HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Squanto and the First Thanksgiving
Author: Teresa Celsi
Illustrator: Pam Ford Johnson
Publisher: Steck-Vaughn Company, republished in 1992
ISBN-13: 978-0817235116 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0817235116 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0811467100 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0811467104 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Celsi, Teresa. Squanto and the First Thanksgiving (published in 1989 by the Heinemann Library). Squanto, whose full name was Tisquantum, was the Native American who assisted the Pilgrims after their first winter in the New World and was integral to their survival. He was a member of the Patuxet tribe, a tributary of the Wampanoag Confederacy. On his way back to the Patuxet in 1614, Squanto was kidnapped by Englishman Thomas Hunt who attempted to sell him and a number of other Native Americans into slavery in Spain. Some local friars discovered what Hunt was attempting and took the remaining Native Americans, Squanto included. He managed to get to London, went to Newfoundland, returned to England, and finally in 1619 made it back to his homeland, but soon discovered that the Patuxet had been killed off the year before by an epidemic plague.
Squanto eventually settled with Pilgrims at the site of his former village, which the English named Plymouth. This Real Reading book is a simple biography of this famous Indian who helped the Pilgrims survive in their early days in the Plymouth colony. It gives many great facts at an appropriate reading level for young readers. The very well written, engaging story and colorful pictures will make delightful reading for second graders. After being appointed by Wampanoag sachem known today as Massasoit to serve as liaison to the Pilgrims, Squanto became sick with a fever and died a few days later in 1622 at Chatham, MA. There is another book with the same title, written by Joyce K. Kessel, illustrated by Lisa Donze, and published by Lerner Publishing Group.