The Double Life of Pocahontas Essay - Critical Context

Jean Fritz

Critical Context

Fritz has an established reputation for writing biographies about historical figures. In Worlds of Childhood: The Art and Craft of Writing for Children (1990), she explains her guidelines for selecting persons to write about. Those guidelines include the following: people with dramatic, adventurous lives; a personal interest in the subjects; personalities that require unraveling; lives that are well documented; and people whose lives are often explored in history lessons.

The Double Life of Pocahontas meets these guidelines. The book affords the reader the opportunity to share in Pocahontas’ adventurous life and to understand something about her as a person. Although Pocahontas herself did not leave written records, Fritz carefully documents her information from many sources. The book may be used in classrooms because it also provides a colorful, vivid history of early American settlement, as well as an artfully told story of a Native American girl. This book is written with literary artistry and contributes to a better understanding of Native Americans and how they influenced American history.