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January 30, 2008

Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims

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Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims

Author: Clyde Robert Bulla

Illustrator: Peter Burchard

Page Length: 112

Reading Level: 4th

Genre: Non-fiction, Biography


REVIEW: The biography of Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims, begins in the village of the Patuxet Indians several years before the Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock.


As a young boy, Squanto was deeply intrigued with the white man who landed on shore in the huge ships in the ocean.  He convinced his uncle, Chief of the Patuxet, to communicate with the white men.


Squanto was not afraid of the firestick—the white man’s gun.  So one day, Squanto spied on the men.  When one of the men fired the firestick, Squanto let out a scream and as a result, met the group of nine men.  Squanto became friends with the men, against his mother’s will.  Her female intuition was working and her fear’s were substantiated when Squanto agreed to be a guide for the white men, eventually traveling back to England with them for several years. 


Although friends with the white men, Squanto suffered from discrimination.  In England, he was put on “show” as a wild savage.  He was also bought and sold as a slave.  He eventually returned to America, but not before his mother and the entire tribe vanished from a disease that spread through their village.


I thought Squanto’s character was very patient and kind.  He withstood many hardships and although he wanted to get home, he accepted time and time again that his trip home was inevitably a long journey.


After his many years living in England with the white man, he found himself comfortable in that setting.  This is how he became such a good friend with the Pilgrims.


AREAS FOR TEACHING: This book can be used in the study of early U. S. history and Thanksgiving.  It has large print and is easy to read.




REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner


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