Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

Surviving Jamestown

The Adventures of Young Sam Collier

by Gail Langer Karwoski
illustrated by Paul Casale

This stirring story of survival set against the backdrop of the founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the New World, introduces Samuel Collier, the page of famed Captain John Smith.

In 1607, a year after the Virginia Company was granted a charter to establish a settlement in North America, 104 men set sail on a voyage to a new land. Among the brave adventurers who make the journey is a young boy named Samuel Collier, the page of famed Captain John Smith. Disease, famine, and continuing attacks by neighboring Algonquin Native Americans take a tremendous toll on the settlers. Samuel is one of the few to survive the harsh realities of the New World during the first few years of Jamestown.

Based on author Gail Karwoski’s careful research of the era, this fictional account portrays the struggles and successes of our country’s earliest settlers. Young readers will enjoy this story of courage and survival while learning about this important period in the history of the United States.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-239-2
Publication Date: 3/1/2001
Page Count: 198
Size: 6 ̎ x 9 ̎
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $8.99
ISBN: 978-1-56145-245-3
Publication Date: 4/1/2001
Page Count: 198
Size: 6 ̎ x 9 ̎
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-755-7
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

AR Level: 5.7
F&P: W, Gr 6, Genre HF
Lexile: 820L
Themes: Colonial America, Seafaring
BISAC 1: JUV016120 Juvenile Fiction / Historical / United States / Colonial & Revolutionary Periods
BISAC 2: JUV001000 Juvenile Fiction / Action & Adventure / General


“The story flows well and is a good fictional introduction to Jamestown. Casale’s full-page pencil drawings nicely supplement the text. Maps aid in locating travel routes and Virginia sites mentioned, and an ‘Author’s Note’ helps to separate fact from fiction.” ―School Library Journal

“Recommended to readers who have enjoyed the Dear America and My America series.” ―VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

“Well-written, well-researched… This story would be an excellent supplement when studying about the early settlers.” ―Book Report, STARRED REVIEW

“This is an excellent informative book which I have read to my class several years to prepare them for our field trip to historic Jamestown Settlement.” ―ACS Reader’s Haven


Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2002

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Meet the Author

Gail Langer Karwoski taught third- and fourth-grade students for many years. She received a BA from the University of Massachusetts and an MA from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Georgia. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Paul Casale graduated from the Pratt Institute, where he won numerous awards. A member of the Society of Illustrators, he has illustrated many children’s books, including Surviving Jamestown and the Cascade Mountain Railroad Mysteries series. He lives in New Jersey.