If You Lived During the Plimoth Thanksgiving (If You)

by Chris Newell (Author) Winona Nelson (Illustrator)

If You Lived During the Plimoth Thanksgiving (If You)
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade
Series: If You

What do you know about the thanksgiving feast at Plimoth?

What if you lived in a different time and place? What would you wear? What would you eat? How would your daily life be different?

Scholastic's If You Lived... series answers all of kids' most important questions about events in American history. With a question and answer format, kid-friendly artwork, and engaging information, this series is the perfect partner for the classroom and for history-loving readers.

What if you lived when the English colonists and the Wampanoag people shared a feast at Plimoth? What would you have worn? What would you have eaten? What was the true story of the feast that we now know as the first Thanksgiving and how did it become a national holiday?

Chris Newell answers all these questions and more in this comprehensive dive into the feast at Plimoth and the history leading up to it. Carefully crafted to explore both sides of this historical event, this book is a great choice for Thanksgiving units, and for teaching children about this popular holiday.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
A measured corrective to pervasive myths about what is often referred to as the first Thanksgiving. ...The lens Newell offers is a Native one, describing how the Wampanoag and other Native peoples received the English rather than the other way around.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 2-5--A welcome addition to the picture book history collection. Newell is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe; Nelson is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Minnesota Chippewa. Together they provide an account of the arrival of the of English colonists to the shores of North America in a region where the Wampanoag, the People of the First Light, had been living for thousands of years. Providing alternating information from the perspectives of the Wampanoag (and other tribes and nations) and European colonists offers a more comprensive, full-circle look at these events and their devastating aftermath. The text does a remarkable job of giving larger context to the complexity of Indigenous life prior to colonization as well as the difference between the cultures regarding concepts such as land ownership and environmental stewardship. The author covers events through the creation of the holiday called Thanksgiving today and how other cultures give thanks, including a discussion of Indigenous Peoples' Day. Use of the present tense makes it clear that Wampanoag are still here and that the story of the U.S. is not yet finished; to better understand the past is to create a more equitable and inclusive future. VERDICT This essential book should replace many established titles on the shelves; it never shies away from pitting hard history against a mythology that is not helpful to students living in the 21st century.--John Scott, Baltimore County P.S.

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes


Chris Newell
Winona Nelson is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Minnesota Chippewa. She was born in 1983, grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, and studied art at the Safehouse Atelier in San Francisco. She now lives in Philadelphia and loves to travel the world.
Chris Newell is a multi-award-winning museum professional born and raised in Motahkmikuhk (Indian Township, Maine) and a proud citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township. He is the first Wabanaki executive director of the Abbe Museum, Maine's only Smithsonian-affiliate located in Bar Harbor, Maine. He is also a co-founder of Akomawt Educational Initiative, an educational consultancy working with schools, universities, museums, and all areas of education to incorporate Native perspectives in a culturally competent manner.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
November 20, 2021
If You
BISAC categories
JNF018040 - Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | United States - Native American
JNF025190 - Juvenile Nonfiction | History | United States/Colonial & Revolutionary
JNF026060 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Holidays & Celebrations | Thanksgiving
Library of Congress categories
Thanksgiving Day
Wampanoag Indians
New Plymouth, 1620-1691
Pilgrims (New Plymouth colony)

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