Long before Harry Houdini thrilled the world with his impossible deeds, America produced an escape artist whose biography reads like an adventure novel. Many readers know John Smith as the man rescued from death by Pocahontas, but his story includes a series of more fantastic escapades than seem possible in one life.
Smith's role as the president of the pioneering colony of Jamestown is well known to schoolchildren. Rosalyn Schanzer's compelling narrative adds the perspective of Smith's English background to his better known adventures in America including escape from imprisonment, ambush by Indians, attacks by ruthless sea pirates, and more escapades than seem possible in one life. Readers are given a complete portrait of the intrepid explorer and adventurer, of the fighter whose battling spirit always prevailed, and of the writer whose work was to shape the idea of the American Dream.
Smith's story is punctuated by several impossibly daring escapes. And through his writings, he escaped the fate of dying unknown. He returned to England as a poor man with a rich trove of memories, spending his final years writing the popular books that defined colonial America.
Rosalyn Schanzer is the award-winning author and illustrator of more than 13 books for young people. An avid photographer and master swimmer, she has swam with sharks in Belize, hiked through the jungles of Ecuador and the rain forests of the Amazon River basin, investigated Inca history at Machu Picchu, climbed the Andes, and helped sail a famous boat from Bermuda to Boston. She lives in Virginia with her husband.