Once John White stepped onto Roanoke Island in 1590, he discovered the English colony he had helped found 3 years earlier completely abandoned. Only two clues hinted at what might have happened. CRO was carved into a tree, and CROATOAN was etched into a post. Many explanations of the colony's fate have since been proposed. Young historians will be engrossed by the full account of the settlement of the Roanoke colony as well as the theories of what happened to the settlers. They'll learn much about the colonial period, Native Americans, and one of the great mysteries of American history.