If you want a Thanksgiving rich in literature, check out our Thanksgiving Book List. It's an annotated list of 10 great books to read in your homeschool. All are compelling non-fiction narratives, rooted in history.
1. Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Sarah Halse Anderson. For young readers, this is the story of Sarah Josepha Hale, “editress” of the Godey’s Lady’s Book and the woman who lobbied presidents to establish a national Thanksgiving holiday. Grades PreK-4.
2. Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet. Meet Tony Sarg, an inventor from an early age. This book tells the story of how he inspired the helium balloons that have become the hallmark of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Grades PreK-4.
3. Thanksgiving in the White House by Gary Hines. This children’s picture book chronicles the first presidential turkey pardon. It tells the story of how Abraham Lincoln’s youngest son, Tad, convinced his father to spare the life of Jack the turkey. Grades PreK-4.
4. Thanksgiving Day by Gail Gibbons. Gibbons is one of the most beloved writers of non-fiction for children. In this book, she tells the story of Thanksgiving, its origins, traditions, and how it is celebrated today. Grades PreK-4.
5. Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember by Barbara Rainey. This book is meant to be read aloud as a family. There are special sections adapted for young readers. In this book, Rainey highlights God’s hand in the history of Thanksgiving. It’s beautifully illustrated, and there is a gratitude journal at the end. Grades PreK-12.
6. Eating the Plates: A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners by Lucille Recht Penner. This is the perfect Thanksgiving book for your little foodie. It covers the eating habits, customs, and manners of the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation. Grades K-6.
7. To My Countrywomen: The Life of Sarah Josepha Hale by Muriel L. Dubois. This is a great little biography of the mother of Thanksgiving. Grades 5-8.
8. Thanksgiving: The True Story by Penny Colman. This book chronicles the history of the Thanksgiving holiday, from the Pilgrim origins to modern-day traditions. It is one of the best overarching accounts of the holiday for the middle grades. Grades 5-8.
9. Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford. Required reading in many history classes, this book counts as one, big primary source! Written by a Pilgrim father, it is the best eyewitness account of the Pilgrims’ great adventure: their stay in Amsterdam, their Mayflower journey, and their relations with Native Americans. Grades 9-12 & grownups.
10. A Great and Godly Adventure by Godfrey Hodgson. Good for the brainy, this book provides a detailed, religious history about what drove the Pilgrims to the New World. Grades 11-12 & grownups.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday!
P.S. It’s not too late to start our Thanksgiving Unit Study. It’s all the Thanksgiving history, plus fun and creative activities, all in one place! It is high quality and easy to use. It will surely enrich your whole family this holiday.