Maybe you've heard of John Smith, the guy who was rescued from certain death by Pocahontas. But did you know that this English farmer's son was also America's first superstar? During his amazing life, Smith was a heroic warrior, a slave, a world explorer, a pirate, a president, a prisoner, a peacekeeper, and the writer whose books jump-started the Great American Dream of a better life on these shores. Most surprising of all is that during his day, John Smith must have been the greatest escape artist on the planet! Just in time for the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, this true story recounts the full details of John Smith's eventful life, and it tells how he escaped from danger over and over and over again.
"Students of history will most appreciate the new light shed on this plucky voyager, but adventure fans will also be swept up in his escapades."
~Starred review-Publishers Weekly
"The adventurer John Smith...here receives a beguiling
tribute ...A larger-than-life figure well worth rediscovering...Perhaps
the greatest service rendered by the illustrations is their myth-busting
portrayal of Pocahontas as a genuine little girl, head mostly shaved except
for one long braid, face painted red."
"Schanzer’s fact-filled text, complemented by colorful illustrations, ably makes her case that Smith was 'America’s first genuine superstar.'"
~The Washington Post Book World - Selected as a Top 10 Nonfiction Children's Book for 2006
”Schanzer has done extensive research for both her text and her engaging cartoon illustrations. Children will be delighted by the tidbits she has included, such as some Native American men wearing live snakes in their pierced ears. The detailed drawings of Smith's many routes provide an excellent opportunity for practicing map-reading skills...A great choice for all collections.”
~School Library Journal
" Explorer John Smith is best remembered for his romance with Pocahontas (which never happened)...But Schanzer presents Smith as an escape artist, and there's no doubt this premise (and the terrific, energetic book design) makes this an appealing way to introduce kids to history...a thrilling portrait of the man and his times."
Read by James Earl Jones to attendees at the Jamestown 400th Anniversary Celebration, May 12, 2007.