The Starving Time: Elizabeth's Diary, Book Two is the second book about Elizabeth Barker in the My America series. The book was written by Patricia Hermes and was published in May 2001. It was reissued a year later with a new cover design. The book was followed by Season of Promise in November 2002.
- "For Madeline Victoria Hermes and Matthew Logan Hermes. Welcome to this new land!"
- "November 1
We have a sweet, little house that Papa and I built.... It is different from England. But it feels almost like a real home now. Tonight, at twilight, Papa laid a fire on our hearth. Mama was nursing baby Abigail. We talked about Caleb. Just think, Papa said, come spring, Caleb will be here. That makes me happy. For it will be a real home when Caleb comes.
In Elizabeth Barker's second diary, the Jamestown colony continues to suffer. There is little food, and disease has gripped the settlers, shrinking their numbers each day. Lizzie remains brave, clinging to the hope that soon her brother Caleb will arrive."
- "In Book One, Elizabeth and her family arrive in the New World, where they face harsh conditions. Now, the Jamestown Colony is in grave trouble. But Lizzie clings to the hope that better days lie ahead."
In the Jamestown colony, Elizabeth Barker begins her second diary, after sending her first one with her best friend, Jessie Bolton. Jessie will deliver it to Elizabeth's twin, Caleb Barker, once she arrives in England. In the meantime, Elizabeth misses having a friend and starts looking for possible candidates. She becomes friendly with an unexpected person, Mary Dobson. Although Mary is three years older than Elizabeth, they quickly become close by expressing their dreams to one another.
The citizens of Jamestown begin to worry, when food becomes scarce during the harsh winter. After a week of little to no food, Elizabeth's father decides to venture into the forest to search for some. Elizabeth accompanies him and they return with a large amount of food. The following day, they awake to find a lot of their food stolen. Elizabeth suspects the Bridger family, but Mr. Barker resolves to share their food next time.
In December, disease and discontent spread throughout the colony. The men argue among themselves and a few, lead by Mr. Bridger, leave to form their own settlement. Meanwhile, the women, including Elizabeth's mother, tend to the growing number of sick people. Elizabeth, her mother, and littler sister Abigail fall ill, but recover just enough to celebrate Christmas.
Two months later, Elizabeth travels outside the fort to seek help from her friend, Pocahontas. Elizabeth grows sicker and becomes lost, while looking for the Indian village. Two kind Indians find and guide her back to Jamestown. After a few days, Elizabeth discovers her ill mother in the colony's sick shed. She takes care of her mother, until she passes away in late March. That summer, a ship arrives with Caleb and new hope.
- Main article: List of characters in Elizabeth's Diaries
- Elizabeth Barker is a colonist in Jamestown, Virginia. She experiences several hardships during the tough winter that test her strength and resolve.
- Mary Dobson, Elizabeth's new friend, after Jessie Bolton travels back to England. They meet at their secret place near the well to discuss their hopes and dreams.
- Main article: Patricia Hermes
Patricia Hermes (born February 21, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York) is an America author. She has written nearly fifty books for children and young adults. Hermes is the author of six books in the My America series, including the three books in Elizabeth's Diaries, Our Strange New Land, The Starving Time, and Season of Promise.
"As the mother of five children, her writing enables her to continue to heed the plea she heard so frequently from those children: Tell me a story."
- Main article: Season of Promise
The Starving Time was followed by a sequel, titled Season of Promise. The book, written by Patricia Hermes, was published in November 2002. It is the third and final book to feature the Elizabeth Barker character. Following the Starving Time, Elizabeth and her family settle into a new life in Jamestown.
- "The author wishes to thank the patient and ever-helpful research librarians and children's librarians in Fairfield, Connecticut"