Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving
by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Greg Shed
Harcourt “Silver Whistle”, 2000.
ISBN 0-15-201817-4

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, I picked up a handful  of
children's books from the local library.  This is a good
one. 

The book tells the story of Squanto's life from
1614 to 1621.  Each major element of the story is told on one
page, with an accompanying painted illustration.  The perspective
is firmly Native American, but in a positive way that is respectful of
non-Indians.  Because the story ends at the time of the famous
first Thanksgiving, it is up to the parents to fill in the ensuing
history.

In its precision and thoroughness, the book includes
Indian names that may be unfamiliar to those learning this history in
detail for the first time.  There is a glossary in the back, but
unfortunately it does not include a pronunciation guide.  So if
you are reading aloud, be prepared to have to do some sounding-out as
you go.  Also, because of the detailed nature of the account, it
will be helpfu to summarize what is happening as you go along, to keep
track of the story, especially for younger listeners.  As a
result, though, this book would be quite helpful to an older student
(junior high through college aged) that wanted an approachable summary
of these events.  The Author's Note at the end of the book gives
some interesting background on how the story was researched.

In all, just a lovely book.  It would make a nice jumping-off
point for students all of ages to study this part of American history.

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