HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: How the Pilgrims Came to Plymouth
Author: Olga W. Hall-Quest
Illustrator: James MacDonald
Publisher: E.P. Dutton, republished in 2000
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)
Recommended reading level:
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Hall-Quest, Olga W. How the Pilgrims Came to Plymouth (published in 1946, republished in 1967 by E. P. Dutton and Co. Inc. Publishers, New York City, NY). In most public schools today, if the Pilgrims are studied at all, textbooks simply say that they settled at Plymouth, MA, in 1620 and after a hard year had a feast to give thanks, never really explaining to whom they gave thanks or why, and more emphasis is usually given to coloring turkeys and pumpkins than understanding the foundational concepts that they provided in our nation’s heritage. Worse yet, they are often pictured as part of the “Dead White European Male” plague that brought to the New World all the supposed evils upon the pure, innocent Native Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth. And How the Pilgrims Came to Plymouth is an example of the kind of “real books” which were formerly used in public schools to expose students to the truth of our nation’s history rather than kowtow to the leftist agenda of politically correct propaganda and indoctrination.
Most children’s books about the Pilgrims give the majority of space to the trials and tribulations that occurred during and following the building of their colony in Plymouth. However, the primary focus of this one is why and how they got to Plymouth in the first place. It begins with their flight from Scrooby, England, to Holland; continues with their life in Leyden, their plans and preparations for the journey to the New World, their voyage on the Mayflower, and their three expeditions to explore the area of Cape Cod to find a place to call home; and ends with their settlement in Plymouth.
After briefly mentioning the coming hardships, author Olga W. Hall-Quest , who also wrote Guardians of Liberty: Sam Adams and John Hancock, concludes her very easily read and understood discussion of the importance of the Pilgrims in America’s history thusly. “But with faith, hope, courage and patience, those who were left carried on. They built sturdily and well, and they laid a cornerstone in that little haven of New England that today is part of the firm foundation upon which our great country rests.” If one can find this now out of print book, it would make a great resource for a child’s study of the Pilgrims. And we could wish that more books like this were available for our young people today.