1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving
Authors: Canterine O’Neill & Margaret M. Bruchac
Photographers: Sisse Brimberg & Cotton Coulson
Copyright 2001 National Geographic Society
ISBN: 0-7922-7027-4
Genre: Multicultural

In this informative and eye-opening text, a new and more accurate view of the first Thanksgiving in America is outlined and explored for the reader.  As has been documented during the last few decades, accounts of Native American life and how colonists developed what is now the United States have often been historically incorrect.  This book describes the events leading up to the well-known feast that took place between the English colonists and the Wampanoag people in 1621.  The differences in historical myth and what most likely happened on that day are discussed, including the absence of such things as feather headdresses, silver-buckled top hats, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes.  The photographs illustrate historically accurate clothing and activities and can be seen today at the Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts.  The book also offers a timeline of events for the reader to better understand why the event might have occurred.  This text is an excellent portrayal of events that are often distorted in schools every fall.  Using this text with students may help them better understand why we celebrate Thanksgiving and how we must look at depictions of historical events with a critical eye.

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