Mentor Monday: Thanksgiving Books

I love Mentor Mondays with Emily at The Reading Tutor/OG!! Today's post is a collage of a few books for Thanksgiving. I love Emily's guidelines for Thanksgiving books:
3 important things to remember when selecting books about Thanksgiving:
1. There are two sides to the Thanksgiving story. Find books that share multiple perspectives.
2. Check for historical accuracy versus historical fiction.
3. Take the time to include modern day books to compare and contrast.
Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen
One of my favorites!! Molly and her parents are a Jewish family who have emigrated from Russia to the United States to escape religious persecution. Molly is the only Jewish child in third grade. When Thanksgiving arrives, the teacher assigns a project to make a Pilgrim doll. Molly is embarrassed by her mother's attempts to help with her Thanksgiving project. She makes a pilgrim doll — but dresses it in Russian clothing. Soon, however, Molly learns that it takes all kinds of "pilgrims" to make a Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Catherine O, Margaret M. Bruchac, Plimoth Plantation.
In cooperation with the Plimoth Plantation, a living-history museum in Massachusetts, National Geographic has recreated the first Thanksgiving. In 1621, in a small settlement on the edge of the sea, 52 English colonists celebrated their first harvest. The colonists were joined by 90 men of the Wampanoag tribe for a gathering that was to last three days in a town now known as Plymouth. Over the centuries, there have been countless versions of this story, creating a popular myth of the first Thanksgiving. Many Americans imagine brave, peaceful settlers inviting a few wild Indians over for a turkey dinner. But there was no pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce at this celebration. There were no Indians with woven blankets over their shoulders and large feathered headdresses. No pilgrims with somber black clothes and silver buckle hats either. The English didn't even call themselves Pilgrims. This book puts aside that myth and takes a new look at our American history. It questions what we know and recovers lost voices of the Wampanoag people. True history includes the voices of all its participants.

The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern
The Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving lasted three whole days. Ann McGovern's simple text introduces children to the struggles of the Pilgrims during their first year at Plymouth Colony and the events leading to the historic occasion we celebrate today

Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson
Thanksgiving might have started with a jubilant feast on Plymouth's shore. But by the 1800s America's observance was waning. None of the presidents nor Congress sought to revive the holiday. And so one invincible "lady editor" name Sarah Hale took it upon herself to rewrite the recipe for Thanksgiving as we know it today. This is an inspirational, historical, all-out boisterous tale about perseverance and belief: In 1863 Hale's thirty-five years of petitioning and orations got Abraham Lincoln thinking. He signed the Thanksgiving Proclamation that very year, declaring it a national holiday. This story is a tribute to Hale, her fellow campaigners, and to the amendable government that affords citizens the power to make the world a better place!

My Name is America series: The Journal Of Jasper Jonathan Pierce, A Pilgrim Boy by Ann Rinaldi
By promising seven years of labor to a fellow traveler, Jasper earns passage aboard the Mayflower and closes the door on his troubled past. When the crew arrives at Plymouth, they find a countryside of magnificent beauty, but also a life of harsh struggle. Jonathan strikes out on his own and forms a powerful friendship with the feared Nauset tribe. His document of the arduous ocean crossing and first year in the New World shows his physical and spiritual growth as he learns the strengths and weaknesses in himself, his Puritan people, and his Native American neighbors.
What are your favorite books to teach about Thanksgiving and "modern day" pilgrims? I'd love to add to my list!


  1. This is fabulous! I love that you're including "modern day" pilgrims. Thanks so much for the nomination and for visiting my blog! You made my day!

    A Teaspoon of Teaching