Book Review: Voices from Colonial America, Georgia

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

Also in This Series

• California
• Delaware
• Louisiana
• Massachusetts
• New Jersey
• New York
• Pennsylvania

Also on This Subject

• The 13 Colonies
• U.S. States
• The Making of the 50 States

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Georgia is one of those colonies that has so mixed heritage that it's sometimes difficult to classify it. The Spanish owned it for a time. The English owned it for a time. The Americans owned it for a time—and kept it. And oh yes, Native Americans lived there for hundreds of years before anyone else got there.

This book, like others in this fine series, opens with something surprising yet illimunating—a map of the Georgia colony. Lest students think that the colony filled out the current borders of the state very nicely, the book presents the official map of the colony, which also included land now to be found in Alabama and Mississippi. From there, the book builds to an amazingly thorough treatment of the colony as it began, grew, and thrived.

James Oglethorpe is, naturally, the star of this book. His "Noble Experiment" of providing a new home for those in debt was indeed the beginnings of the colony. Oglethorpe himself was more of a friend to his Native American neighbors than many others who came before and after him.

The book does a good job as well of highlighting the sidelights, including the Jewish population of the Georgia colony, Blackbeard, Hernando de Soto, the War of Jenkins's Ear, George Whitefield, and even literacy in the colony (which is a natural topic for discussion if you think about a bunch of debtors populating the place). It also helps to be reminded, as the book does, that the Georgia colony had its fair share of Loyalists, as did every other colony.

Solid text, extraordinary images, and comprehensive history—all make this book well worth reading.

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White