The Landing of the Pilgrims
post written by Esther Filbrun
Title: The Landing of the Pilgrims
Author: James Daugherty
Major Themes: Colonial America, Pilgrims
Synopsis: Taken from the Pilgrim’s journals, this is a well-written, factual account of the trials and triumphs of some of the early European settlers in America.
I feel like most of my years of homeschooling were your fairly typical diet of American history mixed with world history, more American history, Christian history, maybe some more world history, American history…you get the idea. And while I don’t regret that at all, now that I’ve come to live in a country other than the USofA, I’ve started to see that there’s a little more to the world than just that particular land area. However, I still value the things we can learn from history in general—you know, “history repeats itself.” As such, I was thrilled to be able to start going through a bit of American history early this year. Although that quickly fizzled out when other things captured my attention, I was able to read through Landing of the Pilgrims—what a great book!
Starting from when the would-be Pilgrims first began thinking about moving to the New Land, and following through to after Plymouth was properly settled, this book is heavily based on letters, histories, and other historical records that detail the story of the Pilgrims. Although it isn’t written as a novel, the chapters are short and easy to read, as the story is told in a simple yet engaging fashion. I learned new facts and stories from this book, even though this subject is one presented over and over to American children everywhere. I loved hearing how peace was forged between the Native Americans, and how that was continued by the wise choices of some men. Somehow, I’d never picked that up—but this book brought it out beautifully.
My second favorite part of The Landing of the Pilgrims would be how this story was told. Although the history is there (which is probably my most favorite part), it’s presented in such a way that it almost comes alive—while still holding true to the original story. Things aren’t glossed over here; it’s presented as it happened, and even if the language isn’t very updated from the original documents, it’s easy to read. Divided up into small sections, and told quickly while still including the more interesting bits, this book is a great introduction to this little portion of the American story. I really appreciated it, and I think many other families would get a lot out of it, too.
WARNING: In part 2, the chapter titled “The Third Discovery and the First Encounter…”, pg. 61, 62, Indians briefly attack the men. In part 3, the chapter titled “How Witawamat Lost His Head”, pg. 135-136, there is a fight and a man is beheaded.
Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15
Links to buy The Landing of the Pilgrims:
AbeBooks: View Choices on AbeBooks.com
Keywords: Family Read-alouds, History, Historical Fiction, 17th Century, United States History, Colonial Era (US), North America