Grades 3 - 5
Grade level Equivalent: 3.8
Lexile Measure®: 370L
Guided Reading: O
- Biography and Autobiography
- Native American History
About This BookMany might know the story of Pocahontas, the Indian princess who saved the life of Captain John Smith. But in this comprehensive selection from the Scholastic Biography series, we also learn how that same Indian princess grew into the woman who lived for years among the white settlers of Jamestown, Virginia, who learned to speak the English language, and who even became the wife of an Englishman named John Rolfe.
Even as a child, Pocahontas had heard stories about the white men who came across the seas in enormous canoes. Her childish wonder was in direct contrast to the concerned speculations of her father, the Indian chief, Powhatan. He and the other leaders of his tribes remained uncertain as to the motives of the white men. In the nearby settlement of Jamestown, the Englishmen did not help matters. Some among them were friendly to the native population, while others were more intent on conflict. In the end, neither side trusted the other, and the young Pocahontas found herself trapped between both parties. The English even held her as ransom, in exchange for more food and supplies from her father's tribes. Ironically, Pocahontas came to feel more at home with her captors than she did with her own people. She took on the name of Rebecca and eventually sailed away from her homeland with her English husband in 1616. She died in England a year later.
This biographical novel by Clyde Robert Bulla raises many questions not only about Pocahontas, but also explores how the European presence in America so drastically altered the native way of life. To that end, Pocahontas' ultimately tragic example is indicative of the lives of her father and her people.