Thanksgiving: The True Story Readers’ Responses

A group of graduate students in education at Queens College, the City University of New York, read a galley of Thanksgiving: The True Story. If so motivated, I asked them to write their response to the book and classroom connections. With their permission, I will continue to post their responses/ideas on my blog: Here are the first two:

Trina Gasper-Miller wrote 7 pages of chapter-by-chapter ideas and a response! First here is an excerpt from her response (I’ll start posting her classroom connections in my next blog entry.)
The book allows readers to reflect on the different claims as well as the different activities surrounding the holiday. It gives readers the opportunity to understand the changes in America. . . .The book, written as a narrative, allows readers to reflect on their cultural celebrations as well as the American holiday of Thanksgiving. . . . The book is hard to put down once you start reading it. I would recommend this book for teachers to read anytime of year and for older students to read on their own.

Michele Nicholas wrote: Thank you for writing a book which enables the reader to truly look beyond the 1621 Pilgrim and Indian version of Thanksgiving. From Sarah Hale’s relentless pursuit of an official day of Thanksgiving, the Native Americans’ National Day of Mourning, pageants (with and without Indians), as well as Lydia Maria Child’s classic poem, my favorite holiday has and always will be Thanksgiving! I look forward to the release of Thanksgiving: The True Story.

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2 Responses to Thanksgiving: The True Story Readers’ Responses

  1. Monica Edinger says:

    Hi Penny,

    This book just came to my attention and I’m very eager to read it! I am a 4th grade teacher in NYC and have been teaching and writing about the Pilgrims for many years. (Myra knows my work and me.) Having not seen the book I can’t say, but one thing I’m always interested in is the way other countries consider thanksgiving. I seem to recall a thanksgiving day in Sierra Leone when I was there as a Peace Corps volunteer. Nothing like the US, of course, but the concept existed. So I’m very excited to see your book!

  2. Penny Colman says:

    Penny Colman said…

    Hi Monica,
    Thank you for your interesting comment. As you know, there two ways other countries celebrate thanksgiving –a statute, e.g. the Canadian Thanksgiving is the 2nd Monday in October, and in the form of harvest festivals, e.g. Chusok in Korea and Homowo by the Ga people in Ghana. Then there are Americans living/visiting in other countries who celebrate an American-style Thanksgiving Day on the 4th Thursday in Nov. (During her 19th century campaign for a National Thanksgiving Day, Sarah Josepha Hale included reports of such celebrations in her editorial in Godey’s Lady’s Book.) Having read your comment, I’m curious about thanksgiving day in Sierra Leone and I will do additional research.

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