ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

James Town History in Entertaining Novel for the YA Audience

Updated on July 7, 2019
chewtt2 profile image

Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Historical Facts Mixed With an Entertaining Story Create a Great Read

History mixed with a good story for the YA audience
History mixed with a good story for the YA audience | Source

The Colony of James Town Life as seen Through the Eyes of a Young Girl

Elisa Carbone's Poison in the Colony: James Town 1622 is a mix of historical facts and an entertaining story that the YA audience will find to be a page-turner. It is not easy to find historical novels that young readers will actually read. This companion book to Carbone's Blood on the River is one that young readers will want to read.

The character of Virginia Layden is now a young girl in the Jamestown colony. She lives with her family in a one-room house and makes her way daily through the challenges that life in the New World presents to the colonists who have arrived from England. She has friends who have arrived on ships and are orphans. She also has friends from the Algonquian tribe. Virginia has a secret talent that must never be discovered by anyone in the colony. Her mother often warns her not to let this secret out because Virginia would be killed if her secret was discovered. She uses her secret of the power of "knowing the future" sparingly and is careful not to actually show that she has this talent. Virginia is afraid of being branded as a witch in Jamestown if her secret is discovered.

Virginia and her friends have adventures of helping to save others from danger throughout the story. She helps many people in need throughout the story. She uses her secret gift to help the other colonists avoid the possibility of being poisoned by Indians. Virginia learns a life lesson that one must be true to themselves as she lives the struggles of the colonists as a young girl.

Poison in the Colony: James Town 1622 is a mix of historical facts and entertaining adventures. Carbone writes in her Author's Note at the end of the book that she has included the most important events in the colony of James Town as historically accurate by gathering information from historical records. She writes that each character was either a real person in the colony of James Town or named for a real person. She got the idea for Virginia's gift of "knowing" from a friend of her mother's who was extremely intuitive and was an actual descendent of the first James Town settlers. Her inclusion of what may have really happened to Pocahontas is of interest.

Poison in the Colony: James Town 1622 was published by Penguin/Random House Penguin Young Readers and is recommended for ages 8-12. Historical facts intertwined with a good story make this a great choice for young readers who might be reluctant to read history books. It has an ISBN of 978-0-425-29183-2.

History Intertwined with a Good Story


Bring Virginia and Her Life in the James Town Colony Into the Classroom

Carbone's Poison in the Colony: James Town in 1622 is a great choice for teachers who teach history in the middle grades. Cold historical facts in history books are often not of interest to young readers. Carbone intertwines historical facts with an exciting read to introduce the history of the colony of James Town to ages 8-12.

*Chapter books are often chosen to read aloud in a class reading session with several chapters read each day. Read aloud in a group reading session to provide the chance for all students to share in the reading.

*Have an atlas available for students to locate the colony of James Town.

*Have several resources available for students to use to discover the Indian tribes that were neighbors to the colonists during this time.

*The topic of witchcraft is an interesting side note to the history of James Town. Have resources available to the students to learn more about the accusations of witchcraft in the colony and the punishments that colonists received if they accused of practicing witchcraft.

*Assign class projects for more research about the colony of James Town after reading Poison in the Colony: James Town 1622. Divide the class into small groups to present a project about life in the colonies with a topic of of their choice.

*Assign a creative writing project for students to write their account of what life might be like for them if they had lived with their family in the new colony.

© 2019 Cindy Hewitt


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)