Read Thanksgiving: The True Story by Penny Colman Online


Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans celebrate with a Thanksgiving meal. But what is the origin of this tradition? Did it really begin when the Pilgrims and Native Americans got together in 1621 in Plymouth,Massachusetts?In her signature narrative nonfiction style, Penny Colman paints a fascinating picture of this cherished American holiday. She examineEvery year on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans celebrate with a Thanksgiving meal. But what is the origin of this tradition? Did it really begin when the Pilgrims and Native Americans got together in 1621 in Plymouth,Massachusetts?In her signature narrative nonfiction style, Penny Colman paints a fascinating picture of this cherished American holiday. She examines numerous Thanksgiving claims which were antecedents to the national holiday we celebrate today, raises the turkey question—does everyone eat turkey on Thanksgiving?—and shows Sarah Josepha Hale's instrumental role in establishing the holiday. Get ready to delve into the rich past of Thanksgiving in an enlightening history that uncovers the true story.Thanksgiving is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year....

Title : Thanksgiving: The True Story
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780805082296
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Thanksgiving: The True Story Reviews

  • Deborah Markus
    2019-05-08 22:30

    I'm sick in bed and NaNo is over for the year, so I can finally catch up on some book reviewing."Thanksgiving: The True Story" is exactly what it claims to be. Amazingly for a book on the subject of America's most controversial holiday, it keeps an even tone *and* a firm grip on reality.It begins with what seems like a simple question: what was the first Thanksgiving? Colman explores 12 competing claims. In the course of doing so, she helps us sort out fact from fantasy. She delves into what she calls "the 'pilgrim and Indian' story." She discusses, with obvious admiration but without hero worship, the woman who spent decades trying to get Thanksgiving declared a national holiday. She writes movingly of what Thanksgiving has meant and continues to mean to recent immigrants to America. My son and I both read this book for a history unit this November. I want to say "I strongly recommend this," but that doesn't go far enough. This book should be required reading for all ages.

  • Betsy
    2019-05-11 23:19

    The real Pilgrims didn’t wear black. There. I’ve done it. I’ve just blown your little mind, haven’t I? Isn’t it crazy that in this jaded cynical age in which we live, there are still myths, legends, and iconic images that stay in our brains unabated for long periods of time without our ever acknowledging them? Someone walks up to you and says, “Is Santa Claus real?” And if you are over the age of seven you probably say, “No no, not really.” “And is the Easter Bunny real?” “No, of course not.” Then they look you hard and square in the eyes and they say “And was the first Thanksgiving with Squanto and the Indians and the Pilgrims . . . . was THAT real?” And suddenly you find yourself on unsteady ground. Was it real? With all that we’ve learned about American atrocities against the American Indians can we really expect that what we’ve learned about this day in school is entirely on the up and up? Don’t try searching the adult section of your library for an answer. The best place to look is in Penny Colman's Thanksgiving: The True Story. If you've ever wondered, even for a minute, how much of what we learned in school was true, here you will find your answers.There are twelve claims as to where the actual “first” Thanksgiving took place in American. Wait . . . twelve? Let me check that . . . oh yeah. It’s twelve and they come from Texas, Florida, Maine, Virginia, and even Massachusetts. Stop and drink that information in a little. What is the real “first” Thanksgiving anyway? What did it consist of? Where did this holiday even come from anyway? With a steady hand author Penny Colman sets out to discover the “truth” behind the legends and mystic. She tackles competing claims and lays the groundwork for the Plymouth 1621 story. She examines the birth of the holiday and its path to national recognition. Colman looks at the history of football games (they started on Thanksgiving in late 1800s!), long lost traditions, and the different kinds of meals prepared each year. From turkey to pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving searches for the truth and in the process becomes a wonderful look at how exciting historical research can be when you’re trying to plumb the past for answers. A Chronology, list of Notes and Sources, and Index is included.I have to admit that it is a bit of a relief to read an informational book for kids that isn’t 300 pages long. The 139 or so page non-fiction title is a rare and beautiful beast. Often I get the feeling that an author is so wrapped up in a subject that it causes them actual physical pain to reduce the number of pages in their books below the 250-page marker. Colman isn’t like that. Here we have an engaging subject, plenty of visual images to keep the eye roving and mind alert, and writing that hops delicately from topic to topic in a pleasing manner. Truth be told, there are some times in the book when you wonder if Colman wasn’t trying to pad the story out a bit more. A survey given to contemporary family and friends about the holiday offers the right connection between past celebrations and present ones, yet one wonders if it wasn't added after the fact. But if this even is a thought it proves a fleeting one. Clearly the book has its subject matter well in hand and kids will appreciate Colman’s brevity and points of interest in one section or another.There’s quite a lot here to amuse and enjoy. My favorite passages involved the traditions now dead and gone. Where once celery was considered the pride of the Thanksgiving table now it must appear, if at all, on some mournful vegetable platter without fanfare or glitz. And what of the traditions of the Fantasticals and the Ragamuffins? Who knew that every year large groups of working men would dress up in outfits that would make a Gay Pride Parade blush, and ballyhoo about the streets of NYC until the early 1900s? And if it weren’t for the fact that this tradition died out at the same time, you might find your own children dressing up every year as dirty-faced hobos, to beg door to door for cookies or fruit in the fine Ragamuffin tradition.Some reviews of the book have called for more discussion of the American Indians’ dislike of this particular holiday. Yet Colman often mentions the National Day of Mourning begun in 1970 by Frank James to commemorate the Native lives lost since Thanksgiving Day, as well as the atrocities committed against the Wampanoag since that day in 1621. It is true that she does not interview contemporary Indians who feel conflicted each year in November. That would have been a nice inclusion. Instead she makes a point to be as multicultural in her mentions of the day as possible. African-American kids dress up like Pilgrims and Indians in a photograph from 1965. Worldwide Harvest Festivals are mentioned when drawing upon the day’s antecedents. And when a description is made of contemporary Thanksgiving feasts, Colman is careful to draw from a wide swath of foods, cultures, and traditions so as to place the day in a universal context. In its early years Thanksgiving was considered a New England tradition. Since that time it has come to encompass as many people as will have it.So did the Pilgrims and the Indians actually sit down and have a meal back in 1621? It looks like they did. But our romanticized visions of that day have been informed by a host of intentions, propaganda, and revised bits of history that would probably render the original day unrecognizable to our eyes. That said, Penny Colman shows real love and real respect for this beloved National Holiday. I don’t think it could be done any better and when you gather with friends and family on this day maybe it would be nice to crack this puppy open and learn a little about the truth behind the stories and the lives behind the tradition. A necessary inclusion to any library’s Thanksgiving collection.Ages 9-12.

  • Jude Morrissey
    2019-04-30 19:14

    I was checking out this book as a possible read for Madi next year, it coming highly recommended. I will definitely be giving it to her next Thanksgiving.

  • Terry
    2019-05-14 22:37

    re: Thanksgiving heritage researchI found the picture of a plaque on p. 76., a bronze on stone boulder plaque erected in Plymouth, Massachusetts.National Day of Mourning,Since 1970, Native Amerians hae gathered at noon on Cole's Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Many Natige Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on the culture. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well asa protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.Reading the book as well as the plaque makes me feel guilty celebrating Thanksgiving in the traditional ways common in my American heritage: pumpkin pie, turkey cranberry sauce, green beans and other vegetables, home-made stuffing and don't forget the butter with home-made yeast rolls. Sure, they ate crushed pumpkin, beans, corn, cranberries, nuts, and different meats (deer, shell fish, water foul) but not necessarily turkey, and no breads like we have today. If you ever have the chance to meet a Wampanuag Native Indian in Massachusetts, they will explain the truth further.Surprisingly, in the 1700's, turkeys imported to England came from Mexico of all places not north-eastern early American colonies. The book is full of other startling facts about the origins of Thanksgiving. It's a quick historical read, take a look.

  • Julia
    2019-05-10 23:23

    This was definitely an interesting and abbreviated read about Thanksgiving. I can say I truly enjoyed the thought of exploring the origins of this holiday since almost everyone knows the origins of our other "holidays". What bothered me most about the book were the original twelve claims but none of them were truly touched upon. There was maybe a sentence or two plus the graph giving what promotional information was given for it, the year and of course the reasoning behind it for the thanksgiving. Otherwise with the exception of the "Pilgrims and Indians" there wasn't anything to get your teeth on with those early times of celebration. The author did a good job of working upon the subject and introducing us to some history that is normally not covered. But also as a result she ended out leaving out other parts of information that we know a bit about that would have been interesting to get a bit more so altogether information-wise the book was just an introductory book for those who are curious about Thanksgiving while not more. The pictures, the inclusions of survey answers and the author's own memories make it a bit more personal to the reader but I didn't like the way that she ended it with all those questions towards the end. So the book just ends up evenly balancing itself out to me.

  • Kimberly
    2019-04-29 19:32

    This young adult non-fiction book delves into the origination of Thanksgiving. The book is broken up into the organization of the day, the activities, and the food served. Thanksgiving thought to be from the pilgrims and Indian meeting in 1621, but Colman broadens the perspective of this nationally revered holiday. The facts in this book were interesting and simplified which made me understanding why this book might be a little more attractive to young adults. I liked how Colman had included her own insights to her Thanksgiving which gave it a personal realistic feel. This feel could contribute to better connection with teenagers and allow them some reflection and response to the questions she brings up at the end of the book. Though it was interesting reading a young adult facts book, I would have enjoyed it a lot more in novel form. This book seemed a little too simplified to allow me to trust the facts in it. Because of this, if a book like this was written in novel form it would have played the same purpose and would have been more interesting.

  • Adrienne
    2019-05-20 02:15

    Although most Americans have probably learned that the "first" Thanksgiving, and the beginning of our current Thanksgiving traditions, was the story of Pilgrims and Squanto, Colman shows that there are at least twelve different claims of the first Thanksgiving. She briefly addresses some of them and shows how long-standing traditions of harvest festivals and general thanksgiving days, as well as the push of activist Sarah Hale all contributed to our holiday and how U.S. Presidents, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, declared national days of thanksgiving, but it wasn't until an act of Congress in the 1940s that Thanksgiving became a national holiday. The second half of the book focuses on Thanksgiving traditions.I liked the first half of the book better than the second, but overall, it was interesting and informative--and not too long, for those readers who only have time for a short history at this busy time of year.

  • Jocelyn
    2019-04-29 19:43

    from horn book: Believe it or not, the “Pilgrim and Indian” story wasn’t America’s first Thanksgiving. Preceding Squanto, Massasoit, and William Bradford were ceremonies marking successful journeys or celebrating the safe arrival of supplies, colonists, or troops, and even a recorded Thanksgiving Mass in the Palo Duro Canyon of Texas in 1541. Who knew? This probe into our Thanksgiving roots covers many topics, from Sarah Josepha Hale’s quest to make Thanksgiving a national holiday to the origins of Thanksgiving football games. Colman’s strength is sharing her research process with readers, starting with a survey designed to elicit questions about Thanksgiving, and indicating the ways those responses led her to her own search for further information. Appended with a Thanksgiving timeline, extensive source notes, and index (unseen). B.C.

  • Megan
    2019-04-27 01:32

    This book is a chapter book about the origin of the Thanksgiving holiday. I think it is nonfiction because it has an abundant list of sources cited in the back of the book, broken down by each chapter. The book covers subjects like the first thanksgiving, origins of our thanksgiving, the Pilgrim and Indian story, and more about the Thanksgiving traditions we experience today. Their are a few illustrations throughout the book, but they are in black and white. The illustrations are drawn for an older audience, probably around middle school age, as they are drawn in a lot of detail. Some of the illustrations throughout the book are pictures of historic plaques or buildings, as well as stamps based on the holiday itself.

  • Greg Bartlett
    2019-05-13 22:15

    This is an easy read 160 page informative narrative nonfiction book in which the author goes in depth about a holiday that is a bit misunderstood. Through this narrative the author Penny Colman explores many of the Thanksgiving assertions to enlighten the reader about certain individuals who have gone unoticed who have served vital roles in the establishment of this holiday. I enjoy these types of informative books because they are instructive and very informational, I just wish I would have read this book a long time ago.

  • Abby
    2019-05-14 01:30

    This is a well-written and researched book that looks at the events that have lead to our modern Thanksgiving celebration. Most of us were taught that the first thanksgiving happened between the pilgrims and Indians in 1621 at Plymouth. This book looks at other claims of the first thanksgiving as well as our incorrect perceptions of the 1621 event and how the celebration has changed over time.

  • Cosette
    2019-05-04 01:23

    Not sure what to do with what I've just learned...

  • Rebecca
    2019-05-07 22:34

    Very well reviewed. I will try to read it before next Thanksgiving. There are TWELVE claims to having "the first Thanksgiving"??