If you recognize this post, there’s a good reason why. For several years I’ve updated and shared my family favorite Thanksgiving books. This year I asked Facebook readers what their must-read books for the season are and added some titles from my to-read list. Hope you enjoy this 2015 ever-growing list of great books celebrating Thanksgiving.
Over the years from used book sales, yard sales, and online sales (notice the word sales) my family’s little stack of Thanksgiving books has grown. When presented with a list of books I think would be good to purchase, I save the list (or email) to a file called Book List. Even from my phone, I can access my Book List when at book sales.
Last year I added an app called Book Crawler which allows me to track books I’ve purchased. Since I’ve been known to purchase the same book numerous times, it comes in handy. There is a feature on Book Crawler to even create a ‘to read’ list.
I share this because the following books are linked to our affiliate, Amazon.com for your convenience. Many of the books listed can be purchased used for just a few dollars! However, you may want to save this email to your own book list or app and look for better pricing. Or, just check them out at your local library for free.
Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl by Kate Waters . This is one of my children’s favorites as it uses photos taken at Plimoth Plantation instead of drawings as found in many books. Readers follow Sarah throughout her daily chores from daylight to dusk. There is a companion version available called Samuel Eaton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy.
Squanto, Friend Of The Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla . Excellent for second and third graders to read on their own, it is also good for a family to read aloud. While gentle in regards to the subject matter of kidnapping, it is clear on the sadness and harm inflicted upon Squanto by evil men. My boys enjoyed reading about Squanto from his point of view.
Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas
. A beautifully illustrated book beginning with Squanto as a young boy, his kidnapping, being raised by monks, returning to his village, and ultimately befriending of the Pilgrims. Metaxas points out the hand of God throughout Squanto’s story. I love the final sentence of the book, “Hallelujah! Who but the glorious God of heaven could so miraculously weave together the wandering lives of a lonely Patuxet brave and a struggling band of English Pilgrims in such a way that would bless the whole world for centuries to come?”
The Pilgrims by Anne Miranda. Sharing the journey and first year experienced by the Pilgrims, elementary students will enjoy this book. Amongst various drawings, readers will find actual photographs from Plimoth Plantation living museum to bring actual events to life.
Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower’s Mary Chilton (Daughters of the Faith Series) by Wendy Lawton. Based on the true story of 13-year-old Mary Chilton, readers follow her journey from Holland to the New World aboard the Mayflower. Fluent elementary and up readers will find this book engaging while families of all ages will enjoy it as a read aloud. My boys enjoyed the description of life aboard a ship at sea and found names chosen for children curious. As a parent, I often wiped away tears as I read to my children about Mary’s struggle with leaving all she knew behind, dealing with death and her questions to God and His providence. While centuries apart, Mary’s story reminds modern day readers that God is always in control.
Plymouth in the Words of Her Founders by Dr. Paul Jehle. A small paperback filled with excellent first-person documentation along with black and white photos of actual historic sites.
The Thanksgiving Primer: A Complete Guide to Re-creating the First Harvest Festival for Your Family, Friends or Church by Plimoth Plantation. Put together by the research and education department at Plimoth Plantation, this is an excellent history source on all things Thanksgiving. From the menu with recipes of the Pilgrims, first source documents describing aspects of the Pilgrim story, a re-creation of the Separatist church service, even manners and games, this books is brimming with information. It’s not a book I sit down and read cover-to-cover with my children, but we often pick one topic and delve deeper. The book is filled with artist drawings and photographs shot on location at Plimoth Plantation.
The Light and the Glory for Children : Discovering God’s Plan for America from Christopher Columbus to George Washington by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. Every year during November I read chapters five and six from the The Light and the Glory for Children to my children. What I appreciate is the author’s time spent on explaining Leyden, Holland and the influence it had on the decision making of the Pilgrims. Most children and adults when asked where the Pilgrims came from will answer England. This is actually wrong as they decided to travel to the New World from Holland. The story in Leyden is rich and gives a deeper understanding of the Pilgrims. This book is excellent for read aloud and for middle-school readers.
The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David Manuel . I read this book years ago and even then was impressed with the bounty of details regarding North America. Beginning with Christopher Columbus and ending shortly after George Washington becomes President, this book spans a wide time period. Filled with footnotes to other works, it is an excellent read for any high-schooler and up.
Celesta Brown recommends The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgeish. Published in 1954, I’ve heard it is a wonderful addition to a home library. Following are several books I’ve added this year to my family to-read list:
Mary’s First Thanksgiving: An Inspirational Story of Gratefulness by Kathy Jo Wargin
Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson
Thanksgiving Graces by Mark Kimball Moulton
Cranberry Thanksgiving by Harry Devlin
An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott
Do you have some favorite Thanksgiving books? Please share! I would love to add to my to-read list.
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