Monday, October 24, 2005

Joseph Bruchac: Squanto's Journey

I'd like to thank Aurora Olivieri for turning me onto Bruchac's writings. From Amazon: "Most American children know the story of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving, but the Native American side of the tale is far less familiar. Joseph Bruchac, a prolific and award-winning author of Native American descent (The First Strawberries, A Boy Called Slow) describes life in 1620 for a man who was destined to save the Pilgrims even as he was losing his family and tribe. Told from Squanto's point of view, this historically accurate and detailed story brings to life one of the most important moments in America's past. Demonstrating how much his people (the Patuxet, the People of the Falls) value honor, Squanto befriends English traders, even after being kidnapped and taken to Spain. After much hard work, Squanto manages to sail back to his homeland, where, in spite of his discovery that many of his people have died from disease brought by white people, he acts as envoy between the English and his own people, and helps the pilgrims survive in their new world.Throughout this moving tale, Squanto's belief that "these men can share our land as friends" poignantly shines through. Greg Shed's gouache illustrations capture the warmth and dignity of Squanto and his friends. Young readers will be fascinated by this lesser-known perspective on the Thanksgiving tradition that remains strong today." Here's a slide show I created from the book-a big effort to combine text with images to conserve size.

1 comment:

Tanya (Grant) Sasvary said...

I had the opportunity to have Joseph
Bruchac visit my elementary school last year (Hagan Elementary in Poughkeepsie). The PTA purchased a wide variety of his books for the library before his visit - he has many picture books, chapter books, and story collections. They were all of exceptional quality, and well received by the students (I am the library media specialist). Squanto's Journey was one of those excellent books.

I highly recommend Joseph Bruchac as a visiting author (there is a fee involved). He was a remarkable story teller - he gave unique performances for each of the age levels he spoke with at the two elementary schools in my district. Check out his Web site at if you haven't already.