabeth agrees to fund an expedition. He is quickly swept up in the excitement, planning, making lists, and learning Algonquin from two Native Americans living in England.
hroughout Andrew's adventures, he faces many tests - whether it is deceiving a French wine merchant, saving a man's life deep inside a collapsed well, or learning to swim. As he reaches the New World, Andrew must draw on his strength and courage as he stands up for what he believes is right. In
Newbery-Honor winning author Alan Armstrong delivers a story set within a fascinating point in history. Although Andrew lives over four hundred years ago, he still faces challenges young readers can identify with as they turn the pages. Armstrong's book is well-researched and well-written and promises not only to illuminate a bit of history, but to tell a good story too.
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