Roanoke, the Lost Colony

Roanoke, the Lost Colony

An Unsolved Mystery from History

By Jane Yolen; Heidi Elisabet y. Stemple; Roger Roth (Illustrator)

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780689823213, 32pp.

Publication Date: July 2003


In 1587 John White was chosen by Sir Walter Raleigh to lead a new colony at Roanoke off the Atlantic coast. After bringing many men, women, and children to the new land, White went back to England to gather supplies for the long winter. But when he finally returned to the fort almost three years later, he found that all of the colonists had vanished. The only signs of life left were the letters CRO carved into a tree and the word CROATOAN carved into one of the fort's posts. Some people think that the Spanish army captured the colonists; some people think that the local native people murdered them; others think that the colonists went off to live with the native people and start a new life. Still others think that the colonists tried to sail home to England and were lost at sea. No one knows for sure.
Become a detective as you read this true story, study the clues, and try to figure out the fate of the lost colony of Roanoke. The Unsolved Mystery from History series is written by acclaimed author Jane Yolen and former private investigator Heidi Elisabet Yolen Stemple. Read carefully and check your clues. You might be the first to solve a puzzle that has baffled people for years.

About the Author
Jane has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century. She sets the highest standard for the industry, not only in the meaningful body of work she has created, but also in her support of fellow authors and artists. Her books range from the bestselling How Do Dinosaurs series to the Caldecott winning Owl Moon to popular novels such as The Devil s Arithmetic, Snow in Summer, and The Young Merlin Trilogy, to award-winning books of poetry such as Grumbles from the Forest, and A Mirror to Nature. In all, she has written over 335 books (she s lost count), won numerous awards (one even set her good coat on fire), and has been given six honorary doctorates in literature. For more information, please visit

Poet, novelist, storyteller, and picture-book author "Jane Yolen" has won five awards for her body of work in children's literature: the Regina Medal, the Kerlan Award, the Keene State Award, the Boston Public Library's Literary Lights for Children Award, and the Anna V. Zarrow Award. Her many books include "Owl Moon, " which won the Caldecott Medal, "Moon Ball, " and "Where Have the Unicorns Gone?" Her daughter, "Heidi Elisabet Yolen Stemple", has worked as a parole officer and a private investigator, and wrote "Meet the Monsters" with Jane Yolen. The two also collaborated on "The Wolf Girls: An Unsolved Mystery from History" and "The Mary Celeste: An Unsolved Mystery from History."

Jane and Heidi both live in Hatfield, Massachusetts. Visit the authors at and

Roger Roth, Sr., has partnered with Dr. Hanby in his ministry and writing for many years. Together they oversee Mark Hanby Ministries/Fathers Heart Ministries, an internationally recognized teaching and resource center.