BOOK LIST (to print) -- 1600s: SETTLING THE COLONIES
"Our liberties are safe until the memories and experiences of the past are blotted out and
the Mayflower with its band of Pilgrims forgotten."
the Mayflower with its band of Pilgrims forgotten."
I'm sad at how few people know the story of the Pilgrims anymore. The revisionists are even starting to make them out as America's 'First Terrorists'. Our children need to know their true story. This month, I hope you will include stories of the Pilgrims in your study and then start telling the stories of how the different colonies were settled and the key figures that are associated with each one. . Feel free to spread these stories out over the next 4 months as all the American History topics for these next few months tie into Colonial Life.
- The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower by P.J. Lynch The story is told through the eyes of John Howland, an actual passenger on the Mayflower who really did fall off the Mayflower and was miraculously rescued. His posterity in America today is huge. While the story is simply told, my favorite part of the book is the illustrations. There are no dowdy black and white dressed Pilgrims. They really did dress colorfully and your children will capture much of the emotion of the times and events through these illustrations. It's a great supplementary resource to the stories of the pilgrims.
- Mary of the Mayflower by Diane Stevenson Stone If you want to find a book that will connect a child to the story of the Pilgrims, this is the one. This book has only been out since 2013 and is written by a descendent of Mary Chilton, one of the Mayflower passengers. The story is told through the eyes of Mary and much of the book is spent bringing the voyage and its difficulties to life. Careful research was done to keep it historically accurate while fleshing out the story to make it emotionally engaging. This book speaks to the hearts of children. I love it!
- The Story of the Pilgrims for Children by Dr. Roland Usher When I was selecting which stories of the pilgrims I would include in our Forgotten Classics selection, I originally had intended to include Margaret Pumphrey's illustrated book which had been a favorite and which I still recommend as good story for very young children. But after I read William Bradford's journals and other writings, I didn't feel that it reflected a true picture. Then I happened across this book written for children by the time's foremost Pilgrim expert. In the preface, he referred to the fact that Bradford's journal had gone missing for many years and during that time, many stories were simply made up. He wrote this book to correct some of the misconceptions and only used those stories that were authenticated primarily in the journal that had recently been rediscovered and brought back to America. If you would like to read a more in depth study of the Pilgrims, you can read Dr. Usher's adult version here, which is also an interesting read.
- William Bradford's Journal Of Plimouth Plantation Most of what we know about the Pilgrims came from William Bradford's journal. It is truly a national treasure. His writings are rare in that he revealed so much of the emotions they were passing through; what was going through their minds; what sustained them and he offers so many words of wisdom to others who pass through similarly challenging journeys. For a time the journal went missing and then it was rediscovered in England in the late 1800s and was returned back to America. I've linked a copy in Internet Archives, but there are much more readable versions on Amazon. Interestingly, 10 years ago when I lived in Salt Lake City, I looked for a copy in the Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County library systems. There was only one copy to be found in the whole city. I hope that has been corrected. I've included selections from the journal in the back of Stories of the Pilgrims, our Forgotten Classics volume this month. Here we are, 400 years later, and the idea of religious liberty is front and center again and is once more at risk. Bradford's diary allows you to spend time one on one with someone who faced the same challenge. I highly recommend reading it to get a true sense of the times. And by the way, only about half the passengers on the Mayflower were on board for religious freedom.
- Squanto by Clyde Robert Bulla The truth is, we don't have a lot of 'facts' about Squanto's story, so this is one writer's imaginary look at what his story may have looked like. Of the books about Squanto, I thought this was the most engaging. Clyde Robert Bulla has written a lot of popular children's historical titles.
- Squanto by Eric Metaxas I'd read Bulla's book first, but the illustrations in this book will help bring the story to life. I'm a big fan of Eric Metaxas and he doesn't hide the faith part of the story. What are the chances of a Native being kidnapped, brought to England where he would learn the English language and English ways, then be delivered back home as the sole survivor of his tribe where a group of Pilgrims would be blown off course--they were headed to Virginia, not Plymouth!-- and land at the very place where Squanto could teach them in their language how to survive in a New World?? This was truly a miracle and that is the message of this simple picture book.
- A Little Maid Series: Several books in the series, written by Alice Turner Curtis. If your children like the American Girl Series, you'll want to give this a try to help them gain a glimpse of colonial life.