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In the Stacks: New Thanksgiving books

Posted: November 8, 2012 - 12:04am

New Thanksgiving books for the young and young-at-heart are on the shelves at all the public libraries. In addition to those below, look for Turkey Trouble, by Wendi Silvano, Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff), by Barbara Park (yes, it’s a Junie B.), and 10 Fat Turkeys, by Tony Johnston.

“Sarah Gives Thanks,” by Mike Allegra, illustrated by David Gardner.

In the early years of our country, days of thanksgiving were all over the calendar. But one woman, Sarah Hale, felt strongly that the country needed more national holidays, and what better holiday than one that asked us to pause and reflect on all the good things in life. Sarah was the editor for Godey’s Ladies’ Magazine and she used the power of words to slowly convince the nation to celebrate together. For thirty-six years, she wrote to the president every fall to ask him to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday, but it wasn’t until Abraham Lincoln was president that her dream came true. This is a look into the life of an influential and persistent woman who championed and won many causes.

“Squanto’s Journey”, by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Greg Shed.

Bruchac tells the life story of Squanto, a Patuxet Indian born in 1590 and his role in the first Thanksgiving. When Squanto was twenty-four, he and other men from his village were tricked into coming aboard a British ship which then sailed away to Spain taking the men to be sold as slaves. Squanto spent seven years in Malaga and England, where he learned shipbuilding and English, before finally arriving home to find his wife and children had died from an epidemic the year before. Despite all the reasons he had to be angry at the white settlers who were arriving in great numbers, Squanto instead made himself useful to them. He was one of the few who could speak their language and he showed them how to plant crops, hunt, and fish, and yes, was mostly likely responsible for the colony’s success. Beautiful gouache paintings glow on the page and every effort has been made to keep historical accuracy in both image and word.

“Thanksgiving Rules,” by Laurie Friedman, illustrated by Teresa Murfin.

Meet Percy and his rules for having a great Thanksgiving. Percy’s all about the food, but he knows that the fastest track to dinner is to be agreeable and helpful at the beginning of the day. With that in mind, rules 1 and 2 are to let his mom boss him around and tell him what to wear and how he can help out… doesn’t everything go more smoothly when you pitch in and lend a hand? After saying hi to all the guests, it’s time for dinner where Percy’s rules become welcome truisms: the early bird gets the worm, the more the merrier, and the second time is the charm… And because, as Percy says, “life is sweeter when you eat sweets,” he tries a bit of everything so he can have some dessert. And after he’s cleaned his plate? Time for Percy’s last rule: Appreciate! He gives his family hugs and kisses and lets them know their hard work has been enjoyed. The somewhat manic pictures bring lots of energy to this Thanksgiving party.

“Turkey Monster Thanksgiving,” by Anne Warren Smith.

Nine-year old Katie loves her family’s Thanksgiving traditions: pajamas all day, popcorn and homemade pizza for dinner, and olives for her little brother’s fingers. But Perfect Claire, her next-door-neighbor, is sure everyone is going to feel sorry for them: after all, Claire doesn’t have a mother, either, but she and her dad have a REAL Thanksgiving dinner – complete with forty guests! Suddenly Katie is ashamed of her dad and little brother and wants nothing more than a Thanksgiving dinner just like everyone else’s. The issue of Beautiful Living magazine that Claire gave her makes it look easy – surely Katie can do it all and surprise her dad. And he is very surprised! This quick chapter book is a fun read for elementary age readers.

***

Got a Kindle and want to take advantage of the library’s free downloadable ebooks? Bring it along to the Valley Library tonight at 6:30 p.m. to learn how.

And - join us Saturday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. Downtown for Mary Doria Russell’s presentation “What went right in Italy,” based on Russell’s third novel, “A Thread of Grace.” She’ll also be signing her books and we’ll have several titles available for sale.

For information about upcoming programs, or to place a hold, visit www.juneau.org/library or call 586-5249.

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