Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein

I just finished reading this YA historical romance about a fictional lady in the court of Queen Elizabeth I who ends up being banished to Sir Walter Raleigh’s doomed colony on Roanoke Island, and today we read about the Roanoke Colony in our history book (Hakim’s History of the U.S, which I am finding to be quite readable and informative, by the way). I was planning a post in my mind about Cate of the Lost Colony and intending to incorporate some suggested fiction and nonfiction titles concerning the mystery of what happened to the Roanoke settlers.

And, lo and behold, Margo at The Fourth Musketeer has already written my post and done it better than I could have written it anyway. Don’t you just love/hate it when that happens? I agree with just about everything she says. It was a great book. It’s got better romance and better adventure than Twilight. (No vampires were imagined in the writing of this book, an advantage as far as I’m concerned. I think we reached the vampire saturation point in YA literature approximately October 31, 2008.)

The Native American characters and cultural aspects of the story are handled with respect, and the character Manteo, Roanoke’s native leader, is a fully realized character and an attractive man. Sir Walter Ralegh is also a character in the book, and I must say he comes across just about the way I imagine he would have in real life. I have a much better feel for the history of the time period (late 1500’s) after having read this book.

And Margo suggests lots of books I have heard of and others I have not. Did you know that the third book in Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Missing series, Sabotaged, has a major character who is a missing child from the Roanoke Colony? I’ve only read the first book in that series, and I need to get on the stick and read the rest.

I first read about the lost colony of Roanoke when I checked out Virginia Dare, Mystery Girl by Augusta Stevenson (Childhood of Famous Americans) from the library when I was about ten years old. I loved that book although (maybe “because”) it was fiction pretending to be biography. Virginia Dare was the first European baby to be born on North American soil (as far as we know), and no one knows for sure what happened to her and to the rest of the Roanoke colonists. And I think that’s fascinating.

I read an ARC of Cate of the Lost Colony. The actual book is due out on October 12, 2010.

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