If anyone asks for an example of what America stands for, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving should be suggested. The two holidays are specific to our nation and both represent why we are here. Thanksgiving is a day to be celebrated with family and friends, but first and foremost, it is a day to praise God for His unceasing blessings.
Sometimes entertainment is necessary for children while adults get dinner ready. This blog post lists 8 books and shorts stories that will capture the imagination and emotions of everyone in your family no matter their age.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
1. Cranberry Thanksgiving by Harry and Wende Devlin
This husband and wife collaboration is one of the sweetest children’s books centered around Thanksgiving. Grandmother and Maggie invite neighbors over for dinner and disaster threatens to strike when Grandmother’s famous cornbread recipe goes missing. (Amazon)
2. Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving
How can we celebrate Thanksgiving without remembering where the holiday originated? Now deemed controversial, the first Thanksgiving was a day the Pilgrims set aside to glorify God and thank Him for His protection in the New World. Squanto’s Journey is another children’s book that will show your children how the American Indians and Pilgrims worked together to survive. (Amazon)
3. An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louis May Alcott
Known for her beloved March family, Louisa May Alcott wrote many stories about families coming together during holidays. Her short story An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving is about the Bassett children who are given charge of the whole Thanksgiving dinner, the pressure of which may be too much for the siblings. (Amazon Kindle & Audio | Read free here)
4. One Big Table Cookbook
With over 600 recipes, no one should ever run out of ideas with this cookbook on hand. They span the nation and generations of time from the Pilgrims to the Industrial North to the 1960s. Southern cooking, Northeastern clambakes, and Western messes define America, and this cookbook includes some of the best Thanksgiving recipes for you to include in the holiday. (Amazon)
5. Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen by O. Henry
Another short story, O. Henry’s tale of two gentlemen meeting on a park bench every Thanksgiving is only a few pages long. Despite its brevity, the story is incredibly moving and a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving traditions. (Amazon Kindle | Read free here)
6. The Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote
The author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s also wrote a haunting story about forgiveness, compassion, and friendship centered around Thanksgiving. Short stories can be a beautiful way to celebrate holidays and this one is no exception. (Amazon)
7. Aunt Susanna’s Thanksgiving Dinner by Lucy Maud Montgomery
To know Lucy Maud Montgomery’s characters is to love them. However, not many people have read her works other than Anne of Green Gables. A prolific and talented writer, one of her sweetest short stories is Aunt Susanna’s Thanksgiving Dinner. A group of sisters wait for their aunt’s arrival and the signal to begin preparing for Thanksgiving. It is a darling story, reminiscent of the antics of a little redheaded orphan. (Amazon Kindle | Read free here)
8. Stories of the Pilgrims by Margaret Pumphrey
So many Americans can trace their ancestors back to the Puritans and Pilgrims. This children’s book is a collection of stories about the boys and girls who came from England and Holland with their parents to this strange New World we now call home. (Amazon Kindle & Audio | Read free here)
To learn more about the Pilgrims, Puritans, and the origins of Thanksgiving, check out one of our most popular courses: Dave Raymond’s American History. Here’s a clip from the lesson in which Dave answers the question, “Who were the Puritans?”
Click below to purchase or sample the American history curriculum, or download a free series of audio dramas that complements a unit study of your own.