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Books About Thanksgiving in Literature


Thanksgiving Day is an important part of American culture, and it has been depicted in many works of literature. One of the most notable stories of Thanksgiving is the one by Louisa May Alcott, but there are other tales, which involve the feast, Pilgrims, Native Americans, and other elements of the history (or mis-history). Read more about the day and the legends that have been developed in recognition of Thanksgiving Day.

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1. An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving

by Louisa May Alcott. Applewood Books. From the publisher: "A heartwarming story set in rural New Hampshire in the 1800s. As the Thanksgiving Day festivities are beginning, the Bassetts must leave on an emergency. The two eldest children are in charge of the household--they prepare a holiday meal like they've never had before!"
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2. Thanksgiving: An Investigation of a Pauline Theme

by David W. Pao. InterVarsity Press. From the publisher: "In this comprehensive and accessible study, David Pao aims to rehabilitate this theme [of thanksgiving]... Thanksgiving functions as a link between theology, including eschatology, and ethics."
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3. Lies My Teacher Told Me

by James W. Loewen. Simon & Schuster. From the publisher: "From the truth about Columbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring to it the vitality and relevance it truly possesses."
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4. Book of Thanksgiving

by Jessica Faust, and Jacky Sach. Kensington Publishing Corporation. From the publisher: "Many people list Thanksgiving as their all-time favorite holiday, a time when the house smells of harvest delights, and family and friends come to share in the blessings of the year. This warm, inviting collection pulls together a bounty of Thanksgiving traditions, history, recipes, decorating tips, trivia, stories, prayers, and other advice for making your celebration a memorable one."
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5. The First Thanksgiving Feast

by Joan Anderson. Sagebrush Education Resources. From the publisher: "Recreates in accurate detail one of the most popular events in American history, with photographs taken at Plimoth Plantation, the living museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts."
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6. The Pilgrims and Pocahontas: Rival Myths of American Origin

by Ann Uhry Abrams. Perseus Publishing. From the publisher: "By comparing two origin myths, investigating them in art, literature, and popular memory, Ann Uhry Abrams uncovers surprising similarities in traditions of remembrance as well as striking differences in the character of the myths and the messages they convey."
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7. William Bradford's Books: Of Plimmoth Plantation and the Printed Word

by Douglas Anderson. Johns Hopkins University Press. From the publisher: "Far from being the gloomy elegy that many readers find, Bradford's history, argues Douglas Anderson, demonstrates remarkable ambition and subtle grace as it contemplates the adaptive success of a small community of religious exiles. Anderson offers a fresh literary and historical account of Bradford's accomplishment, exploring the context and the form in which the author intended his book to be read."
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8. Don't Know Much About the Pilgrims

by Kenneth C. Davis. HarperCollins. From the publisher: "With his trademark question-and-answer format and S. D. Schindler's detailed artwork, you'll get an insider's view of the Pilgrims' life. It wasn't easy, but they helped make America what it is today. Now that is something to give thanks for!"
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9. Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn: The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols

by Edna Barth, and Ursula Arndt (Illustrator). Houghton Mifflin Company. From the publisher: "Edna Barth explores the multicultural origins and evolution of the familiar and not-so-familiar symbols and legends associated with our favorite holidays. Full of fascinating historical details and little-known stories, these books are both informative and engaging."
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10. 162: A New Look at Thanksgiving

by Catherine O'Neill Grace, Plimoth Plantation Staff, Margaret M. Bruchac, Cotton Coulson (Photographer), and Sisse Brimberg (Photographer). National Geographic Society. From the publisher: "'1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving' exposes the myth that this event was the 'first Thanksgiving' and is the basis for the Thanksgiving holiday that is celebrated today. This exciting book describes the actual events that took place..."
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