Sarah's Stars

Alan Armstrong. Raleigh's Page
Random House  $21.99  ISBN 978-0-375-83319-9 328 pg.
Reviewed by Victoria, Age 10

Stillwell Farm, Devon
8 April, 1584

Mr. Raleigh-

As you've heard, Andrew will be twelve next birthday. He is strong, healthy, tall for his age, steady.  He has good teeth. He can read and speak English, Latin, and French. He knows numbers and writes a fair hand. He finishes school this spring.

Andrew is a twelve-year-old boy who has grownup on the docks hearing sailors and others around Plymouth talking about America.  While he makes friends with William, another page, he makes true enemies with another, Peter. He does good on the tests that Mr. Raleigh challenges him with. One of the greatest challenges he receives is being picked to go on the expedition to Virginia, where Pena, Andrew's friend the gardener, wishes him to plant some seeds in the rich, dark soil.

Raleigh's Page is Alan Armstrong's second book for young readers. Alan Armstrong grew up in Maryland. The first book he wrote, Whittington, was awarded a Newbery Award in 2006. Alan thinks that growing up is a series of challenges offering opportunities for acts of bravery, both large and small. I totally agree!!!

I have to admit that Raleigh's Page was a little slow for my liking. The descriptions, and every other quality it had seemed balanced, but at times it made me want to close the book or skip the page I was on. There were things that made me think, and there were also times that made me laugh. I could enter the charactersí minds, but I wasn't able to quite figure out how they thought about things. The ending was satisfying, with all the characters getting what they deserve.

I'll give Raleigh's Page 3 stars, for its originality and understanding.


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