As November winds down, the Thanksgiving holiday draws ever closer. Many of us Americans associate Thanksgiving as a time to tuck into some turkey, steaming slices of pie, and generous helpings of mashed potatoes. But how many of us truly know the Thanksgiving story?
If you’re interested in learning more about Thanksgiving and sharing the story with your kids, these five books can help.
These 5 Books Capture the True Spirit of the Thanksgiving Story
Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac
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. Buy it here.
The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh
Giles, Constance and Damaris Hopkins are all passengers aboard the crowded Mayflower, journeying to the New World to start a new life. Things get a little more cramped when their baby brother Oceanus is born during the passage. However, when they arrive, there are even worse challenges to face as the Pilgrims are subjected to hunger, cold, and sickness that put their small colony in great danger. With the help of the Native Americans, however, they might just be able to survive their first year in this strange land—and have a November harvest to celebrate for generations! Buy it here.
Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller
Celebrate food and family with this heartwarming Thanksgiving picture book. We will share the risen bread. / Our made-with-love Thanksgiving spread. / Grateful to be warm and fed. / We will share the bread. In this spirited ode to the holiday, set at the turn of the twentieth century, a large family works together to make their special meal. Mama prepares the turkey, Daddy tends the fire, Sister kneads, and Brother bastes. Everyone—from Grandma and Grandpa to the littlest baby—has a special job to do. Told in spare, rhythmic verse and lively illustrations, Sharing the Bread is a perfect read-aloud to celebrate the Thanksgiving tradition. Buy it here.
The Story of the Pilgrims by Katharine Ross
From the dangerous voyage across the Atlantic to the first harsh winter to the delicious Thanksgiving feast, all the excitement and wonder of the Pilgrims’ first year in America is captured in this vivid retelling that is perfect for the youngest historians. Buy it here.
This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed
This rollicking counting story celebrates the very first Thanksgiving Day with vibrant illustrations and lively verse. Follow the Pilgrim and Wampanoag friends as they prepare for a great feast. Along the way, look for the bold turkey on every page — and for the very sharp of eye, there are all sorts of surprises hidden in the art! Buy it here.
Use these books as a way to share and connect during this incredible Thanksgiving season.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with family. It’s also a great time to teach your kids what it really means to give thanks. It’s also a great time to dive into the history behind this classic American holiday. Use these books as a way to open the dialogue around giving, or as a way to enjoy time spent together. You’ll be sure to see the Thanksgiving story in a brand new light.
Looking for a brand new novel to read after Thanksgiving? Dive into The Sieger Chronicles! This latest dystopian saga will have you (and your teens) gripping the edge of your seat at every page. Buy on Amazon today!