From the history to customs, this list of Children’s Books Depicting Thanksgiving Accurately sets out to share facts and dispel incorrect information. We included recommendations for the holiday that provide helpful details to readers of all ages.
We hope these books will motivate you to diversify your read alouds both at home and in the classroom.
This young readers adaptation of the New York Times bestselling We Gather Togethershares the true story of how Thanksgving became a national holiday and the way gratitude is looked at in America
Fiction: Thanksgiving is an American holiday that began when the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock and met the Indigenous tribes already living there.
Fact: Thanksgiving celebrations existed before the United States of America and were celebrated in other countries as well.
Fiction: American Thanksgiving was always on the fourth Thursday in November.
Fact: Thanksgiving’s day, date, and even its existence was at the discretion of the president and other leaders until the date was officially established by Congress and signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941.
Fiction: George Washington is the person who decided we should celebrate Thanksgiving as a nation at the same time each year.
Fact: Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor and author, petitioned five presidents until she convinced Abraham Lincoln to declare a national day of Thanksgiving in November of 1863, starting an annual tradition continuing to this day.
There is much fiction surrounding the creation of Thanksgiving in America. Denise Kiernan debunks myths, provides facts, and explains how and why Thanksgiving evolved in the United States the way it did–and what gratitude means to society.
This young readers adaptation of Kiernan’s We Gather Together should be required reading in every school in America today.
In 1620 an English ship called the Mayflower landed on the shores inhabited by the Pokanoket, and it was Squanto who welcomed the newcomers and taught them how to survive. When a good harvest was gathered, the people feasted together–a tradition that continues almost four hundred years later.
In these richly detailed pages, you’ll meet three of the young Pilgrims who sailed on the Mayflower, Bartholomew, Remember, and Mary Allerton.
When Bartholemew, Remember, and Mary Allerton and their parents first step down from the Mayflower after sixty days at sea, they never dream that life in the New World will be so hard. Many in their Plymouth colony won’t make it through the winter, and the colony’s first harvest is possible only with the help of two friends, Samoset and Squanto.
Richly detailed paintings show how the pilgrims lived after landing at Plymouth, through the dark winter and into the busy days of spring, summer, and fall. Culminating with the excitement of the original Thanksgiving feast, Three Young Pilgrims makes history come alive.Note: the author admits in the foreword that Three Young Pilgrims only tells “part of the story”, and hopes it will “lead the reader to study further”.
THREE YOUNG PILGRIMS
Written by Cheryl Harness
Published by Simon Kids
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Bethany Edwards is an elementary educator as well as a reading and literacy
specialist. On Biracial Bookworms, she focuses on multiracial and multicultural resources for teaching literacy skills using reading, travel, and learning multiple languages. Additionally, she offers online and self-paced courses for parents and caregivers on Biracial Bookworms Academy.