What is Thanksgiving? These short reviews of Thanksgiving books will give you a little bit of learning about our history. Know why we are celebrating Thanksgiving and what it can mean for you.  Several are children’s books but adults will enjoy the pictures and clear information.

5 Thanksgiving Books to Read in 2017 – for adults and children

1. The First Thanksgiving Feast – Joan Wilkins Anderson, George Ancona (Illustrator)

Thanksgiving books
This book takes you back in history to the first First Thanksgiving. The original pictures and illustrations taken at the Plimoth Plantation give you an image of how the society looked back then.  The “interviews” with the Pilgrims give this book an aura of authenticity. The First Thanksgiving Feast is a must read for children but not only. Adults who want to learn more about the Mayflower, pilgrims and how the tradition on Thanksgiving started should also read this book, as it gives you essential information and and an easy visual aid.

2. Don’t Know Much about Pilgrims – Kenneth C. Davis

Books about Thanksgiving
Don’t Know Much about Pilgrims is a children’s book about Thanksgiving, Pilgrims and colonization. It teaches children about the life of young pilgrims, how they dressed, what they ate and they did in their spare time. Davis writes an interesting history of the first voyagers to the US and keeps the children interested through images and colloquial language. Your children (and you) will enrich their vocabulary with the Thanksgiving book.  It also has quizzes, which help your child to stay engaged and learn better. Every home library should have this book.  It is highly entertaining for children and adults alike.

3. Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn: The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols – Edna Barth (Author),‎ Ursula Arndt (Illustrator)

Childrens Thanksgiving books
Why do Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving? Why do we have colored corn, pumpkin pies and corns overflowing with fruit on the table at this time of year? Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn explains the symbolism of this holiday and the stories behind the food and decorations specific to Thanksgiving. It also gives you insight on how the Pilgrims lived during the time they came to the United States. This is a children’s book, even though the subject may seem a bit complicated.

The author incorporates the meaning of everything in beautiful and attractive stories. Adults will also enjoy this book for the stories and explanation about why and how Thanksgiving has become the holiday we cherish so much.

4. 1621 A New Look at Thanksgiving – Catherine O’Neill Grace

Childrens book about thanksgiving
The National Geographic book 1621 A New Look at Thanksgiving gives a new perspective to the reader. It talks about the native people that lived in Plymouth before the arrival of the Mayflower.  Whilst 1621 is the year everything changed for them, but everyone remembers it as the beginning of a wonderful holiday. This is a photoessay, so you get a clear picture of the three day harvest celebration that happened in 1621. Even though it is marketed as a children’s book, adults will enjoy it too, because of the well documented and balanced history that focuses on the native tribe, not on the English colonists.

5. Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience – Melanie Kirkpatrick

Thanksgiving books
Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience is a study of rites, rituals and history that mark this American holiday. The author doesn’t only write about Thanksgiving’s history, but what it meant for the American society. She follows the development of this holiday from its beginnings until the current day. Kirkpatrick talks about recipes, family dynamic and football, as all have been influenced by Thanksgiving. This book is more a social study than a history, as it follows the society during this holiday. If you want to know more about this holiday of gratitude, you must read this book.