Monday, April 23, 2012

The Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving (Graphic History)is another entry in the Graphic History Series. For those looking for Pilgrim resources this is a great companion to The Voyage of the Mayflower (Graphic History)which I reviewed previously.

Unlike previous books, this one focuses less on the history of colony. Its goal is to present information on community life. The author centers the book on how the colony survived to reach its first harvest feast. While the Mayflower book focused on using correct vocabulary, like Separatists, this author is more comfortable with the more familiar term Pilgrim. The author explains that they were Separatists, explains how the term Pilgrim emerged and settles on the term Pilgrim for the remainder of the book.

This book does provide more Native American history of the area than previous books on the topic, mentioning specific tribes by name. She also gives explanations as to why they were reluctant to have relations with the colonists.

While this book provides some solid background information about the colony, the residents, and the challenges they faced, my one disappointment is the author seemed to think her audience needed the information simplified and I have not seen evidence of that in previous editions of this series. I think other authors have done a marvelous job in this series with presenting challenging concepts without resorting to simplistic descriptions and explanations.

Despite my annoyance at some of her descriptions, I think this is a good resource to have available when studying the colony. The information on the Native American tribes is harder to find than it should be and this is one resource that gives students a starting point. Contrasting this author's style with others the children read can help them become more discerning readers of non-fiction resources.

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