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Blood on the River:Jamestown 1607 by Elisa Carbone

In this historical fiction novel I picked up, out of my brother’s backpack, is, Blood on the River: Jamestown 1607, written by the brilliant Elisa Carbone, also the author of Steeling Freedom. I finished this book just on Sunday. The book has 237 pages in all.

This novel is about a young boy going to “the New World” to start a new life. He is a servant to the wealthy men, or the gentlemen. In this journey, he endures many hardships, like his friends dying right before his eye, many of the ones he loved being hurt, and flashbacks/ memories of his past.

Samuel( that was all the information I got for his name,) had a bad childhood. He was abused by his drunk father, then his father died, then his mother died working too hard to make a living, then Samuel ended living in the streets. Then Reverend Hunt, saw many great possibilities in this young man, so, Reverend Hunt made Samuel one of his servants to accompany him to travel to the New World.

Samuel then faces many problems with the Native Americans, or Indians, problems with food supply, and how to have self control. He then meets Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, other tribes, other stuck-up gentlemen, and other friends and enemies along the way to the Americas, and during the time he was in America.

I really liked the part when Reverend Hunt was about to die(, don’t get me wrong) and Richard and Samuel lay next to Reverend Hunt, and together they prayed, for Reverend Hunt to be accepted into Heaven. I really love this part, because, in the beginning of the book, Richard and Samuel weren’t friends, then gradually, they became friends, because of Reverend Hunt. This part just makes me happy and sad because, well, of course it would be sad, because Reverend Hunt dies, but happy, because Samuel and Richard are working together. Working together might sound easy, but is much harder when you try to work with someone in real life, whether working with friends, or working with a stranger, working together is hard, but Samuel and Richard were able to work together, that is why I like this part.

What I really don’t like is how all the gentlemen hate Captain John Smith because he isn’t rich. The wealthy men, were very prejudice against peasants, and servants, or anyone who didn’t have as much money as they had. It is not fair, and I would really sometimes really wish to scream at the book,”John Smith is an awesome dude, so don’t make fun of him, or of his childhood/background,” but of course I cannot yell at the book, so I ignore those parts, and act as I didn’t see it, and move on.

I have two favorite quotes that I cannot choose between:

1) ”I take another deep breath. My anger is focused. I have made a decision. I have a plan. I believe Reverend Hunt and Captain Smith would approve-I have made this decision out of love”(208). I really like this quote because, just like Captain Smith told Samuel what to do, channel his anger, and turn it into strength that will make him succeed. He channeled his anger, and did succeed in what he wanted to happen-but I’m not going to tell you what it is, because it might ruin the book for you. He also acted based on love, as what Reverend Hunt wanted him to do, to act out of love. He did, based on his love for the people he loves, even though it might cause him his life.

2) ”Safe. The word settles on me like peace. Ann, John, and Virginia are here with me, and we are safe”(218). I remember in the beginning of the book, Samuel was never safe. He kept on thinking how is going to survive, just live for another day, and now he feels secure, more secure than when he still had a mother to look after him. He is safe, and safe he will be.





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