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***Squanto's Journey

by Joseph Bruchac

illustrated by Greg Shed

Reviewed November 24, 2003.
Silver Whistle (Harcourt), San Diego, California, 2000.  32 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (E BRU).

Here’s the story of the first Thanksgiving, told from the perspective of Squanto, rather than that of the Pilgrims.  It tells a powerful story.  Squanto had many reasons to hate white men.  He had met some English and made friends.  Then he was kidnapped and taken to Europe and sold as a slave.  Fortunately, he was freed by some monks and helped to return home.

When Squanto went back to America, he learned that all his family and those he loved were dead, having been killed by an illness they caught from white traders.  He tried to make peace between the English and the tribes that were left, but when the Capawack attacked and killed his English friends, Squanto was taken captive and given to the Pokanoket as a prisoner.

When the Pilgrims came, Squanto convinced the Pokanoket to try to befriend them.  Eventually, since he spoke their language, they let him meet with the Pilgrims and teach them about hunting and farming in the new land.

Squanto’s attitude of thanks to the Creator at the end of the story, rather than bitterness and hatred for all he had lost, tells a beautiful story, perfect indeed for Thanksgiving.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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