Intergenerational Program Reading Guide

Introduce your grandchildren to colonial history before their arrival at an Intergenerational Program. Here are our recommendations:

Bulla, Clyde Robert. A Lion to Guard Us. HarperTrophy.

Description: 128 pages; paperback. Ages 9-12. Author used an actual incident from 1609 as the basis for this book. It is an exciting tale, and engrossing historical fiction as well.

Synopsis: Amanda Freebold doesn't know what to do. Her father left three years ago for the new colony of Jamestown , in America , thousands of miles away. All Amanda has to remember him by is a little brass lion's head he gave his family to guard them while he is gone. Now her mother has just died, leaving Amanda to take care of her brother and sister. As head of the family, Amanda decides to take her brother and sister to America to find Father. The ocean crossing is long and hard, and the children don't know whom to trust. But with the lion's head to guard them, Amanda knows that somehow everything will work out fine.

Hakim, Joy. A History of US: Making Thirteen Colonies: 1600-1740. Oxford University Press.

Description: 160 pages. Ages 9-12. Focusing here on Jamestown, the New England Puritans, and the other European colonists, the author brings a formidable amount of illuminating detail to a lively narrative, makes valuable connections between past and present, introduces important concepts in their original context, shares a contagious enthusiasm for history's pivotal ideas, colorful characters, and their stories, distinguishes between documented fact and conjecture, and reiterates such thoughts as that--among imported ideas, as well as both settlers and Indians--"Some are good, some are not so good,'' with examples to prove it. Her careful depiction of the Native American point of view is remarkably evenhanded.

Hakim, Joy. A History of US: From Colonies to Country: 1735-1791. Oxford University Press.

Description: 160 pages. Ages 9-12. How did compliant colonials with strong ties to Europe get the notion to become an independent nation? Perhaps the seeds of liberty were planted in the 1735 historic courtroom battle for the freedom of the press. Or maybe the French and Indian War did it, when colonists were called "Americans" for the first time by the English, and the great English army proved itself not so formidable after all. But for sure when King George III started levying some heavy-handed taxes on the colonies, the break from the motherland was imminent. With such enthralling characters as George Washington, Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, Eliza Pinckney, and Alexander Hamilton throughout, From Colonies to Country is an amazing story of a nation-making transformation.

Ruemmler, John. Smoke on the Water. Shoe Tree Press.

Description: 175 pages, paperback. Ages 12 and up. Ruemmler depicts life in early Jamestown , Va. , through Thomas, age 13, and Eagle Owl, a 15-year-old Powhatan Indian. Although the year is 1621, their worries parallel modern-day issues: facing racism and bullies, tense parent-child relationships and the vagaries of romance. The boys first meet accidentally, halfway between their neighboring settlements. Thomas initially dislikes this rambunctious fellow who playfully beans him and snatches his just-picked strawberries. Eventually, however--and despite a profound language barrier--they communicate a wish to be friends and serve as a "bridge of understanding between their peoples." Yet their embittered families quash such hopes, and after they witness the mutual destruction reaped by the Massacre of 1622, only familial bonds remain.

Nixon, Joan Lowery. Young Americans: Colonial Williamsburg.

Caesar's Story 1759
Will's Story 1771
Ann's Story 1747
Nancy 's Story 1765

Description: Grades 4-6. In partnership with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation come authentic novels set in the 18th century about actual people, places, and events in this celebrated Virginia town.

Harrah, Madge. My Brother, My Enemy. Simon & Schuster.

Description: 144 pages. Grades 4-7. Fourteen-year-old Robert Bradford must make his own way in the world after a Susquehannock war party massacres his family and burns their cabin, barn, and tobacco shed. Meeting up with Nathaniel Bacon and his followers, Robert finds himself unexpectedly thrown into the political quandary facing residents of Virginia in 1676. Harrah weaves the people, places, and events of Bacon's Rebellion, known as "the dress rehearsal of the American Revolution," into the fabric of the novel, but the main pattern is Robert's story, told in the first person against a background of historical fact. Appended are an author's note, a glossary, and a bibliography. Strong in its sense of period, this historical novel provides a refreshingly different setting, a likeable hero, and an adventurous story.