Saturday, May 23, 2015

17th Century Virginia Book for Kids

Virginia Bound by Amy Butler was gifted to my son several years ago by someone at Colonial Williamsburg when she first met us! The book was rather thematic with our meeting, because we had recently moved to Virginia. Likewise, the book tells the story of Rob's first year in Virginia.

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However that is where the similarities end. Unlike us Rob did not arrive in Virginia by choice, even though we all arrived due to a job. The difference is that my husband chose to take his job offer in Virginia. However Rob was unwillingly indentured through the dastardly act of kidnapping. Thus the drama unfolds of the trials and tribulations of a young boy at the mercy of his owner, struggling with whether he dare ever trust people again.

Set in 1627 this book gives a unique glimpse through historical fiction into the early settlement of Virginia. Although the Parr's Hundred is fictional, it is based on other early Virginia settlements like the Martin's Hundred.  When I sewed my 18th century cloak, I ordered a hook from Burnley and Trowbridge. The hook is based on one found at an archaeological dig at Carter's Grove near Colonial Williamsburg.  Before Carter Burwell built his home on this land in the 18th century, the Martin's Hundred lived on the same land in the 17th century. Even in Texas where I come from, the first settlers that Stephen Austin brought to Texas was called The Old Three Hundred and settled in East Texas.

The author provides excellent lesson plans here.  Most intriguing is her web page on the inspiration for writing this book, as well as how she researched and wrestled with how the characters might have talked, especially for the Pamunkey Indian girl. There is lots of interesting information to explore at her website.


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