My son (age 5) and I read about the mystery of Roanoke in Jane Yolen’s Roanoke, The Lost Colony: A Mystery from History. Told from the perspective of a fictionalized child with a detective father, Yolen’s picture book had just enough information about the colony of Roanoke to interest my son, but without too many details. I liked how each page had a few different types of information: a main paragraph, a box with new vocabulary words and definitions, and another “notebook” with more information. This meant we could read some or all of the text on the page, but not feel overwhelmed.
My son enjoyed learning about Roanoke, and for some reason that is the name of the colony he always remembers first. For him, it is not Jamestown or Plymouth or Cape Cod, but Roanoke is always his guess for when he’s otherwise forgotten. Yolen’s book is illustrated by Roger Roth.
The author doesn’t tells exactly what happened to the colony at Roanoke, of course. No one knows. But this book provide lots of clues for possibilities. The author leaves it to the child reader to decide for themselves what they think happened.
Our homeschool American History learning happened to correlate to the Thanksgiving Holiday! We recently finished learning about the pilgrims, which works out very well for us since we’re taking the next week slow, as a holiday from lots of school work. But before we got the pilgrims, though, we read a few books about Roanoke and Jamestown.