This book tells the story of a young curious Indian girl named Pocahontas. Pocahontas is the daughter of king Powhatan. She worked in the fields along with the other women and children. One day, the village received message of palefaces down by the river. She remembered stories that a wise old women, Hapsis, told about her encounters among the paleface. Then, Pocahontas forces her brother to go with her so she could see the palefaces. When they return back to the village, Pocahontas was disappointed to learn that she missed the palefaces. The palefaces came to the village while she was away. The Indians begin not to trust the palefaces. Powhatan captured Captain John Smith, the paleface leader, and held him prison. He had a great feast with plans to kill Captain John Smith in hope it would drive the rest away. Pocahontas uses the Laws of the tribe to save his life. She becomes friends with Captain John Smith. She learned some of their language, that they were English, and that they called her Indian. However, many Indians in her village still did not trust the Englishmen. When the Englishmen were starving Pocahontas brought them food. She always treated them like friends and questioned why her father and other Indians thought they were enemy. In attempts to work a deal with Powhatan, the Englishmen capture Pocahontas and held her as their prisoner. Because she was just a child, she stayed with the Governor Gates family. Governor Gates has two daughters Pocahontas’s age. They taught Pocahontas to speak their language, their culture, and how to read. Pocahontas met a guardsmen named John Rolfe and fell in love. Their marriage eased some of the tension between the Indian and the English. Pocahontas and John had a son, they named Thomas. When her father never came to see her son, Pocahontas decided to travel to London with her husband and son. While in London Pocahontas became homesick and passed away before she could return home.

I give this book a four star rating. This book was categorized as a Biography in the literacy center but I also felt like it could be historical fiction too.It not only was about Pocahontas, but also included how the English presence in America changed the Indians way of life. This is also a story about trust. I believe the Indians would have had more trust for the Englishmen if the Englishmen would have left their guns at home and not brought them into the Indian villages when the visited.

Classroom Connection
Ask students to create a landmark that commemorates both the European Settlers and the Native American viewpoints concerning the Colonizing of America. They may either draw an illustration of their proposed landmark or create a small-scale model of it using various art supplies. Then, have each student present his landmark, along with an explanation of its symbolism, in front of the class. I remember my son doing this for school one year. This lesson can be found at TeacherVision:

Text Complexity
According to Scholastic Book Wizard, this book has a lexile measurement of 370L and a guided reading of O. Using this information, I believe students in grades 3 – 5 would find this story interesting.