Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims
Author: Clyde Robert Bulla
Major Themes: Easy Readers, Indians, Pilgrims, Plymouth Colony, Squanto
Synopsis: A young Indian boy goes to Europe with the first of the white men’s ships that he ever sees, and eventually helps the white men who settle in his former home in America.
Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims is one of the first books I remember making a big impression on me. I was around six years old when I read it for the first time, and when I read the chapter about how Squanto’s whole family died while he was gone, I remember crying for him.
Squanto was a very curious Indian boy, and when he first saw the white men’s ships, he badly wanted to investigate them and learn about the white men and their world. When they offered him a trip to England, he quickly accepted, even though his mother was not happy about it. He made a good friend on board the ship, and lived with him in London for a number of years until a ship went back to America. How excited he was to see his family again! But…just before he got home, he was kidnapped and taken back to Europe to be sold as a slave. Would he ever return home and see his family again?
As with Clyde Robert Bulla’s other books for children, this is written in simple language for early readers. It is a high-interest story that will capture children’s imagination, and teach them a little bit about early American history at the same time. I just read it to my children as a supplement to our study of the Pilgrims, but it’s also great reading at any time. Try giving it to your children who need something to practice with.